Welcome to the LitCharts study guide on Albert Camus's The Stranger. Created by the original team behind SparkNotes, LitCharts are the world's best literature guides.
The Stranger: Introduction
The Stranger: Plot Summary
The Stranger: Detailed Summary & Analysis
The Stranger: Themes
The Stranger: Quotes
The Stranger: Characters
The Stranger: Symbols
The Stranger: Theme Wheel
Brief Biography of Albert Camus
Historical Context of The Stranger
Other Books Related to The Stranger
- Full Title: The Stranger
- When Written: 1941?-1942
- Where Written: France
- When Published: 1942
- Literary Period: Modernist
- Genre: Philosophical novel
- Setting: Algiers, Algeria
- Climax: Meursault shoots the Arab.
- Antagonist: Raymond
- Point of View: First person (Meursault is the narrator.)
Extra Credit for The Stranger
An Existential Novel? Though The Stranger is often categorized as an existential novel, Camus himself rejected this label. Camus’ philosophy of Absurdism resembles Existentialism in many respects (both philosophies, for example, believe in the essential meaninglessness of life) but Camus was fiercely committed to human morality and dignity, ideas many Existentialists discarded.
Alternate Translations. The key sentence in Meursault’s final acceptance of death has been translated in several different ways, each of which shifts the line’s meaning. The edition on which this guide is based was translated by Matthew Ward and published in 1988. It translates the line: "I opened myself to the gentle indifference of the world." The first English edition, translated by Stuart Gilbert and published in 1946, translated this line, "I laid my heart open to the benign indifference of the universe." The second English edition, translated by Joseph Laredo and first published in 1982, translated the line, "I laid my heart open to the gentle indifference of the universe."