The Stranger

Topics: Psychology, The Stranger, Albert Camus Pages: 3 (1022 words) Published: November 2, 2014

Summer Assignment: Societal versus Individual Expectations In the book " The Stranger" by Albert Camus, the narrator/ protagonist, Meursault is put on trial for murder of an Arab guy that he hardly knew. There was no apparent motive for Meursault to murder the victim leading the reader to believe that Meursault is detached psychologically from the world around him and as a result is viewed as an outsider. Throughout the novel, there are constant reminders of how Meursault's psychological detachment makes him an outsider or strange by society standards. To begin , Meursault lacked compassion when his mother died. In the novel, Meursault writes “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” (Camus 3). The way the sentences are worded, appear to show little to no emotion at all. The tone Meursault portrays is a nonchalant tone, it doesn't show the normal behavior of a person who just lost their mother (grief). Meursault then writes “ 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).This short quote simply shows that he does not care about his mother's death, in fact, in the story he didn't seemed to even notice it was the day after her death. During his mother's funeral, Meursault was more concerned with the heat, than he was with his mother. Meursault felt no sadness or grief that day, which by society standards, is not normal and is seen as the actions of an outsider. In the second chapter, Meursault sees an old co-worker, named Marie Cardona, who he thinks is beautiful. The two of them go see a comedic movie and end up spending the night together. During, this time his mother is only mentioned once and then quickly forgotten, even though, this takes place a day after she died....
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