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De quoi s'agit-il?
L'étranger was published in 1942 in a very short print run; it was not subject to censorship as it was not deemed to be a dangerous work which might prejudice the French population against the German occupier.
What kind of work is it then?
A superficial reading of the novel concentrating on the lead up to a murder, followed by a second part consisting of a trial would be to reduce L'étranger to a very inconsistent and bad genre novel.
In fact L'étranger invites the reader to consider his relationship with society and the people around him, to evaluate the network of relationships which shape our lives and the meaning of life itself-if there is one.
The ambiguous relationship with the mother and grieving for her death (or not) pervades the narrative as does the relationship between the individual and authority.
The subtlety of the techniques employed by Camus to portray the silence of the oppressed, whether it be the French-Algerian working class friends of Meursault or the Arabs themselves-the literal silent majority, helps us to examine what a novel is.
L'étranger is no tidy work leading us to an inescapable conclusion; it is designed to make us think for ourselves and to consider the human condition hence its continuing popularity.
The novel is on the set text list for the WJEC and CCEA examination boards and is a popular choice by schools studying for the AQA and Edexcel boards.
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Cost as moodle or other VLE course-£40
Resources from alevelfrench.com
Librarie Click here to download a pdf demonstrating the pedagogical approach adopted by the course.
CD read by Camus himself