My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Publication Date: 1942
Publisher: Vintage International
Point of View: 1st Person & Masculine
Recommended Age: 16+
Genres & Themes: Adulr, Classic, Life, Psychological
Through the story of an ordinary man unwittingly drawn into a senseless murder on an Algerian beach, Camus explored what he termed “the nakedness of man faced with the absurd.”
I am here, writing a review, but I am not really here, with you. My mind is elsewhere. I have not left the book yet. I am full of thoughts, and those thoughts are full of thoughts. I feel a pressure on my heart – what is happening? Why can I not breathe normally?
Part of me is angry. But that part is smothered. By society. By you. By me. Am I allowed to feel this way? Am I allowed to feel angry? I want to, but it would not be logical, would it? So I do not. After all, he – the character – committed murder. He deserves everything that is happening to him. He should feel ashamed. He should beg for forgiveness. He should look us in the eye and tell us, tell us, tell us.
Tell us what? Tell us something we want to hear, because we want to hear him say it? Because that is what feels normal to us? Is he not free? Are his emotions not his? Do we need to implant emotions into him? Are we aloud to do that? Is he not human?
What does it mean to be human? Is there a definition? According to some human beings in this book, the character is not one of them. Where does he belong? Because he is different, should he be treated differently? Should we not accept his difference?
Is he a sociopath? Would you think that? He has emotions. He thinks. He understands others. But he is detached. He is a stranger to himself, as well as to the world around him. He has another way of thinking, different from yours and different from mine. But what do I know? Maybe he is like you.
This book raises so many questions. It is hard to think. It is hard to breathe.