The Stranger, while posing many interesting questions and offering new perspectives on life, has become what is now a trivial and unavailing book. At first, when one reads The Stranger through an existentialist lens, its ideas may be new and exciting or cause inquiry as to the way life is lived. The interesting concept is, however, that the book has failed to change the lives of those who have read it. This may be due to the students who have read the book or due to the book itself, this matter is completely subjective, but it can firmly and objectively be said that no one has ever showed up to school naked.
The idea here is, that we can all mimic the argument presented to us about existentialism in The Stranger as if we have rehearsed it to perfection, no one is willing to let go and follow the existentialist dogma. The affect that The Stranger induces is one of, "Oh, that's interesting and a cool way to look at life", yet the affect stops there. Despite the perpetuation of existentialist ideology by our teachers, I do not see any alterations amongst my peers acts or beliefs.
Its possible that this concept was not hammered into us hard enough, or that we just do not fully understand the essence of it; however, I think that there is a greater chance that, as members of a society, we have been trained to ignore simple truths around us. Existentialist theory may be the greatest and most riveting theory in the world, but it has come about to late. The discrete snake named society has coiled around the minds of its people, and we seem to be trapped, in the words of the novel 1984, in a mindset of double think. We can recognize the existentialist intent of the novel and completely ignore it at the same time.
That is why, not only the novel, but also existentialist theory is useless. The precise society which it tries to fight has already blinded those who it tries to convince.
But please, prove me wrong; show up to school naked tomorrow.
Rolf Verhagen Metman