The Stranger is an existentialist novel written by Albert Camus. Existentialism is one of the main philosophies of the nineteenth century. The philosophy revolves around the condition of the human existence. Other avenues includes the discussion of the individual's emotions, actions, responsibilities, and thoughts. Camus is one of the main authors of this time period along with Soren Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Dostoevsky, and Kafka.
The novel takes place in Algiers. This is the capital of Algeria, which is a country located along the Mediterranean sea in Northern Africa. Because it is close to Europe, it has had contact with other cultures for centuries. Arabs, Europeans, and pieds-noirs (people of European descent born in Algeria) all lived side by side in the crowded city. This gave rise to the tension and unrest that is reflected in the novel. The climate of North Africa focuses mainly on the idea of heat, sun, and beaches, which also has a powerful influence on the events and characters in the novel.
The novel was published in 1942 while Algeria was under colonial possession by France for almost a hundred years.
- Meursault - The protagonist and narrator of the novel
- Marie - Meursault's girlfriend who is obsessively devoted to him
- Maman - Meursault's mother
- Raymond Sintes - is a friend of Merusault's that shares a lot of the same characteristics with him.
- Employer - Meursault's boss and owner of the business where he works
- There are several other minor characters in the play.
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