Meursault as the Stranger

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Meursault as “The Stranger”
The way a person reacts to ordinary situations determines the opinions of others based on their behavior. Yet, when this behavior is abnormal or different from the rest of society, it causes society to form an opinion based totally on a person’s behavior not their true personality. In Meursault’s case, his strange opinions and unexpected remarks put him in this position, without ever really giving him an opportunity to be truly understood. However, Meursault cannot change his actions and behaviors from the past, therefore making him responsible in the society he freely chooses to live in. Meursault’s complete indifference to society and human relationships causes him to appear as the actual “stranger” with those he encounters, which eventually leads to his incarceration and inevitable date with the guillotine. Meursault is definitely a man who is set in his ways. He has his own opinions and outlooks on life and because of that fact he is constantly reminded of his inadequacies within society. His refusal to look at his mother one last time after she had passed away seemed pointless to Meursault at the time, where as the funeral director viewed this as extremely odd: “We put the cover on, but I’m supposed to unscrew the casket so you can see her.” He was moving toward the casket when I stopped him. He said, “You don’t want to?” I answered, “No.” He was quiet, and then I was embarrassed because I felt I shouldn’t have said that. He looked at me and then asked, “Why not?” but without criticizing, as if he just wanted to know. I said, “I don’t know.” (Camus 6) The difference of opinion between Meursault and all of society, but in this example the funeral director, brought about a feeling of inadequacy to Meursault and an appearance of him as a stranger to society. Alice J. Strange explains his situation perfectly by saying: Holding Meursault to his words, and recognizing the voids they reveal, the reader sees Meursault as the stranger…....
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