Essay the stranger

Submitted By aghriskey
Words: 667
Pages: 3

The Stranger

Albert Camus' The Stranger is a story about Meursault, an honest man who lives in the moment yet seems to lack the certain emotional traits the normal human being would have. Meursault believes that the human life is meaningless and the fact that we are all born just to die influences his life and character. The novel opens with Meursault receiving word that his mother has passed away. "Maman died today. Or yesterday maybe, I don’t know. I got a telegram from the home: “Mother deceased. Funeral tomorrow. Faithfully yours.” That doesn’t mean anything. Maybe it was yesterday." (part 1, chapter 1) This introduction fully encompasses Meursault's character and personality throughout the entirety of the novel. His lack of remorse and emotional indifference or detachment falls into the novels theme of the absurd. Absurd is defined as the wildly unreasonable, illogical, or inappropriate traits we find that Meursault possesses throughout the story. Meursault is a "live in the moment" kind of person. He notices all the little things like the "two hornets buzzing against the glass roof" while he is at his mothers funeral, how the "screws on the casket had been tightened and that there were four men wearing black in the room", or how "the glare from the sky was unbearable." However, Meursault does feel the urge to cry at his mother's funeral nor does he wish to mourn her death that deeply. Of course this act appears absurd to the people since this was the funeral of Meursault's mother after all. The absurdity continues in a passage when Meursault speaks of an exchange he had with Marie. Marie asks if Meursault loves her and Meursault answers Marie’s question as honestly and bluntly as he can. "A minute later she asked me if I loved her. I told her it didn’t mean anything but that I didn’t think so." (part 1, chapter 4). Meursault never alters his words to comfort others but his honesty reflects his ignorance in a way. It appears that he doesn't fully understand Marie's emotions and what this question she asked means to her. Meursault’s response to love and how it “didn’t mean anything,” relates back to his belief that human life is meaninglessness. This nor does the funeral faze him, and seemingly nothing else in the world does, that is until his life is flipped upside-down when he commits a random and irrational act of violence. A…