Why You Should Read The Stranger
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Why You Should Read The Stranger

A very eye-opening story if you are looking for a new perspective.

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Why You Should Read The Stranger
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Literature which plays around with popular beliefs is always good to read, and a lot of literature plays with popular beliefs. It’s impossible to read all of literature, so we often narrow down our selection of books to the classics which have been found to consistently intrigue people. Books such as Moby Dick, Great Gatsby, and Frankenstein are just a few examples of these. Upon reading The Stranger by Albert Camus recently, I’ve found that it is just as mentally compelling and thought-eliciting as the many classics I’ve read in my life.

In The Stranger, Camus plays on the idea of what is correct behavior and what is incorrect behavior. The main character—who may be considered an ‘anti-hero’—is a French man named ‘Meursault,’ and he does things that few people do. This causes him to be viewed as strange and even, perhaps, unfeeling and inhuman. While his peculiar actions and beliefs seem to repel any reader from liking him, however, Camus does a wonderful job of making his rather unfeeling personality likable. In this way, the story allows the reader to grow fond of someone who they don’t really understand or relate with.

The reason I value this story and the effect of this story is that it is an eye-opener. Reading things like Harry Potter or Twilight might entertain you, but they don’t incorporate themes that allow you to view people differently on a day-to-day basis. And that’s where The Stranger, like other great works of literature, shines. It captures the reader in a state of discomfort and even possibly disdain and shows them in a more objective manner how their dispositions actually look to other people or other lives.

As the story progresses, many will find that, although they disagree with the things that Meursault does, they cannot hate him as a person—at least, that’s what happened to me. Much like in A Clockwork Orange, where a young teen thug in a dystopian world commits unspeakable crimes and still draws pity from the viewer as he is punished for his actions, Meursault’s unacceptable actions don’t allow the reader to completely ignore his humanity and his slight-but-still-tangible feelings and tenderness towards the world.

In the end of The Stranger, a large revelation is made and philosophical themes of existentialism and absurdism come out from their hiding and shine right before the reader’s eyes. These ideas which are thoroughly mixed in throughout the whole story add academic value to it, and allow the reader to, again, see the world in a different way.

To conclude this, I’m going to talk about why literature is wonderful. It takes a reader or a spectator out of their shoes and puts them into someone else’s shoes. This allows for them to actually see the world in a different way and relate to someone else. In the case of The Stranger, Albert Camus isn’t attempting to change the way you view the world, but he is rather showing you that there are different ways. By stepping into the life of Meursault, we are able to experience life through unfeeling eyes and grow fond of it alongside the main character. So if you prefer intense action and cliffhangers, The Stranger might not be for you, but if you want to get a different view on life that might change the way you look at other people on a day-to-day basis, I definitely think you should check out the short story by Albert Camus.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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