Skip to main content

The Stranger: Home

Library resources available for the Senior research paper of .Albert Camus's novel, "The Stranger".

The Stranger

The Stranger, Albert Camus's first novel, was published in French in 1942 and in English in 1946. Told in first-person point of view by the main character, Meursault, it recounts the events leading up to his execution for committing murder. Meursault's mother dies at the beginning of the book, but other characters include Marie, a girlfriend who wants to marry him; Raymond, a neighbor who wants his help in getting revenge on a girl; Salamano, another neighbor; and, later, other characters in court and in prison.

The 123-page novella is told in a very simple style, in brief sentences with little description but a lot of movement. Characterization, symbolism, epiphany, and suspense are present. Although numerous themes are apparent, including death, race, futility, alienation, and justice, the novel is most often discussed in light of absurdism, a philosophy that Camus (1913–60) basically invented. Existentialism is often seen as going together with absurdism, but Camus held that The Stranger was not an existentialist novel; he was investigating what he called "the nakedness of man faced with the absurd."

The Stranger is told in two parts. In the first part, Meursault describes the death of his mother, his relationships, and the events that result in him murdering an Arab man on the beach. In the second part, Meursault is in prison, where he meets with attorneys and, later, a chaplain. The trial takes place in part 2, and after the verdict is read, Meursault reflects on his life and awaits the day he will be executed.

Lessick, Chris. "The Stranger (The Outsider)." McClinton-Temple, Jennifer ed. Encyclopedia of Themes in Literature. New York: Infobase Publishing, 2011.Bloom's Literature, Facts On File, Inc.

Picture Source: Library of Congress. Prints and Photographs Division. New York World-Telegram and Sun Newspaper Photograph Collection..


Databases A-Z

A-Z Database List

Full list of Databases the library subscribes to, including trial access.
Go to A-Z List

Literature & General Databases


Media Specialist

Scott Keele's picture
Scott Keele
108 Stirling Road
Warren, NJ 07059
908-647-4800 x 2975

Find a Book!

Search Titles Search Authors Search Subjects Search Keywords Search Series
Or go to Destiny...

Books and eBooks

TEDxChCh - Linh Do - Defying Social Norms for Social Change

Plagiarism Definition

Plagiarism is presenting someone else's work or ideas as your own, with or without their consent, by incorporating it into your work without full acknowledgement. All published and unpublished material, whether in manuscript, printed or electronic form, is covered under this definition.

"plagiarism, n." OED Online. Oxford University Press, December 2016. Web. 17 December 2016.

Are You Plagiarizing?

Google Scholar

Google Scholar Search

Web Sites

Camus and The Stranger (Rare BBC Documentary)

The School of Life: PHILOSOPHY - Albert Camus

Research Tools

Annotated Bibliographies

ANNOTATED BIBLIOGRAPHY An annotated bibliography is a listing of the resources consulted for research purposes. An annotated bibliography is listed in alphabetical order according to author and contains the following information in this order.

i. Citation in MLA format

ii. Summary of the sources’ content (See sample below.)

Castelvecchi, D. (2008, August 30). “Carbon Tubes leave nano behind.” Science News, 174(5), Retrieved from

 This source, which describes a new, flexible lightweight material 30 times stronger than Keviar and possibly useful for better bulletproof vests, provides evidence of yet another upcoming technology that might be useful to law enforcement. This article focuses on the ways in which lighter, stronger, bulletproof materials might change SWAT tactics, for instance, enabling them to carry more gear, protect police vehicles, or to blend into crowds better.