Cliff Notes™, Cliffs Notes™, Cliffnotes™, Cliffsnotes™ are trademarked properties of the John Wiley Publishing Company. TheBestNotes.com does not provide or claim to provide free Cliff Notes™ or free Sparknotes™. Free Cliffnotes™ and Free Spark Notes™ are trademarked properties of the John Wiley Publishing Company and Barnes & Noble, Inc., respectively. TheBestNotes.com has no relation.

TheBestNotes.com: Free Summary / Study Guide / Book Summaries / Literature Notes / Analysis / Synopsis
 


+Larger Font+
-Smaller Font-



Free Study Guide: The Stranger by Albert Camus - Free BookNotes

Previous Page | Table of Contents | Next Page
Downloadable / Printable Version


THE STRANGER BY ALBERT CAMUS: FREE STUDY GUIDE / BOOK SUMMARY

LITERARY ELEMENTS

INTRODUCTION

Although The Stranger is the first novel of Albert Camus, a well-known twentieth century French author, it is usually considered his best work. The book is written in an autobiographical mode with Camus incorporating a part of his early personal life into its pages. In spite of its autobiographical nature, Camus maintains a critical distance with the reader through his use of the narrator/protagonist, Mersault. Through Mersault, Camus portrays the social conditions and injustices existing in the Arab community in Algiers. As he describes the inadequacies of the legal system, Camus also describes the degradation of mankind. Although The Stranger was started much earlier, it was not published until 1942. Written between the two world wars, it reflects the negative attitude of the times.


SETTING

The novel is set primarily in Algiers, after it has been invaded and colonized by the French. The narrative proclaims the dark humor and the pessimism of the younger generation that resents the French presence in Algeria. Since the novel was written after World War I and before the outbreak of World War II, a sense of absurdity and hopelessness is visible throughout the book. The book is also set in a small beach town outside of Algiers. It is on the beach that Mersault kills the Arab.


CHARACTER LIST


Major Characters

Mersault
The protagonist and narrator of the novel. He is a young man caught in a situation that is essentially futile and absurd. He is drawn into a conflict with a group of Arabs because of his neighbor, Raymond, and winds up killing one of them. After the murder, he is taken into custody, put on trial, and sentenced to execution on the guillotine.

The Prosecutor
The public prosecutor who deals with the murder case involving Mersault. In a way, he serves as the spokesperson of the society.

The Chaplain
A religious leader who unsuccessfully attempts to make Mersault admit his guilt and ask forgiveness. He stands for the religious institution that fails to offer solace to a troubled soul.

Raymond
A neighbor of Mersault. He is instrumental in bringing about the disaster of the protagonist.

Marie Cardona
A charming young girl who loves and intends to marry Mersault.

Minor Characters

Thomas Perez
An old man in the Home for the Aged who befriended Mersaultís mother; he is called as a witness at Mersaultís trial.

Warden
The man in charge of the Home for the Aged; he is called as a witness at Mersaultís trial.

The Keeper
The doorkeeper of the mortuary that handles the funeral of Mersaultís mother.

Celeste
The owner of a restaurant, where Mersault often eats.

Salamano
A lonely old man who owns a spaniel. He is a neighbor of Mersault.


Previous Page | Table of Contents | Next Page
Downloadable / Printable Version


The Stranger by Albert Camus: Free Book Notes Summary


Privacy Policy
All Content Copyright©TheBestNotes. All Rights Reserved.
No further distribution without written consent.
116 Users Online | This page has been viewed 22302 times
This page was last updated on 5/15/2008 3:16:24 PM

Cite this page:

TheBestNotes.com Staff. "TheBestNotes on The Stranger". TheBestNotes.com. . 15 May 2008
             <>.