Confronting Finitude: Ubiquity of Death in Albert Camus’ The Stranger and The Plague
Though arbitrary and inevitable, death is a pervasive theme in imaginative literature. Literary writers offer insights into this existential problem that perpetually troubles all humanity. Literary engagement with death is an occasion to reflect on the subject more profoundly in a way not possible in real life circumstances. This paper is a critical reading of Albert Camus’ representation of death in his two novels, The Stranger (1946) and The Plague (1948) to bring out the philosophical reflections on death embodied in the literary texts so as to enable a more insightful understanding of death; an ever baffling phenomenon. This paper, therefore, explores the ubiquity of death in the two novels and the attendant philosophic aloofness towards death. This paper employs Camus’ optimistic existentialism prism to delineate death as an existential human problem, which requires critical attention and meditation to enrich our understanding of the inevitable phenomenon in order to confront it.