Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Religion Essay -- Morality

While the degree of religious fervor has flourished and waned in various civilizations, religion itself has never ceased to be a point of interest. At times, it has enjoyed effusive praise while at other times it has met cold reception. Religion as explored in Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert and The Stranger by Albert Camus is openly criticized. Under the harsh, bald statements of realism, religion loses its ethereal wonder and under the hostile stare of absurdism, religion renounces its meaning. Flaubert’s protagonist, Emma, and his other characters more often than not possess only a superficial understanding of faith, essentially precluding any of religion’s positive impact. Meanwhile, Camus derides religion as a futile endeavor in an indifferent world and casts an unfriendly light on the religious magistrate, who is juxtaposed with the protagonist, Meursault. Thus, Camus depicts the futile proselytizing of an absurdist man, who disregards religion, while Flaubert illustrates the failure of religion to save a woman consumed by romanticism. In both cases, religion is criticized for falling short of delivering its purported salvation. Morality, the pride of religious followers, is much heralded as a virtue, yet Camus and Flaubert depict a different reality where religion fails to prevent immorality, much less promote morality. Camus calls into question the definition of â€Å"morality†: on what basis are other people deemed to be moral or immoral? on whose consensus is that morality then heralded? From the prosecutor’s point of view, the fact that Meursault â€Å"hadn’t wanted to see Maman, that [he] hadn’t cried once† during her funeral is sufficient evidence to condemn him (Camus 89). As the title of the book The Stranger suggests... ...bert unflinchingly peels back the social niceties to display religion as it has evolved into an inadequate, superficial interest for his characters. As represented in both books, religion is more a distraction than a panacea for life’s hurdles. It fails to moderate the passion of Emma, who clings to religion with the same pitiful desperation as she did with her affairs. Meursault refuses to conform to any sort of religious nexus and in the process, ironically opening himself up to the hostility of the world and die joyfully. While the defiance of Meursault against religion results in his absurdist happiness, the turmoil of Emma’s life, caused by her romantic urges, her encumbered social position, and the repeated failures of religion, end in death by rat poison. Two deaths thus signify very different lives, but religion as found in both texts is condemned.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.