Hard Boiled Fiction: the Stranger

In: English and Literature

Submitted By kagiso
Words 587
Pages 3
Kagiso G. Mangoale
26 February 2014
Mr. Pav
IB English
Hard-Boiled Fiction and Masculinity

Hard-Boiled Fiction

1. Hostile, violent environment. 2. Traditional moral codes don’t work. 3. Isolation and alienation of characters. 4. Distrust in official institutions and values. 5. No commentary, just reporting. 6. Cynical, but honest. 7. Protagonists fight against systems rather than individuals. 8. Male-centered. 9. Apathetic approach to life.

How the characteristics of hard-boiled fiction relate to The Stranger by Albert Camus can be seen easily throughout the entire story. Knowing that this form of writing was widely popular during that time period where dark fiction promoted readers to dive into a world where conventional attitudes and ways of life were being contradicted. This novel achieves the contradictions of a hard-boiled fictional piece and targets masculinity making it play a large role in the reasoning behind events.

Firstly the male centeredness along with the hostile and violent environment typical of hard-boiled fiction is portrayed in The Stranger using the characters of Raymond and Mersault himself both showing different versions of male violence within the environment of the story. Raymond, a domestically violent individual who believes women who cross him deserve beatings as a form of punishment, perfectly sets the brutal theme that later leads into Mersault’s crime of murder. “The sun glinted off Raymond’s gun as he handed it to me.”(Camus 56) Raymond provides the hostile and violent environment in the story.

The isolation and alienation of characters are present through Mersault’s behavior and attitude towards some of the other characters. “As always, whenever I want to get rid of someone I’m not really listening to, I made it appear as if I agreed.” (Camus 69) The attitude that…...

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