The Stranger Essay

Submitted By jnewnew
Words: 698
Pages: 3

I realized then that I shouldn’t have said, “No,” and it made me rather embarrassed. After eying me for some moments he asked: “Why not?” But he didn’t sound reproachful; he simply wanted to know. “Well, really I couldn’t say,” I answered. He began twiddling his white mustache; then, without looking at me, said gently: “I understand.”

Obviously he had seen that it would mean my getting four days’ holiday straight off, and one couldn’t expect him to like that. Still, for one thing, it wasn’t my fault if Mother was buried yesterday and not today; and then, again, I’d have had my Saturday and Sunday off in any case. But naturally this didn’t prevent me from seeing my employer’s point.

The novel begins with Meursault hearing of his mother’s death, as soon as he reads the telegram he is immediately focused on when the funeral happened. Meursault is totally disconcerted with the fact that his mother died and seems to not grieve at all. When he is approached by the keeper where his mother’s body is he again chooses to not to see her even though it is the last time he ever will. The keeper seems to be confused by his response and questions it; Meursault does not seem think his lack of wanting to see his mother’s body is strange until he realizes this is not the normalized response. Meursault has no reasoning for why he does not want to see his mother, he just doesn’t. The keeper is the representative of the society’s normalized response in this situation. The keeper tries to make sense out of why Meursault would not want to see his mom and comes to some type of reasoning in his head before replying. Meursault is almost emotionless except in this quote where he claims to feel “rather embarrassed”. It is evident that he is almost totally unaffected by his mother's death, as the book progresses, nothing changes in his life. It seems as if his mother’s death has little or no real significance for him.
Meursault continues on to talk about how when he arrives home and wakes up it is Saturday and so he understands why his employer was upset about him attending his mother’s funeral. The funeral was on a Friday and he had to leave Thursday afternoon to arrive on time.
Meursault to me sounds like a psychopath with no emotions. He is just a guy who goes through life not caring and not having a reason for doing anything besides whatever seems appealing in the moment. Meursault goes about the…