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Word Count: 418
Meursaults Recognition of His Existentialist Beliefs As one reads Camus The Stranger they gradually come to the realization that Meursault is a representation of the ideal existentialist However it is not until the very end of the piece that Meursault comes to this realization himself Only when confronted by the priest does he realize what he truly believes Early in the novel Meursault relates much of what happens to him to his physical surroundings and not to his own personal actions He often comments on the feeling of the sun on his body and the effects it has on him For example just before his first encounter with the Arabs he says I wasnt thinking about anything because I was half asleep from the sun beating down on my bare head He uses the suns effects as an excuse for why he doesnt take any action during the incident instead of it being his own decision Then as the story continues he begins to realize that everything that happens to him is his and only his decision He begins to understand this after shooting the Arab when he says And it was like knocking four quick times on the door of unhappiness From this point on he lives with the understanding that he committed a crime and now his will be punished for it In the last scene of the book Meursault comes to a final conclusion on what he believes When the priest confronts him in his cell he comes to his own understanding of how life and the world work After the priest is escorted out Meursault states As if that blind rage had washed me clean rid me of hope for the first time in that night alive with signs and stars I opened myself to the gentle indifference of the world After this epiphany he comes to the conclusion that regardless of his impending death he doesnt regret
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