The Stranger is a novel written by Albert Camus in 1942. It tells the story of Meursault, a young man living in Algiers who becomes emotionally detached from the world around him after the death of his mother. The novel is often considered an example of absurdist literature, as it explores themes of absurdity, nihilism, and the human condition.
One example of the absurdity present in The Stranger is Meursault's lack of emotional response to the death of his mother. Despite being the protagonist of the novel, Meursault is unable to feel grief or sadness over his mother's death, and instead spends much of the time after her funeral casually chatting with his neighbors and even going to the beach. This detachment from his emotions is a clear example of the absurdity present in the novel, as it is not a typical or expected response to the loss of a loved one.
Another example of absurdity in The Stranger is Meursault's eventual murder of an Arab man on the beach. The murder is completely unprovoked and seems to happen almost by accident, with Meursault later stating that he killed the man because he was "too close" and the sun was in his eyes. The absurdity of this act is further highlighted by the fact that Meursault seems to have no remorse or guilt over the murder, and instead focuses on the practicalities of his impending trial.
In addition to absurdity, The Stranger also explores themes of nihilism and the human condition. Meursault's detachment from emotions and his lack of concern for the consequences of his actions can be seen as a form of nihilism, as he seems to lack any sense of purpose or meaning in life. This is further reflected in his statement that "nothing really mattered" and his belief that life is ultimately meaningless.
Overall, The Stranger is a powerful example of absurdist literature that explores themes of absurdity, nihilism, and the human condition. Through the character of Meursault, Camus presents a thought-provoking critique of modern society and the human experience.