Proceedings of The 2nd World Conference on Social Sciences Studies
Meursault as a Christ Figure in Camus’s The Outsider
Dr. Shraddha Dhal
Jesus Christ is not a divine being, but a human form that attains divinity by love, compassion, honesty and truthfulness. Christ’s admiration for the infinite value of truth, honesty and integrity essentially makes him saintly. However, his human frailty drifts in the periphery of his godliness. Camus brings forth Meursault, his lead character in The Outsider as an apparently ‘Christ-like figure’, whose commitment to truth and honesty sanctifies his soul and puts a voice to it that alleviates his fear of death. His peculiarity and honesty ostensibly form a duality in his character like Christ, whose human-like and divine-like traits co-exist in him concomitantly. An honest man reiterates the same assertion while a dishonest man tries to manipulate his words and may give surprising directions to the same every time he is confronted. Honesty is telling the truth while integrity is living what is told. Meursault is honest to the extent that he, like Christ, does not learn to fake when he is castigated or even guillotined. His veracity and his mighty wave of passionate commitment to truth extinguish him from the feigned psyche of his immediate society- truth loved-told-lived. His spontaneity is his honesty and this honesty makes him vulnerable. The present paper is a fine illustration of Camus’s endorsement of Meursault as a ‘Christ-figure’ with correspondence to his (Meursault’s) purpose, his persona and his providence to that of Christ.
keywords: convention; honesty; integrity; society; truth.