The Book "The Outsider", Albert Camus: a summary

In the literature there is such a thing as "extra people." It is used when it comes to a hero that causes compassion in the reader - as a rule, a representative of a low social stratum, an unprotected person, often subject to humiliation. The example of the “extra person” in foreign literature is the main actor in the story “Outside” Albert Camus. However, this character is not a pity for all readers. The nameless hero from the book of the French writer Albert Camus is a stranger, superfluous, alien to society due to his pathological indifference to everything.

alber camu

about the author

The creator of the novel "The Stranger" - Albert Camus - a prose writer, essayist, philosopher and winner of the Nobel Prize in literature. The future writer was born a year before the start of World War I in the Algerian town of Mondovi. His father worked at a wine farm, died in 1914 in the battle of Marne. Camus's mother was an uneducated woman.

The childhood of the future Nobel laureate passed in poverty. However, Albert from his early years showed amazing abilities, and therefore, unlike many of his peers, he entered after graduation from high school. In the thirties, Camus studied philosophy at the University of Algiers. He read a lot, kept a diary, wrote an essay. A huge influence on the formation of Camus as a writer had the work of Dostoevsky, the works of Nietzsche.

At the beginning of the Second World War, the writer worked in the newspaper "Paris-Suar". In 1940, he completed the story "The Stranger." Albert Camus in 1942 was able to publish the work, and this was an important event in French literature. During the war years he also wrote The Myth of Sisyphus and the Plague.

Camus was a rather active person. I adjoined one or another underground organization. In the early fifties he was published in an anarchist journal. For the story "The Outsider" Alber Camus received the Nobel Prize in 1957, three years before his death. The main theme of the works of the French prose writer is the fight against injustice and violence.

writer alber camu

"Outside" Albert Camus

The story’s content is literally a couple of words: this is the story of a strange young man who committed a murder because of the bright rays of the sun.A more detailed presentation, characterization of the hero and analysis of the work are presented below. Features of the book Albert Camus "The Stranger": the story is from the first person, the hero tells about the events in his life in an impartial manner. Even when it comes to murder.

The writer once said: "In our society, one who does not cry at the funeral of a mother can be sentenced to death." This is the idea of ​​the book "The Outsider" by Albert Camus. A summary of the following plan:

  • At the funeral of the mother.
  • Marie.
  • Raymond.
  • Indifference.
  • Murder.
  • Arrest.
  • In the death row.
an outsider story

Mother's funeral

The surname of the protagonist is Meursault. The name of its author does not name. Meursault is a petty official receiving a small salary. The story begins with the death of the mother. Meursault once identified her in the poorhouse, and now, taking leave, goes to the funeral. The poorhouse residents expect to see the inconsolable son. Their surprise is great when Meursault refuses to look at the deceased, and then calmly drinks coffee, smokes and goes to bed. The day after the funeral, the main character returns to Algeria.


Mersault returns home.After sleeping around twelve o'clock, he goes to the beach, where he meets Marie Cardon, a former employee of his office. Between them, a romance is tied, which does not cause any emotions in the soul of the main character. In his life, nothing has changed either after the death of his mother, or after a night spent with Marie.

The next day Meursault is sent to the office. On the way back he meets his neighbors - an old man walking a dog, and Raymond's pimp. The latter asks him for help. You need to write a letter to the former mistress, to call her on a date. Raymond, in order to avenge treason, will beat her. Meursault not only agrees, but later, when a pimp is sued, acts in his defense.

Mastroyanni film a stranger


Indifferent to the main character and to his work. The boss offers him a promotion and transfer to an office located in the capital. Meursault refuses. He believes that the new position will not change his life either for the better or for the worse. That evening, Marie talks to him about the wedding. But Meursault does not seek to change marital status. He is not interested in anything.


On weekends Meursault goes with Raymond and Marie to visit his friend Masson.On the way, they meet the Arabs. One of them is the brother of a woman who was beaten by Raymond not so long ago, but was helped by a friend’s help. They come to Masson. Spend the whole day on the beach. And in the evening they meet the Arabs again and understand that they were tracked down by them. There is a fight, in which Raymond gets a knife wound.

A few days later, they met the Arabs again. This time, Raymond handed Mersault a pistol and then disappeared. Suffering from intolerable heat, the main character felt unwell, resembling a state of intoxication. The bright sunshine irritated him and, seeing one of the Arabs, he took out a revolver and fired at him.


Meursault was detained. But neither the murder nor the arrest caused him any emotion. He believed that his case was very simple. The investigator tried to find a motive. But to no avail. Once he started a conversation with God about Mersault, but he confessed his unbelief.

The investigation lasted almost a year. He got used to the prison cell, once, after Marie visited him, he suddenly thought: just one day was enough to spend a century in prison. Meursault had enough memories.He no longer yearned for freedom. And after a few months in the cell, he lost his sense of time.

Begins the case of the Meursault. In the hall a lot of people. Meursault here feels not a criminal awaiting punishment, but an outsider, superfluous. They are questioning Marie, Raymond, Masson and even the director of the almshouse, in which the defendant’s mother spent the last years. The latter tells of Meersault’s strange behavior at his mother’s funeral.

A portrait of a murderer appears. An indifferent, unprincipled man who, without crying even once at the funeral of his mother, enters into a love relationship with a woman the next day, moreover, is on friendly terms with a pimp. And he shoots a man, trying to settle old scores. The prosecutor calls Mersault a heartless, unprincipled personality and demands capital punishment. The protagonist is sentenced to death.

film based on the book

On death row

After the sentencing, Meursault does not attend the fears. He does not repent of his deed, does not regret the mistakes made. He is not afraid of death. When a priest comes to the chamber, Meursault refuses confession. The only thing that annoys him is the talk of eternal life.The protagonist of the story "The Outsider" believes that it does not make sense and should not be wasted on talking about God the last hours of its existence.

foreign film 1967


The hero of the story tells about the events of his life in simple language. In style, the presentation resembles a school essay written by a poor student: chopped phrases, lack of metaphors and other means of expression. Sartre called the style of Albert Camus - author of "The Outsider" - childish.

The writer added his work with details that the reader seems superfluous: Meursault went to a cafe, ordered breakfast, paid for, received change. What are all these details for? Critics believe that behind every unnecessary detail is a philosophical thesis.

Camus’s book expresses a complex worldview system based on the absurdity of human existence. People are born, get an education, strive to make a career. They want to love and be loved. They live according to a certain pattern that has existed for many centuries. But the actions or inaction of the hero of the story "The Outsider" do not fit into this scheme. Meursault is indifferent to everything. The idea of ​​the book is in the last words of the hero, addressed to the spiritual father.

camuy writer

Albert Camus - a representative of atheistic existentialism.His views can be described as atheistic. Despite the fact that the biography of the French prose writer invariably mentions his interest in Dostoevsky’s work, the hero of his main book does not recognize any religious ideas, unlike the characters of the Russian writer. Reviews of "Stranger" Albert Camus mixed. Some readers admire the unusual author's presentation. For others, the main character causes extremely negative emotions.

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