Themes of the Stranger

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Themes of The Stranger

Several themes in The Stranger serve as the foundation to the novel. Detachment, the first theme, is evident through Meursault’s overall attitude, Salamano’s situation, and Meursault’s desire to bury his mother without seeing her body. Meursault detached himself from the rest of “normal” society, doing what he pleases and not expressing any empathy toward his mother’s death. Salamano felt detached after his dog ran away, even though he treated him poorly. The second theme is violence. Occurring throughout the novel, almost every scene depicted some sort of violent action. Salamano beating and cursing out his dog, Raymond beating up his girlfriend, the story with the Czechoslovakian, the newspaper, and the scene with the Arab were all violent acts. The next theme was the missing of another being. Marie missed Meursault when he was not around her, Salamano missed his dog when he ran away, and Thomas Perez missed Maman after she died. Tears streamed down the face of Salamano and Thomas Perez once they lost spirits close to them. In addition, the theme of “absence of existence” consists of Meursault laying low and spending time by himself. He did a number of activities alone, such as eating at the restaurant and following the woman. Marie wanted to marry Meursault even though he did not care who he married. The existence of Meursault’s heart was absent from the story, and this affected the characters around him. Lastly, the theme of extentialism, which displayed Meursault’s stoic behaviors, inundated the novel as well. He does not get upset over his mother’s death because he believes everyone will die anyway at some point; it was just a matter of when. The fact that Meursault kicked his mother out of the house displayed how he showed no sympathy whatsoever. These five themes in The Stranger supported the novel with detachment, violence, missing someone, the absence of existence, and extentialism. Camus, Albert. "The...
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