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Word Count: 426
Camuss The Stranger is a grim profession that choice and individualfreedom areintegral components of human nature and the commitment and responsibility that accompanythese elements are ultimately the deciding factors of the morality of ones existenceMeursaultis placed in an indifferent world a world that embraces absurdity and persecutes reasonsuch isthe nature of existentialist belief that rationalization and logic are ultimately theessence ofhumanity and that societal premonitions and an irrelevant status quo serve only toperpetuate afalse sense of truth Meursaults virtue as well as his undoing lies in his unique tendencyto choose andthereby exist without computing objective standards or universal sentiment His stoic defactoexistentialism is a catalyst for endless conflict between his rationalization- andlogic-basedexistence and that of others which focuses on an objective subscription to thenorm such isevident in heated discussions with the magistrate and prison minister who are seen asparagonsof invalid logic and the quixotic quasi-passionate pursuit of hackneyed conformity No windmills are slain1 in this simulated existence absurdity of adifferent ilk dominatesthe popular mentality one which would alienate a man based on his perceived indifferencetowards the mundane and try convict and execute a man based on his lack of purportedempathy towards the irrelevant Attention to the trial sequence will reveal that the keyelementsof the conviction had little to do with the actual crime Meursault had committed butrather theunspeakable atrocities he had committed while in mourning of his mothersdeath whichconsisted of smoking a cigarette drinking a cup of coffee and failing to cry or appearsufficientlydistraught Indeed the deformed misconception of moral truth which the jury societyseeks isbased on a detached objective observation of right or wrong thereby misrepresenting theidealsof justice by failing to recognize that personal freedom and choice are theessence ofindividual existence and the deciding factor of ones morality2 The execution of Meursault at the close of the novel symbolicallybrings forthoutpourings of emotion as Meursault confronts his nothingness and the impossibility ofjustifyingthe immoral choices he has made he realizes the pure contingency of
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