Ms. Gokturk

Advanced Composition

Take Home “Test”

Analysis of Literary Elements in The Stranger


It’s time to do some literary analysis. Really think about Camus’ purpose and how each part helps contribute to the overall message of the work.  Provide details/specifics from the text. Please take the time to really think and find evidence. This is going to be used for your multi-genre essay. (5 points per question)


Analysis of Theme involves determining the concept, thought, opinion or belief that the author is expressing. Again, it is very common (and helpful) to consider theme when analyzing another aspect of literature.

1.       Detail at least two themes from the novel. (Isolation, Existentialism, the Absurd, Justice, Truth, Honesty, or one of your choosing)

2.      What is Camus’ judgment about the world/life?


Point-of-View Analysis & Characterization attempts to explain why the author chose a particular narrative perspective, how this viewpoint affects the reader’s perception of the work. Also, consider how characters are presented and how they impact the theme. Here are some things to consider.

3.      Why is the narration first person?

4.      How objective is the narrator? How does the narrator’s language (how he reports the details) reveal characterization and theme?

5.      Are Meursault’s perceptions limited in any way? How does this impact the theme?

6.      Examine how Meursault and others are characterized and how each supports the themes you outlined above.


Analysis of Structure

  1. How does the use of chronology impact the story?
  2. What do Part I and Part II have in common?
  3. How do the similarities between the two parts reinforce the themes?
  4. How do the two parts differ?
  5. What impact does the difference between the two parts have on theme(s) and our perception?


Analysis of Imagery and Symbolism involves telling us why an author chooses to use one or more dominant, recurring images or symbols.

  1. What imagery appears?
  2. Explain with specifics how it helps present the theme(s) of the novel.
  3. How does the imagery establish mood?
  4. How does the imagery reinforce characterization?
  5. How does the imagery help convey the theme?


Analysis of Setting and Atmosphere attempts to explain how and why a work’s time and place affects the events and/or the characters of the work. Often you will want to consider setting as part of another form of literary analysis. Here are some things to consider:

17.   How is the setting important to the events of the novel?

18.   What is symbolic about the setting?

19.  How well does Meursault "fit in" with the setting?

20.  Does the setting establish atmosphere or mood of the novel?