The Stranger by Albert Camus

Published: 2021-06-29 07:03:08
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Kaila MillerAP EnglishMay 9, 2016The Stranger Essay        In the novel, The Stranger by Albert Camus, a man faces the question of his meaning for life on Earth. The events that lead up to the climax of the book reveal Meursault’s depiction of his realities, and how those contrast to those he is surrounded by. Losing his mother in the opening of the novel forced Meursault to face these conflicting thoughts about the world, and ultimately led him to find his destiny. Meursault’s quest to uncover his purpose is dictated by his resistance of society’s moral standards.          Meursault’s first confrontation with his amoral outlook on life is shortly after the death of his mother. The first line of the novel, “Maman died today. Or yesterday maybe, I don’t know,” instantly reveals to the reader of Meursault’s lack of remorse for his mother’s decease (Camus 1). When Meursault went to the Vigil Mass, to his surprise, he was joined by a few of his mother’s close friends. During the mass, one of the women began softly sobbing which greatly disturbed Meursault, “I wished I didn’t have to listen to her anymore” he said (10). Meursault’s insensitiveness to the woman’s crying reveals that he himself shed no tears for his mother. Another indication of Meursault’s impartialness to his mother’s passing was his constant complaining about his aching body, rather than focusing on his mother; “I didn’t feel drowsy anymore, but I was tired and my back was hurting me,” I woke up because my back was hurting more and more” (10,11). Meursault’s character and attitude, directly following his mother’s passing, clarify how he copes with death.

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