2004 Abstracts Stage 2

The Outsider and his Place in Society

Nina Goldberger, 2004, Stage 2

Outline of Place: What is and what makes a person an ‘outsider’? An investigation of selected ‘outsiders’ with reference to and analysis of Albert Camus’ Outsider and The Rebel, Jean-Paul Sartre’s Nausea, theory of existentialism and the sociology of deviance; why some people choose to be outsiders or rebel against society. I will be looking into the reasons of why some people simply cannot be part of society. Typical outsiders keep to themselves; they are existentialist types and stay out of people’s way, looking out mainly only for themselves; refusing to be emotionally attached in any way. Camus’ character Meursault, in The Outsider, has the mind and curiosity of a child, he does not understand the rules of life, he does not act accordingly as people would expect one to act in society. He cannot however get away with it like a child could; the distraction of things in a room is overpowering when he should be listening to people and behaving a proper way. He is condemned for this and sentenced to death, as he is unwilling to pretend any emotions or defend himself with little white lies in the court of justice. One must however not compare this to Socrates, who refused to deny his beliefs for the sake of life; it an absurd attitude this outsider has towards society that inevitably dooms him. Aim: This project will be a piece by piece report and examination of these selected texts, with philosophical reasoning applied as to why these outsiders simply do not fit into society and are not considered to be the norm. Their thinking and mentality will be examined; what exactly this indifferent, unsocial attitude signifies and why it is this way. Answers to absurd behaviour and this completely different perspective of life will result through this investigation. Criticisms by and for authors will feature as well as points of views. References: Main Texts: Camus, Albert The Outsider & The Rebel, Sartre, Jean-Paul Nausea & selected texts on Existentialism, Analysing Texts and Commentaries: Becker, Howard Outsiders: Sociology of Deviance, Thody, Philip Albert Camus 1913-1960, Wilson, Colin The Outsider, A selection of definitive websites will be used also.

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