Create a 3 pages page paper that discusses similarities and differences between the strategies used by albert camus in the stranger and kazuo ishiguro. Similarities and differences between the strategies used by Albert Camus in the Stranger and Kazuo Ishiguro in The remains of the day Literature isabout bringing out messages in the most creative and unique way as possible. In order to achieve this, authors have to employ various strategies and styles. The strategies employed by an author can be used to identify the works of a particular author, their experiences and the most influential factors behind their works. They also form the basis of making comparisons and contrasting literary works of different authors. This essay focuses on two novels the Stranger and the remains of the day. The Remains of the Day was written by Kazuo Ishiguro. The novel was written in 1989 and is one of the British post-war novels that is highly regarded and The Stranger was written is a novel written by Albert Camus in 1942. The essay explores similarities and differences in the strategies used by the two authors.
One strategy that comes out clearly in the two novels is existentialism. Is this is a philosophical approach that rejects the idea that the identity of a person can be discovered by examining other people. In this case, no one can claim that their actions were caused by someone else1. In the two novels, their main characters can be seen to make rational decisions despite the apparently irrational universe that exists around them. In the Stranger, existentialism is seen when at the funeral of his mother, Meursault decides not to show any of the expected emotions of grief. Instead, he decides to remain calm and when he meets Marie, it does not matter to him that his mother had died a day ago. He goes ahead to re-establish a sexual relationship between them2.
While in prison, Meursault decided to detach himself from the outside world and this made his life in prison very tolerable for example he spends time sleeping or recounting what he owned in his house. In the novel The Remains, existentialism is seen when Stevens is confronted with a chance to grasp lost opportunities with Miss Kenton and Lord Darlington, his long-time employer. Instead of doing so, he decides to focus on his future service with his new employer, Mr. Farraday. Between the two novels, existentialism is more evident in the stranger3.
Another strategy that is evident in both the novels is the use of first person narration. In the stranger, Meursault, the main character speaks from first-person narration pre and post his death. In the novel, the remains of the day, the narrator is Stevens, the main character in the story. The strategy of avoidance is found in the Remains of the Day and not in the stranger. Ishiguro’s use of casual avoidance is seen in his reluctance to allow denouement and climax to reach the forefront. He avoids almost all key sequences of actions4.
The strategy absurdism is evident in the novel the stranger and not in the remains of the day. Although Meursault attended the funeral of his mother, it did not seem to affect his emotions. He does not view the body as other and finds it more appealing to think about the effects of humidity and heat on the rate at which a dead body decays5. His shooting of the Arab and letting him go where two similar things so he did not feel guilty that he killed him. Existentialism was at its peak during and after the World War II and this is the time Camus was writing his novel. This influenced him to use existentialism in his work6.
One influence of the post war period in Ishiguro’s work is seen in his allusions to real life events in the story. For example, the theme addressing the decline in British aristocracy can be linked the increases in inheritance tax that was imposed after the World War I7. The post war period had also snatched much opportunities from him and this novel potray’s the lurk in his life and the world post-war England that was fading. In 1880s, Friedrich Nietzsche to pronounce that “God is dead” because of the loneliness among humanity at that time. After this, existentialism gained more ground with literary works written after this period reflecting isolation, loneliness and fear. This could explain Ishiguro’s use of existentialism8.
The two writers experiment with the representation of time and memory by portraying the prevailing social conditions and conditions at the time they were writing their novels and which influenced their writings. The two authors utilise the structural devices of memory by presenting past events from the viewpoint of the main characters. For example, Ishiguro presents elements of the past from the viewpoint of the aging Stevens in order to enable the readers to understand them. This engages the readers who are invited to explore beneath the facts of the incidences at hand.
.Camus, A. (1988). The Stranger, trans. Matthew Ward. Online: www.mightystudents.com. The Stranger by Albert Camus. Online: http://www.mightystudents.com/search?q=The%20Stranger%20by%20Albert%20Camus. Viewed on 11th November 2011.
Gullette, A. (1979). Death and Absurdism in Camuss The Stranger. Online: http://alangullette.com/essays/lit/stranger.htm. Viewed on 11th November 2011.
Ishiguro, K. (1989). The remains of the day. New York. Vintage Books.
Shaffer, B. (1998). Understanding Kazuo Ishiguro. Columbia: University of SouthCarolina Press.
Napierkowski, M. (1998). “Existentialism: Introduction.” Literary Movements for Students. Detroit. Gale.
Pico, I. (1991). “Waiting Upon History.” (A Review of The Remains of the Day), The Partisan Review. (2) pp 585-589.
Satoris P. (2002). “The Stranger: Overview.” eNotes: The StrangerSeattle: Enotes.com Inc. Online: http://www.jerichoschools.org/hs/teachers/lfischer/stranger/stranger.htm#trial. Viewed on 11th November 2011.
Vinet, D. (1999). “The Butler’s woman, a stragety of Avoidance in kazoo Ishiguro’s The remains of the Day, Etudes Britanniques Contemporaries: Revue de la Societe d Etudes Anglaises Contemporaries. (16) pp 63-80.