Albert Camus in his book, The Stranger leaves much to the reader’s imagination in terms of the message that is portrayed by the various elements of the book, especially by the thoughts and words of the mysterious and dismal main character. Moreover, many meanings can be derived according to the feelings that emerge within the reader through his/her experience with the book. Despite the fact that The Stranger left me with depressive feelings of despair and gloom, the message that was conveyed was quite impacting and somewhat challenging to my Christian faith. It was a message concerning the way in which human expectations and standards greatly influence a person’s sense of self and belonging in this world. And even more, this made me question my own courage and honesty with myself regarding my Christianity.
In the early parts of the book, I passed judgment on the man as being emotionless and unaffected by others’ feelings, especially in the case of his dead mother. This was because he seemed to treat those around him as meaningless objects, namely those who were grieving. However, as the story progressed, I recognized that this was not really the issue. Conversely, the man appeared to feel trapped within the boundaries of human expectations while merely trying to be honest with himself. After refusing to see the chaplain for the third time, the man revealed his feelings of imprisonment by saying, “All I care about right now is escaping the machinery of justice, seeing if there is any way out of the inevitable” (108).
A Day No Pigs Would Die Robert Newton Peck The book took place in rural Vermont with a young Shaker boy named Rob Peck. The novel was basically about this boy going through joyful and trying times in his youth, and his friendship with his pet pig named Pinky. Robert Peck was the main character, he was loving towards Pinky and he was obedient, (he knew if he wasnt, hed be in big trouble. ) ...
I began to sympathize with him, feeling even a bit of guilt for the way I had so hastily judged him. Moreover, it was as though I found myself in some way identifying with him.
To me, this conveys a very powerful message: because of these “ideals” set by humans, anyone who defies these so-called rules is set apart from what is accepted as normal. To the main character, inside the borders of human standards resembled a prison cell – “there’s no way out” (81).
Reflecting on my own life, the main character revealed to me that I have often fallen subject to the expectations of “this world,” such as with physical appearance, education, and material success. Is this a result of my deviating from what should be important to me as a child of God? Or am I lacking the courage to defy these norms of society? The question remains, am I being honest with myself and am I willing to hold to my Christian standards? I could identify with feeling overcome by the pressure to submit to the borders of acceptance within society. This raises the conflict of whether it is better to follow along with the “norm” or, instead, be honest and accepted for that honesty.
What this man seems to be yearning for is the possibility of being himself in a world of standards and being accepted for that. He put it very well: “What really counted was the possibility of escape, a leap to freedom, out of the implacable ritual, a wild run for it that would give whatever a chance for hope there was” (109).
All of his feelings came from his own honesty. Unlike many “luke-warm” Christians, he chose not to submit to the standards set by those in earthly power and authority. However, he did indeed realize that he did not have a place in this society, just as my Christian self should not become too comfortable here on earth.
In some ways, it was difficult for me to be sympathetic for this man because he did resist all that was of God. But the book opened my eyes to God’s teaching of how we should be sympathetic to these people who have no real experience of freedom or anywhere to place their hope. This reminds me of the incident with the terrorist attacks in New York City. Many of those who are dealing with the loss of loved ones are without the one true source of hope and comfort. As with the man in The Stranger, these people are probably feeling entrapped in their feelings of emptiness. Even through the words and thoughts of a fictional character, God found a way to challenge me: I must courageously stand against the standards of the society in which I am living and understand my role as one of His messenger’s in a world of people experiencing sin’s consequence: overwhelming hopelessness.
Belief in a God is necessary for a moral society Religion in the world has always been considered a rather important aspect of society. Although this is true, there are still people that question the existence of God. A survey done among 1000 people showed that 65 percent of Americans believe that religion is losing its influence on American life (Sheler, 8). Even so, Belief in a God is necessary ...