A postcolonial reading of Camus: The stranger, the mother and the Algerian revolution
Despite innumerable works on The Stranger, the personality of Camus' examine this character and, in particular, his relationship with "Mother." Although critics . emotional problem which he "solves" by repressing his feelings. His outer. trast the nature of Meursault's relationship with his mother. Second, to cure his skin mange when "his real problem was old age, and there's no curing that. The Stranger Questions and Answers - Discover the kinenbicounter.info community of Merseult is extremely agitated by the question of "a loophole," the problem of After Meursault arranged for his mother to live in a nursing home why did he What do the relationships in The Stranger say about Camus' view of relationships ?.
He knows that life itself offers no compelling reason for either the one or the other; only chance, sensuality and spontaneous impulse are able to guide a life led without any higher meaning. When all is said and done, everything is equal and people are essentially innocent when dealing with the absurd vicissitudes of life. He is a man who refuses to cheat. Neither Church, State nor morality can persuade him to give up the truths of the heart.
He is at once a Raskolnikov and a Josef K, but with the important difference that he never seeks to do penance. Meursault feel no remorse, nor does he try to convince anyone that he does. He does not speak unless he has something to say. Those who keep their thoughts to themselves are not swayed by public opinion. But in the margins, a different story is playing out. It makes itself heard in a number of disturbing questions: Why are so many of them in jail and why are they all nameless?
What kind of social order has Meursault struck out against? The two stories play out on two different stages and portray two distinct types of alienation. In the first one, Meursault appears as an isolated Everyman: If Meursault was the absurd hero on the first stage, here he appears instead as a typical French settler whose power is underpinned by physical violence he is a Frenchman who kills an Arabmilitary superiority the revolver defeats the knifeand the discriminatory legal system focusing on the deceased French mother rather than on the murdered Arab.
Where the stranger of absurd existence sees only a series of disconnected moments, with no internal connections or any deeper meaning, the political stranger uncovers an underlying solid structure, a discriminatory machinery that ultimately rests on murder. The wordless meeting not only signals that they are strangers to each other, but also that Algeria is not big enough for both of them. When, in the posthumously published autobiographical novel, The First Man, Camus looks back on his childhood, he often returns to the atmosphere that prevailed in Algeria at the time when the novel was written.
Early May saw the first steps towards open warfare. In the midst of the French celebrations of the defeat of Nazi Germany, Algerian nationalists took the opportunity to remind them that Algeria also had the right to liberty and independence. They defied the ban on symbols of Algerian independence and refused to give way to police threats. Tens of thousands of Arabs were killed and the prisons were filled with suspected nationalists. Camus took up his pen and wrote a number of articles demanding justice for the Arab people.
He argued that radical reforms were needed to reduce the disparities between European and native Algerians.
Immorally Yours, Mr. Meursault. – The Creative Cafe
Otherwise, he warned, the whole country threatened to shatter from within; it was time for all good men of France to do their duty for the native population: Mistrust of France had grown to such a degree that that there was no turning back. Since, after over a century of French rule, Arabs were still not welcome as equal citizens, they now needed to create their own Algerian state.
Inspired by the worldwide anti-colonial struggle, the Algerian Liberation Front FLN proclaimed a national revolution on 1 November They accused the French of betraying their own ideals: The French nation is one and indivisible, explained the regime, and is no more likely to leave Algeria than it would leave Provence or Brittany.Dr. Phil Gives a Mother and Daughter Advice for Fixing Their Relationship
One of the bloodiest wars of the post-war period begins and France stops at nothing to keep Algeria French: Nearly one million people lost their lives. During the last year of the war Algeria was a bloodbath and hundreds of thousands of Europeans were forced to flee their former homeland.
A regular French civil war was soon looming large: The export version of French military chauvinism fought back against the mainland government, but De Gaulle held his ground and in July Algeria won its independence. He tried to develop his own stance in the ideological war that was taking shape in metropolitan France.
Immorally Yours, Mr. Meursault.
On the one hand, he turned against the supporters of French Algeria who turned a blind eye to colonial racism and the excesses of the French army. On the other, he was unable to reconcile himself with the radical Left who embraced the Algerian nationalists unreservedly. While the French Right saw Camus as a traitor because of his criticism of French colonial policy, the Left attacked him for betraying the tradition of anti-fascist resistance.
In Algeria, said Sartre, what we are seeing is the striptease of western humanism. Personally active in the Resistance, at the end of the war Camus praised those French people who, with weapons in hand, rose up against the oppressor: Camus never breaks completely with the premise of French colonialism: The principles of the French Enlightenment — freedom, equality, fraternity — are interwoven with a colonial paternalism. He knew that everything he said could be used against those of his closest friends who still remained in Algeria.
In the late s, Camus said that he could no longer take part in the debate: Nothing, he says, can ever justify an innocent death. We must not add to the injustices of the present in the name of justice tomorrow; that, too, bears the weight of absurdity on its shoulders.
It is in the light of these ideas that we should understand the famous yet enigmatic comment Camus made in his Nobel Prize acceptance speech in December A young militant Algerian confronted him and demanded an explanation of his stance towards the ongoing war: The fact that he is indifferent towards what other people do to each other illuminates the lack of moral principles.
If Meursault had a moral compass, then he might have chosen to stay out of their business entirely and not be guilty of immoral conduct. Meursault is free to be friends with whomever he wants. His decisions are his own and no one has the authority to tell him with whom he can spend his time.
Up to this point in the novel, readers have not seen any violence or anger come from Meursault.
However, this does not mean he is not capable of being as violent as his friend, Raymond. The audience knows what makes Raymond capable of committing such immoral acts, but Meursault has yet to show that side of himself to the readers. He goes to the beach with his friends and encounters the brother of the girl that Raymond had beaten up. The day is hot and Meursault is already feeling the negative effects of the heat in his body.
An hour or two beforehand, he and Raymond had fought with this man and ended with each party going their separate ways.
- The stranger, the mother and the Algerian revolution
After accidentally running into the Arab again, he makes sure he is prepared for anything, so he grabs the gun in his pocket. With the light blinding Meursault, he reacts by squeezing the trigger on the gun and the shot kills the Arab.
Meursault does not react as someone who just killed a person, but rather as someone who succeeded in removing an object that added to his miserable state. And it was like knocking four quick times on the door of unhappiness.
He shot once, which stopped Meursault from being blinded by the sun.
Meursault and his Mother vs. Salamano and his Dog
His indifference towards others has isolated him to his own sub-conscious understanding of life. Absurdity rules his every thought and action, but not for his own benefit.
The combination of absurd reasoning and lack of morals made him capable of committing a murder in which he never claims to feel remorse for. By not caring about the fate or actions of others, he essentially let go of all sense of societal standards, regardless of the consequences for acting against them.
The society in which Meursault lives is heavily influenced by religion. Most of the people he encounters believe in God, one way or another. But it so happens that he lives outside that God. Meursault, being an absurdist himself, has now been deemed by all of society that he is, in fact, immoral. Whether or not the reader believes in God or the Bible, or in a higher power, there is still a collective understanding that murder is wrong and anyone who commits this crime must see justice served.
In society, such behavior would lead to chaos if individuals warred against one another, with the consequence of the stronger benefiting at the expense of the weaker regardless of the concepts of fairness or justice.
Meursault has proved, throughout his described life, that he lives only for himself and his desires. He goes against the grain of his society, with no regard for consequences. And because of his absurdist beliefs, he lives free of internal condemnation from that society, without a need for morals. And in the face of society, he feels no guilt.