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Scholarly Article

Sami Hossain Chisty & Sanjida Akter

An Ecocritical Reading of Albert Camus’ The Outsider


Ecocriticism, existentialism, self-in-relation, absurdism, synergy


This paper attempts to analyze Albert Camus’s novel The Outsider from an ecocritical perspective. With an ecocritical lens, the paper argues that nature influences the protagonist Meursault's physical and emotional state as well as acts as an active agent in the novel. It also brings the connection between ecocriticism and two other prevalent themes of the novel: existentialism and absurdism. From an ecocritical perspective, the paper argues that freedom, an intrinsic theme of existential philosophy, conflicts and coincides with the ecocritical perspective as it shows how Meursault is bound to his physical needs indicating existential philosophy’s connection to the ecological concept of “self-in-relation”. Moreover, the paper also postulates that absurdist traits of humans can be better understood from an eco-conscious perspective. Therefore, it explains Meursault's actions as a result of his disjunctive and conjunctive response to nature. Thus, the paper encourages ecocritical reading of canonical texts to ensure synergy in literary criticism.

About the Author

Sami Hossain Chisty is a Bangladeshi academic and creative writer. Currently, he is working as a lecturer in the Department of English Language and Literature at Notre Dame University Bangladesh. He is also the director of the Free Linguistics Conference of the University of Sydney. His academic publications feature a variety of areas including Socio-semiotics, PostColonialism, and Eco-criticism. Email:

Sanjida Akter is a graduate student of Literature and Cultural Studies at the University of Liberal Arts Bangladesh. She is also an executive member of the Bangladesh Association of Linguistics and Literature. Email:

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