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The Stranger by Albert Camus

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1 The Stranger by Albert Camus

2 Albert Camus Born in French Algeria in 1913
Algiers, the capital of Algeria is the setting for The Stranger

3 Albert Camus Beset by poverty throughout his life
Excelled in sports, journalism and drama at the University of Algiers Graduated in 1936 with a degree in literature and philosophy First African-born winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1957. Died in 1960

4 Most Influential Works
All written in French and later translated. The Myth of Sisyphus The Stranger The Plague

5 Existentialism A philosophical, religious, and artistic movement characterized by: The belief that people are “created” or formed by the experiences they have. It is action and choice that give life meaning, not simply the act of existing. Rene Descartes – “I think, therefore I am” Human nature is irrational and chaotic, but human beings are free to make their own moral choices in life.

6 Important Existentialists
Soren Kirkegaard- “Father of existentialism” stressed the importance of the self. Jean-Paul Sartre wrote a play called No Exit and he claimed that, “Hell is other people”.


8 Camus’ Philosophy Friend of Sarte, but later broke off their friendship. Rejected the existentialist label. Wrote about “man facing the absurd”. In 1957, after winning Nobel Prize for Literature

9 Camus’ Philosophy Devoted his life to literature that exalts truth, happiness, freedom, and justice. “We are made to live for others. But one really dies only for oneself.” Life must be embraced in all its unfairness, moral paradox, and irrationality “Life is controlled by the absurd”

10 Camus and Absurdism Philosophical idea stating that the efforts of humanity to find meaning in the universe will ultimately fail. The universe (life) is chaotic and does not have an innate meaning or significance. However, absurdity does not mean life is meaningless. People have to create their own meaning in life by interact with each other while remaining in control of their own destinies.

11 Antihero/ Absurd Hero A nontraditional protagonist or non hero who presents none of the skill, intelligence or nobility of the standard hero. Mersault is noble because he maintains his self-respect and faces a hostile environment that insists on his guilt based on poor reasoning. Camus developed Mersault’s character based on the absurd hero in his essay “The Myth of Sisyphus”

12 Psychological Novella
Study of a character’s mind with emphasis on motivation, internal dialogue, and circumstance. Readers observe his character, values, friendships and frustrations.

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