Albert Camus


Albert Camus Essay, Research Paper

PHL 342


Albert Camus’ quote reaches me in a meaningful way. I am going to analyze this quote by the sentence because each one carries significance in the way I interpret them. The first sentence, “ Society proceeds sovereignly to eliminate the evil ones from her midst as if she were virtue itself.” This seems to me like Camus is saying that our society is acting as if it were perfect. So perfect that it can exclude violent or evil beings as if she (society) were perfect her self. It seems to me that Camus, in his first sentence, really objects the idea of a perfect society. I also feel that when he uses the word sovereignly he portrays our society taking these actions with ruling pride. What I mean by this is that I think he feels that our society has no conscious about eliminating an individual from society. The next sentence reads, “ Like an honorable man killing his wayward son and remarking: ‘ really I didn’t know what to do with him.’ I believe that Camus is saying here that our society may be honorable but resorts to killing or eliminating individuals because it’s the easy way out. Taking the easy way out by killing your son seems to me to be a dishonorable action. I feel that Camus is essentially saying that our society becomes dishonorable when we resort to eliminating evil beings. He also may be pointing out that our society is actually honorable like a father and should take the responsibility of individuals, like a father would a son, instead of trying to eliminate them which a father should never do. The last sentence reads, “ To assert in any case, that a person must be absolutely cut off from society because he or she is absolutely evil amounts to saying that society is absolutely good, and no one in their right mind would believe this today…”

Here Camus is saying that an absolutely evil person is cut from society and the society is portraying itself as absolutely good. Camus is also saying that society can not, in any ones right mind, pass for being absolutely good. I would have to agree with this point. It is only obvious that our society would not pass for being absolutely good because no matter what we choose to do as a society, there will always be some people that do and do not agree.

Camus’ whole point is clear to me but I would have to disagree with it. I would agree to eliminate someone from society only if they were absolutely evil. I feel this way because an absolutely evil person would kill anyone and it would not be safe to let he or she exists because they would take more live then he or she has already taken. If our society does choose to eliminate someone it does not make us evil because we are doing it for the good of the rest of society as a whole. Our society will never be absolutely good and most certainly eliminating death to an absolutely evil individual does not make us a better society.

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