Thought Piece-the stranger

Thought Piece-the stranger - blindly into the future...

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Elizabeth Katzki Meursault says of the chaplain, "He wasn't even sure he was alive, because he was living like a dead man" (120). What does he mean by this and how does it relate to the principles of Existentialism? This means that the chaplain was living life so that he could have a meaningful and good afterlife. The chaplain was living to go to heaven, and enjoy life then, even though that really is not life at all. Meursault was living life for the moment; like a real living person. He was living life as a person, not as someone who is on the earth as a waiting period for later. Meursault has also come to a realization at this point in the book, whether he realizes it or not. This may seem paradoxical, but when he says, “…everything that was in my heart, cries of anger and cries of joy”, it is the first time he mentions emotion in the book, while speaking in first person. Meursault has found meaning in his life during his days in jail, and seeing the chaplain look so
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Unformatted text preview: blindly into the future frustrates him and makes him realize that his emotions are here and now, and that they exist, and that that is meaning in itself. With this realization, he bursts; and notices how others are living in comparison to him. He never does this before in the book; he simply states his physical feelings, and desires, and narrates that way. This is an important shift, and Meursault’s statement about the chaplain articulates this. This moment is a struggle between religion and existentialism. One cannot hold both ideologies because they contradict each other so blatantly. If one believes in G-d and an afterlife, one cannot value time on earth as one’s true and only existence, and therefore is living like a dead man, but if one is an existentialist, then the only time one has is on earth, and that is very limited and cannot feel void of meaning. This moment catches this controversy and holds it up for criticism....
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Thought Piece-the stranger - blindly into the future...

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