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Word Count: 1,246
Existentialism is often defined as a philosophical movement or tendency emphasizing individual existence freedom and choice As a result of the diversity of positions associated with this term it is impossible to define precisely There are however basic themes common in existentialist beliefs As is evident through the root of the word exist there is a stress on definite individual existence and freedom of choice Developed between the nineteenth and twentieth centuries this ideology influenced literature greatly A prime example of the incorporation of certain aspects of existentialism is witnessed in Albert Camuss The Stranger The use of existentialism within his work assists in the development of his characters it determines how they will act and respond to their surroundings The aforementioned actions are often unique due to the influence of existentialism Meursault is the major character in The Stranger He is considered the personification of existentialism the existential hero if you will He is emotionally indifferent to others and as the prosecutor of his case words it a coolly calculating monster Meursault is alienated from society throughout the tale as he accepts individual responsibility for his unique progression Throughout Camuss The Stranger there are references to an event that occurs at the outset of the novel and exhibits ideals inherent to existentialism the death of Meursaults mother His insensitivity is introduced through the emotions or lack thereof that he displays upon news of the death of Maman He seemingly cares not for his own mother as is shown in his opening statements Maman died today Or yesterday maybe I dont know I got a telegram from the home Mother deceased Funeral tomorrow Faithfully yours That doesnt mean anything Maybe it was yesterday He is more concerned with the time of the death rather than the fact that he has just lost a loved one In addition Meursault is more concerned about his surroundings at the home and in the mortuary rather than the fact
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