The Stranger by Albert Camus

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In The Stranger, Albert Camus portrays Meursault, the book's narrator and main character, detached, and unemotional. He does not think much about events or their consequences, or does he express much feeling in relationships or during emotional times. He displays emotionless throughout the book in his reactions to the people and events in the book. After his mother's death he sheds no tears he seems to show no emotion. He displays limited feelings for his girlfriend, Marie Cardona, and shows no remorse at all for killing an Arab. His reactions to life and to people distances him from his emotions, positive or negative, and from intimate relationships with others and that is why he is called by the book's title, "the stranger". While this behavior can be seen as a negative trait, there is a young woman who seems to want to have a relationship with Meursault and a neighbor who wants friendship. He seems to show no emotion, possibly protected from pain by not showing him-self to people.

Meursault rarely shows any feeling when in situations which would, for most people, bring out strong emotions. Throughout the vigil, watching over his mother's dead body, and at her funeral, he never cries. He is, further, shown enjoying a cup of coffee with milk and having a smoke with a caretaker standing over her dead body, "Than he offered to bring me a cup of coffee with milk. I like milk in my coffee, so I said yes, and he came back a few minutes with a tray. I drank the coffee than I felt like having a smoke. But I hesitated, because I didn't know if I could with Maman right there. I thought about it; it didn't matter"(pg.8). The following day, after his mother's funeral, he goes to the beach and meets a former friend named Marie Cardona. They swim, go to a movie, and then spend the night together. Later in their relationship, Marie asks Meursault if he wants to marry her. "That evening Marie came by to see me and asked me if I wanted to marry her. I said I didn't make any difference to me and we could if she wanted to.

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