30 April 2018
The Introvert’s Hardships
Though the two stories are completely different on paper, they both have something in
common: Life is important and worth searching for. In the novel The Stranger, the protagonist,
Meursault, is shown to be a simple-minded, dull person who never gives anything a second
thought and doesn’t think anymore than he needs to. This plays an important role for the story, as
Meursault eventually goes insane when he realizes how important his life and freedom is to him.
On the other hand the protagonist for The Truman Show, Truman, lives a very different lifestyle
that Meursault. While Meursault’s life is driven by his own decisions and choices, Truman has
his life driven for him. He is constantly being steered in the directions that others want him to
journey. Both characters want to escape their introverted worlds and find a life that matters.
Though in two completely different worlds, Meursault and Truman both strive to find the
meaning of life while overcoming their challenging existentialist obstacles.
In both the novel and the movie, the audience realizes that the two characters’ two
completely different personalities, which is the core of their decision making. Meursault believes
that he needs to be true to himself. This leads him to become indifferent in society because he
personally does not care about anything in his life. He sees no meaning in it, no reason to pretend
in life, to fake his existence. He does not need to give life a meaning, it was pointless. Since he
thought this way, throughout the story he never gave anything important a second thought or did
anything that would potentially make his life complicated. This will eventually land Meursault in
an utter realization about whether he was a person who should be allowed in society. When
Meursault went to his mother’s funeral, he did not cry because he did not feel like it, there was
no point. He states that, ”It had been a long time since I’d been out in the country, and I could
feel how much I’d enjoy going for a walk if it hadn’t been for Maman” (12). Here, Meursault is
showing annoyance to his mother because he ruined his day for her. He only thinks of himself,
not even caring that his mother is gone forever. However, rather than pretending that he was sad
that she passed, he clearly stated that he will never really cared, knowing that that was what he
felt. Another point was when Meursault attended his trial. Rather than taking it seriously, he took
the whole trial as a joke knowing that he was not being executed for killing the Arab, but for not
being sad at his mother’s funeral, for not fitting into society. Truman, on the other hand, enjoys
his life and feels like it’s set. However, he does not realize that his whole life is a lie, that people
are paid to be with him, circumstances were created to steer him in the directions that would
keep him in that set forever. He has little freedom to...