The English proverb suggests the idea that the number of people on the earth equals the number of minds. However, it is possible to argue this statement because people change their mind during their life or every minute though a strong position in life is determined by the firmness of the mind.
Characters created by Albert Camus in his eternal novels include his ideas about the world, its structure, values, and motivation of every individual. Loneliness, exile, separation, inability to remember every minute, and a range of other things claimed to be absurd make the readers understand the author and his attempts to convey his message of the value of life as he makes us estimate the life by denying those values.
Though Camus’ characters reflect his vision of life and its logic, each character’s ideas can be used to support the position of other; thus, the character of The Plague has a duplicate in The Myth of Sisyphus in terms of ideas and a life position.
The main character of The Plague, Dr. Bernard Rieux whose position in life is not really appropriate for the one possessed by a professional doctor serves as the reflection of the author’s ideas and perception of life through the horros of the plague and isolation.
Though he knows what to do with the patients and is treated as a great expert, he does not value the life even when he finds himself isolated from his wife, he treats an exile as one of the strongest emotions (Camus, “The Plague” 165). Every step made by this man leaves no doubt concerning the motivation and the highest purpose until the readers can see that this person does not value the life and does not realize the necessity of living and the predestination of men on earth. No matter how strong is his desire to save lives of ordinary people by applying to authorities and health care organizations, this terrible disease cannot evoke a desire to live in this dried-up man.
Though every character of Camus’ novels and essays is full of specific features, he/she is only a reflection of the author’s ideas and a strong life position. However, this does not seem to coincide greatly with the power of the author to evoke feelings in his contemporaries and in future generations. The concept of exile and loneliness seems irrelevant to the enormous energy that comes from every line written by Albert Camus.
The author writes about absurdity of the world and human lives without being absolutely sure that the readers are able to understand his ideas due to the number of meanings that can be applied. “His exile is without remedy since he is deprived of the memory of a lost home or the hope of a promised land” (Camus, “The Myth” 6); this statement reflects clearly the scope of human life that consists of different memories while it is not worth living without memories because no values and beliefs would be left.
The Stranger combines characteristics of main heroes of The Plague and The Myth of Sisyphus because he is as clear and open as the narrator who explains the absurdity of the world; at the same time, Meursault is as lonely as Dr.
Bernard Rieux who does not value his own life either. Though ideas of loneliness do not frighten the main character, he is not a lonely person; he is social and friendly with people he knows but does not express strong feelings about his mother’s death. Lack of emotions makes this work of literature even more emotional though logical while another great idea conveyed by the author makes the things clear; it is when the main character analyzes his life: “I had been right, I was still right, I was always right. I had lived my life one way and I could just as well have lived it another” (Camus, “The Stranger” 121). This explains every attempt of the author to reduce the value of human life because the right to make a choice is an integral part of life and cannot be considered absurd.
Novels and essays written by Albert Camus make us believe that there is nothing important in human life; moreover, the author makes us believe that the entire life is absurd and is not worth living.
However, when one reads carefully and notices every ambiguous meaning, it is possible to perceive the value of life and hints given by the author concerning the importance of making choice because we can do it and living our lives as we think it necessary. Every step taken by the characters of Camus’ novels is aimed at provoking thoughts and concluding on the suggested ideas and concepts that should be used as a basis for further reflections.
Camus, Albert. The Myth of Sisyphus. Trans. Justin O’Brien. New York: Vintage-Random House, 1991.
Print. Camus, Albert. The Plague. Trans. Stuart Gilbert. New York: Vintage-Random House, 1991. Print.
Camus, Albert. The Stranger. Trans. Matthew Ward. New York: Vintage-Random House, 1989.