Book: The Stranger (1942)

Sending your mother to care home when she’s old, not crying in your mother’s funeral, does these mean that you are not a human, mean that you are more likely to be a murderer?

The fact that you don’t cry because you don’t feel sad during the funeral, or the fact that you don’t even bother to pretend (to cry), which is worse?

A 17 years old teenager thinks many people just pretend, because this is what society expects. He wonders if the care and gratitude he has for his parents who were abusive was real or simply “to match the societal norm.” He wonders how he’d react or act when his parents die.

He read this book for his IB English class. He found a lot of comfort from the book, and is now reading it a second time.

But he also sees that the book isn’t all negative, “it’s about having the freedom to choose what you want to focus on, knowing that death will be here anytime for everyone.” So in the book, the narrator could do so even when he’s facing a death penalty and his appeal might be rejected.

This is a 20th century literature classic, written by French author Albert Camus in 1942. He was awarded Nobel prize of Literature at the age of 44 years. I don’t normally read novel these days (because I get addicted to them and can’t stop myself reading), but the fact that it’s only 120 pages and sounded really interesting the way the student talked about it, I finished it in two nights, on the Libby app. (Unfortunately this one hasn’t got an audio version).

The Stranger, by Albert Camus, captured on the Libby app.

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