L’ALIENATION DANS LA SOCIETE SELON HOUELLEBECQ ET CAMUS

Detta är en Kandidat-uppsats från Göteborgs universitet/Institutionen för språk och litteraturer

Sammanfattning: This study wants to examine the presence of alienation in the principal characters in the novel La Carte et le territoire (2010) by Michel Houellebecq. The characters are considered as different by people surrounding them, they are solitairy and strangers in society. Is this an idea to make the story more interesting, or could this be explained through the concept of alienation? This concept is a vast area and it has many interpretations, explanations and variations: philosophic alienation, social, religious, psychological, economical and also as part of the human condition. Initially, the study was to be based on the latter, but seen the complexity and the variation of the concept and also having discovered many types of alienation within the characters, the study was extended. As theoretical background, the theories and definitions made by Hegel, Rousseau, Marx and Jaeggi were used. The theory of the absurd according to Camus, which has similarities with the concept of alienation, together with the principal character in his novel L’Étranger, have served as comparison. Peters study (2015) discusses alienation viewed by a number of authors and philosophers, among which Houellebecq and Camus, constitutes part of the previous research. The method for our research has been to choose excerpts in which the characters express feelings that can be interpreted as signs of alienation, then to analyze them in order to find the type and the origin. A significant number of excerpts, showing different types of alienation in different contexts was found: the novel is an example of alienation in all its’ forms. Having studied the novel with alienation as the theme of research has made us understand it at different levels and to notice how – and how much – alienation can have an impact in life. The comparison made with the principal character in L’Étranger by Camus, with which certain similarities were found, helped to confirm and to better understand the presence of alienation within a literary character. Alienation has different origins and expressions, but it always creates loneliness, a sense of being different - a stranger - and a lack of belonging. Alienation happens when man turns from who he is, he is no longer whole or himself, and if he does not return to or, anew, become himself, he stays alienated. Be it because of a relation gone wrong or following a social, economic or philosophical event.

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