YMMV / The Stranger

The Novel

  • Alternate Character Interpretation: Is Meursault a hero, a Sociopathic Hero, or a Villain Protagonist? Or is he just some random guy who shot another random guy for no real reason at all?
  • Designated Hero: Opinions differ whether Meursault is really a good person or not.
  • Designated Villain: In order for the reader to sympathize with Meursault on some level, the authority figures in the book, namely the prosecutor and the chaplain are made into overzealous Hanging Judge and hypocrites with Condescending Compassion respectively, even if they are both carrying out the law, and that Meursault did commit a crime and that in the real world, someone who killed a man like Meursault did and harboured no guilt, would not be treated any differently.
  • Values Dissonance: Meursault is a French colonial settler in Algeria who murdered an Algerian man and then waxes poetic about his indifference. Many later critics and writers have taken Albert Camus (who did support the Algerian Settlers) to task for using a crime against an Algerian native as a given for his philosophical speculation.

The Film

  • Complete Monster: In this 1946 film, Franz Kindler is a Nazi war criminal fleeing his complicity in The Holocaust who adopts a new identity as Charles Rankin in a sleepy suburban town. When a repentant Nazi, Konrad Meinike, tracks him down, Kindler promptly murders him and then poisons his wife Mary's dog Red when Red sniffs around where he buried the corpse. When a Nazi hunter named Mr. Wilson tracks Kindler down, he reveals to Mary her husband's complicity in the Holocaust and how Kindler helped to develop the Final Solution, showing her images of his atrocities. In a final attempt to keep his secret, Kindler tries to murder Mary. When stopped, Kindler protests he was Just Following Orders, which Wilson rejects by saying "you gave the orders."
  • Moral Event Horizon: For the audience, it is when Rankin kills a repentant Meinike. For Mary, it is when she discovers that Rankin tried to kill her and may have succeeded in killing her brother.
  • Nightmare Fuel: The documentary footage of the liberated death camp. It briefly shows a pile of corpses before switching to a big gas chamber, while Wilson calmly explains how the victims were given hot showers in order to open up their pores so the poison gas would penetrate their bodies faster.