the outsider by albert camus

(not my picture). 

this book is about the absurdities that we need to contend with in order to live in this world, or to blend in a particular society. meursault wants to be who he is, the way he is - by refusing to conform to what others usually do - for example crying on the death of one's mother - in this case triggers a chain of events that people superficially used to paint something about the dearth of his character. 

recently i read an article about a rape victim - an unbelievable story of rape - about how a rape victim was accused of lying of being raped because she doesn't display the emotions other people think rape victims should be showing. and isn't that how life is in general - that we are often forced to deny what we want to say or do because they might conflict with what others expected of us. 

it's so self defeating to constantly deny ourselves of who we are, and incredibly courageous to be who we are. such powerful lessons in such a slim book.