The Outsider; Albert Camus
Albert Camus' laconic masterpiece about a Frenchman who murders an Arab in colonial Algeria is famous in its time for diagnosing a state of alienation and spiritual exhaustion which summed up the mood of the mid-twentieth century. Today, more than fifty years after its first appearance, we can see that this early success was no passing fashion: The Outsider continues to speak to us of ultimate things with the force of a parable and the excitement of a thriller and remains one of the most widely read and influential classics of the century.
Meursault is different. He will not lie. He will not pretend. He is true to himself.
So when his mother dies and he is unmoved, he refuses to do the proper thing and grieve. Returning to Algiers after the funeral, he carries on life as usual until he becomes involved in a violent murder.
In court, it is clear that Meursault's guilt or innocence will not be determined by what he did or did not do.
He is on trial for being different - an outsider.
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