Re: What do you think of the main character of The Stranger? (by Albert Camus)
A shrink or criminal profiler would almost certainly label Meursault a psychopath (sociopath, anti-social personality disorder); he has most of the hallmark traits: shallow emotions, no empthy, no conscience, impulsivity. But that is incidental to Camus' purpose, which was to dramatize the main theme about his absurdist philosophy. Camus instills him with those traits so that it will put him in conflict with other characters such as the magistrate and the chaplain. If you only read the short scenes with those characters you will understand what Camus is saying in this book. Telling the story in the first person through Meursault's eyes is what gives the book its detached, erie tone with a sense of impending doom. I am finishing up a paper on The Stranger for my senior Literature class right now. A great book I first read about 35 years ago.