World Lit Paper

Submitted By gabbyjoness
Words: 1552
Pages: 7

Gabby Jones
Mrs. Jones
IB English III
21 April 2014
The Development and Changes of Meursault’s Outlook on Life throughout The Stranger The Stranger, written by Albert Camus in 1942, is a novel encompassing the life of a man who appears to not care about anything in the world and lacks emotion. Meursault, the main character, only lives for the pleasures of life such as sex, food, and smoking cigarettes. Once Meursault is convicted guilty of the killing of an Arab, his outlook on the world changes. His trial is based more on the fact that he seems to have no remorse for killing the man, and minimal feelings towards anything that went on in his life. While the book goes through the three stages of the Absurd, Meursault also goes through his own personal changes, which revolve around his future. At the beginning of the novel, he is a son who doesn’t even cry at his own mother’s funeral, but by the end of the novel, he actually wished for people to come watch him die. Throughout the novel, Meursault beings to think differently about his life once all his things are taken away from him during his imprisonment. Meursault begins the novel in state of mind where he doesn’t believe that the world has any meaning. He lives his life every day, paying no attention to the people around him, except those who can bring him pleasure, like Maria. Maria is a woman who Meursault only spent time with to get sexual pleasure out of. Marie asks Meursault if he were in the type of relationship they had with another woman, would he marry the other woman, which his response is, “Yes, I guess I’d marry anybody else” ( Camus 27). Soon after she asks about the marriage, she asks Meursault if he loves her, in which he replies, “I told her it didn’t mean anything but that I didn’t think so” (27). Since Meursault is also detached from the world, he answers her question honestly and blatantly. Unfortunately, Meursault’s honesty does reflect his ignorance and child-like remarks. His reply also helps develop the first stage of the absurd, the meaningless of life. When Meursault’s mother dies, he says, “Maman died today, or maybe it was yesterday” (1). Since these are the first lines of the novel, Camus made an influential approach to introduce how the protagonist shows no emotional difference. While traveling to his mother’s funeral he was more concerned about how hot the weather was, how long the ride was going to be, and most absurdly, how mad his boss was at him for asking for days off. “I didn’t visit Maman much partly because it took up my Sunday, the trouble buying tickets and spending two hours traveling” (5). During the funeral services, all Meursault did was look at other people who also attended the service and judged them “I wished that I didn’t have to listen to her crying anymore” (10). Meursault is more concerned and annoyed with the fact that all the old people are crying about the death of his mother, while he doesn’t cry at all. Meursault even says, “It will be better off for the both of us that she is gone,” implying that the fee for her living there was too much for them to pay for and the expenses out to see his own mother were too expensive (8). The day after Maman’s death, Meursault scheduled a date with Maria to see a comedy movie together after seeing her at the beach. When he goes home, he neighbor Raymond invites him in for dinner, and tells him about how he knew his girlfriend was cheating on him so he decided to beat her. He then told Meursault that he needed his help to get his mistresses’ attention so that he could invite her over and then rough her up some more. A week after this incident, Raymond, Meursault and Marie went to a beach house of a friend of Raymond’s. Raymond then told Meursault he had seen some Arab’s, one of which being his mistresses’ brother. They all got into a fight, and Raymond’s face was cut, but Meursault took the gun away from him so that he couldn’t shoot the Arab’s. Once Meursault knew