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Albert Camus’ Political Writing and Career

Essay Topic:

Camus’s Political Writing/Career Through his political writing, Camus expresses a variety of philosophical ideologies that are in many ways similar to those expressed in “The Stranger.” In the writing, Camus explores various ideas that are reflective of how society appears to him.* 1943 Joined a French resistance called the “Combat” who opposed the Nazis.

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Had an underground newspaper; Camus became the editor, under the name “Beauchard,” criticized French collaboration with the Nazis ”Now the only moral value is courage, which is useful here for judging the puppets and chatterboxes who pretend to speak in the name of the people… – written in the newspaper The content usually tried to convince people to act with strict moral principals This is where he developed his idea that though human life may seem pointless since everyone must meet death at one point in time, it is still sacred; and each person must be responsible for their own actions and consequences. the content of newspaper likely expressed his ultimate distaste towards the actions of the Nazis and the violence erupting due to their ambition for power. Innocent people falling under their control and abuse. his goes with Camus’s ideology that men should be responsible for what they make of themselves in the universe. However, he strongly opposes the Nazis likely because they are not held responsible for the genocide; they instead, are encouraged and feared, not held accountable for the millions of deaths they’ve caused. Meursault knows that death is the ultimate consequence to murdering the Arab; he has no personal, or emotional ties with the dead man; he accepts this truth; his insensitivity actually provides a means for him to accept the idea of existentialism.

This gives the impression that Meursault sees the murder as a consequence and the cause of his current problems. Also, only during his trial and imprisonment, Meursault recognizes that he is responsible for his own life, and realizes his mortality. Through writing, it can be seen that Camus’s personal political beliefs are rather left wing, though not communism. He is a socialist. Explores the morals of humankind, and his support for anti- totalitarian government. The idea of exercising control over the freedom and will of others. This is somewhat reflective of the society that Camus chooses to portray in “The Stranger. Most people conform to society, and thus society as one has specific beliefs and ideologies that are accepted by the general population and deemed as “normal behaviour. ” However, Meursault is an exception; thus, he is called “The Stranger” to the society, an outlaw. He does not care about what other people think of him, or his actions. His actions are ultimately rejected, and thought of as heartless to the rest of society. * Shortly after World War II, he publishes “Neither Victim nor Executioner” in Combat which expresses key moral questions, in a variety of essays.

Relates to the idea of genocide and murder, this piece of writing mainly expresses: 1. People are living in a “murderous world” and that they must “reflect on murder” and know and accept the consequences that come with it. It can be seen that Camus is a moralist, and strongly believes in justice. Similar to his ideology in “The Stranger” in the way that Meursault, who murdered the Arab, was actually held guilty and responsible for his actions. When Meursault was put before the judge and the public official tells him to turn to Christianity, he disagrees even though his life depended on it.

This displays that Meursault values emotional honesty over protecting his own life. He accepts his punishment, and the consequences that come with murder. 2. People should “carefully weigh the price that they must pay” and Camus is debating the idea of whether through world war, conflicts will actually be resolved once and for all; that if even after “several generations of sacrifice,” they will not come closer to a world society. In “The Stranger,” Meursault shows utter indifference to the man he had murdered.

He did not consider the possible consequences before he shot the man, and simply instinctively kills the Arab without much consideration for what he himself would end up as. Camus explores the idea of existentialism; the role that man plays, and that he is responsible for his own actions, in the midst of a meaningless and empty world. From the ideologies expressed in “Neither Victim nor Executioner,” it seems as though Camus purposely made Meursault blind towards weighing the price he would have to pay upon murdering the Arab, and thus places focus on the process of his realization.

The war can be thought of as a parallel to the physical fight that Meursault and the Arab engaged in; the ultimate conflict was not solved through murder and physical action. Society still remained the way it was, and instead of Meursault changing the views of society, he was instead forced to submit to it. * Camus wrote for “L’Express,” from 1955-1956. This was a French magazine that opposed the war in Algeria, and also the use of torture. Similar to this, “Reflections on the Guillotine” was an essay written by Camus, expressing his opinions against capital punishment, and was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature.

The absurdity of the society is reflected in its creation of a standardized justice system which uses capital punishment through the guillotine to give meaning to Meursault’s murder and actions. In order to highlight the true meaning behind the murder, society uses capital punishment to bring the matter out. The absurd overcomes rational thinking, and Meursault views death with happiness at the end, simply because he has found a genuine sense of acceptance towards the “gentle indifference of the world. ”

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