Escaping Absurdity by Entering The Stranger

I’ve read The Stranger by Albert Camus a while ago. It didn’t shake me the way I though a Nobel Prize winning book would. I read the book inside a Chick-Fil-A out of sheer boredom and anxiety. I needed something to do that day that didn’t involve hours of mindless and emotionless gaming so I decided to escape this torpid lifestyle by reading a book in hopes that it would immerse me into a different world. It so happened that out of all the unread books in my shelf, I decided to pick up The Stranger ignorant of its content…. So with Christian instrumental music playing in the background and a chicken sandwich on the side, I began my journey into Meursault’s world. After the first couple of chapters, I realized that I wasn’t entering a new world. Rather I was continuing on my own listless and absurd reality.

This absurd world was what I was trying to escape in my trek outside the warm glow of my computer screen. How unrelentingly absurd is life inside a video game! And how even more absurd and frustrating is reading about a person who is so detached to the world that it makes me more detached.  Unlike Camus’ advice, I cannot accept absurd-ism! I cannot yield to the idea that life is meaningless. I believe life is full of meaning, but I just haven’t found it yet. This is the hope I have, albeit a waning hope in the midst of life’s circumstances.

Maybe someone more well versed in Camus work could show me a more thorough understanding of this book. From my reading, this book is just a reflection of a detached man who is either incapable or refuses to conform to the emotional and rational patterns of society. In a way all of these patterns are created by man to invoke meaning into life, when in reality these are just illusions and lies we tell ourselves give meaning. Merusault recognizes this and thus is labeled as “The Stranger” by Camus.



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