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Dysfunctional Relationship In Albert Meursault's Family

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While it takes only a year or two to establish a dysfunctional relationship, the adverse effects it leaves can be felt for a lifetime. This can be seen in Meursault’s relationship with his mother and his fiance, Marie, in Albert Camus’ L’Étranger, translating to The Stranger in English. In this story, the reader follows Meursault as he attempts to cope with his mother’s death in untraditional ways, leaving him as a true stranger to others. Through the story, Meursault also finds himself charged and guilty of murder after shooting a man, not soon after his own mother’s death. Throughout the court case, it becomes evident to both the jury and the reader that there is something not quite right about Meursault, and all of which traces back to…show more content…
First, he never visited his mother in the home even when she was alive, leading him to grow distant from her and know little about her life. One sign of this is that he didn't even know about his mother’s close relationship with a man named Thomas Perez. “He and your mother were almost inseparable. The others used to tease them and say, 'Perez has a fiancee.' He'd laugh. They enjoyed it.” (Camus 13). Once Meursault left his mother, he had no need to ever see her again, according to his id, as caring for his mother offered no benefit to him. The two never truly know each other, leading to Meursault to develop an Oedipal Complex. Another cause of this dysfunctional relationship is the fact that Meursault was the one who sent her to a home. Through the course of the story, a variety of reasons are given for why he sent her. A worker at the home says it was because Meursault couldn’t provide enough financial support for his mother. While this may be true, Salamano, one of Meursault’s neighbors, provides a different account. “He answered a question about my mother and me by saying that I had run out of things to say to Maman and that was why I'd put her in the home.” (94). In either case, Meursault’s mother did not want to be sent away. Based on Salamano’s account, it seems that it was purely for selfish reasons, like being bored with her, which again shows Meursault following his…show more content…
Because of this, Meursault’s lack of a relationship with his mother leaves him embedded in his id. This stagnation later develops into an Oedipal Complex, resulting in an abnormal relationship with his fiance, Marie. Albert Camus’ The Stranger shows the dangers of not only an oedipal complex but also a prevailing id. While the story may be fiction, everyday people develop unhealthy relationships with others, that may cause damage in the future. This damage, as shown through Meursault, cannot only damage the person, but also those around them. Knowing how one’s mind works, and how one might react, either following their id, ego, or superego, is vitally important to understanding each other and becoming fully empathetic. Therefore, it's important to make sure everyone can have a safe and stable relationship with not only their parents but everyone around them, as it may, at some point, save a
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