November 15, 2010
The Stranger Seminar: The Inhumanity of Meursault
Meursault’s refusal to fufill the social expectations that he grieve for his mother’s death, remorse for the murder he committed, or show any resemblance of emotion throughout The Stranger are incontrovertible signs of his inhumanity, vastly opposing a suggested “courageous act”.
There is no doubt that there are obvious character flaws shown through the actions of Meursault. The most controversial situation Meursault is faced with is the death of his mother. “… I’m supposed to unscrew the casket so you can see her.’ He was moving toward the casket when I stopped him. ‘You don’t want to?’ I answered, ‘No.’” (Camus 6). The first sign of Meursault’s inhumanity is proven in this quote, he shows no interest in seeing his deceased mother’s body before she is buried; he doesn’t come across to be pained or mourning over his loss. It seems as though the funeral is a waste of his time. “I was tired from the day before … I decided to go to the public beach down at the harbour … I ran into Marie Cardona … I helped her onto a float and as I did, I brushed against her breasts … I told her maman had died yesterday … I asked her if she wanted to go to a movie … I was fondling her breasts … she came back to my place.” (Camus 19-20). Meursault does not reveal any signs of grieving, he has decided
that his life isn’t any different, so he began to be more intimate with Marie. “It occurred to me that anyway one more Sunday was over that maman was buried now, that I was going back to work, and that, really, nothing had changed.” (Camus 24). His indifference and insensitivity are shown when he tells Marie about his maman and there is no emotion behind it.
In a way, it is scary to think of what the character of Meursault is really capable of. From my point of view, Meursault is a very dangerous man. “The scorching blade slashed at my eyelashes and... [continues]
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