The Stranger Essay

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STRANGER or OUTSIDER? Essay: The Stranger By Albert Camus The title of the novel, L’Estranger, by Albert Camus was translated from the original French language it was written in to two different versions: The Outsider (in Britain) and The Stranger (in the United States.) These subtle translation choices provide the reader with confusing but interesting viewpoints on the meaning of the title. An outsider may be excluded from or not included in a group or society while a stranger may not belong in the environment in which they are found. The decision of title by a culture may reflect a societal acceptance of someone who is strange or different or the society’s need for order. The Stranger may be the most appropriate translation for Albert Camus’s novel because Meursault is a stranger who lives within his society while challenging rational thinking. An outsider is usually excluded from or not welcome in a group while a stranger may not belong in the environment where they are found. Merriam –Webster dictionary defines stranger as: “one who is strange.” One who is strange may be a discomfort to some yet the person may not be treated as an outsider. Meursault’s response to his mother’s friend Perez about her age while in the funeral walk appears strange and indifferent. “Was she old?” asked Perez. “Fairly” (p.16) Meursault answered because he had no idea how old his mother was. A stranger can feel strange in a situation and be an outsider with a group of unknown people. Meursault lives in a society where while he may be considered strange by some, he has friends and is even loved by some including his girlfriend Marie. “That evening Marie came to see me and asked me if I wanted to marry her. I said it didn’t make any difference to me and that we could if she wanted to. ”

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