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What is the summary of 'The Stranger' by Albert Camus?

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Quick Answer

"The Stranger" by Albert Camus is the story of a man coming to terms with the indifference of the world. Its protagonist, Meursault, meets an abusive womanizer following the death of his mother and, through his acquaintance with this man, ends up committing a murder. Following his conviction for the crime Meursault is sentenced to death, which leads to him coming to happily accept the pure meaninglessness of life.

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Full Answer

Meursault displays an indifferent attitude to his own life and the lives of others throughout this short novel. Keeping vigil over his mother's body in the funeral home at the beginning of the story, he casually smokes cigarettes and falls asleep. He is relieved to return home after the funeral has ended and remembers very little about it.

Later, he shows a complete lack of morality in helping the abusive pimp Raymond get revenge upon his mistress. This culminates in his casual and motiveless murder of the mistress's brother.

During the court proceedings that follow, both the prosecutor and his own lawyer are appalled at his lack of remorse. The magistrate refers to him as "Monsieur Antichrist." Then, before his execution, Meursault attacks the chaplain sent to him in prison with a final declaration of the meaningless of existence and the futility of belief.

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