full title · The Stranger or L’étranger
author · Albert Camus
type of work · Novel
genre · Existential novel; crime drama
language · French
time and place written · Early 1940s, France
date of first publication · 1942
publisher · Librairie Gallimard, France
narrator · In Part One, Meursault narrates the events of the story almost as they happen. In Part Two, he narrates the events of his trial from jail, then moves into a more immediate narration in Chapter 5.
point of view · Meursault narrates in the first person and limits his account to his own thoughts and perceptions. His description of the other characters is entirely subjective—that is, he does not attempt to portray them in a neutral light or to understand their thoughts and feelings.
tone · Detached, sober, plain, at times subtly ironic
tense · Shifts between immediate past (or real-time narration) and more distant past, with occasional instances where Meursault speaks in the present tense.
setting (time) · Slightly before World War II
setting (place) · Algeria
protagonist · Meursault
major conflict · After committing murder, Meursault struggles against society’s attempts to manufacture and impose rational explanations for his attitudes and actions. This struggle is embodied by Meursault’s battle with the legal system that prosecutes him.
rising action · Meursault relationship with Marie, his involvement in Raymond’s affairs, his trip to Masson’s beach house, and his taking of Raymond’s gun are the choices Meursault makes that lead up to his killing of the Arab.
climax · Meursault shoots a man, known as “the Arab,” for no apparent reason.
falling action · Meursault is arrested for murder, jailed, tried in court, and sentenced to death. He then has an epiphany about “the gentle indifference of the world” after arguing with the chaplain about God’s existence.
themes · The irrationality of the universe; the meaninglessness of human life; the importance of the physical world
motifs · Decay and death; watching and observation
symbols · The courtroom; the crucifix
foreshadowing · Madame Meursault’s friends watching Meursault foreshadows the jury’s watching him in judgment.
"The Stranger" Essay Topics: Provide Me with Unique Ones
“The Stranger” is a novel by Albert Camus that was published in 1942. It is about a man who is sentenced to death because he is not empathetic to a crime that he has committed. It is broken into two parts, the first part is written before the crime and the second is written after the crime. There are many different aspects to consider when writing an essay about this novel.
Most individuals will write about some of the major topics which include the significance of the title and the symbolism of the novel. Most students choose to write about how the title is significant because Meursault is seen as a stranger to himself and other people in the novel. Another option is to talk about any of the symbols of the novel including time, women, and crucifixes.
But if your aim is write about a more unique topic, here are a few great ideas. A unique novel subject will ensure that your paper stands out from the other papers.
- Camus’s philosophical notion of absurdity- Camus holds a philosophical belief that the human existence has no meaning or order. He claims that since people don’t want to accept the fact that life has no meaning, absurdity occurs because of their attempts for find meaning.
- The idea that life has no meaning- Camus believes that the only thing that is certain is that we will all die. He translates that this means that life is meaningless since we will all die anyways.
- Meursault’s attachment to the physical world- Throughout the novel Meursault is concerned with many elements of the physical world instead of worrying about anything emotional. One example is when he was recounting his mother’s funeral and instead of speaking of his sorrow, he remember how hot it as in the funeral procession. This is normally something that isn’t really noticed.
These are some great topics that are more unique than the most common topics. These ideas should allow you to write an essay that is different from the other students. Make sure that you understand the concepts behind the actual words. The novel is more than just the written word. It was written to show these general themes and is full with other motifs. Your essay should account for these themes and explain the reasons why the author wrote the novel to begin with.