Meursault: The Outsider

This is a critique of the Albert Camus novel, “The Outsider”.

This paper critiques the Albert Camus novel, “The Outsider”. Drawing from extensive quotes from the book, the author explains how Camus paints the portrait of a man who stands apart from his society and from himself. Meursault is incapable of acquiescing to the norms of society; this is why society puts him to death.
“In Albert Camus’ novel, The Outsider, Meursault is outside of both his internal self and his society. He lives for the simple, sensual pleasures of life, but has no understanding of the inherent value of his life. In that sense, then, Meursault begins the novel outside, or a stranger to the most basic part of his existence. It is only at the end of the book that Meursault transcends the simple sensuality of his experience. Camus uses Meursault’s honesty as a foil to illustrate the empty social conventions and morality of society. It is Meursault’s total sincerity and inability to concede to society’s norms that makes him an outsider to society.”