The Stranger, by Albert Camus

In many works of literature a character conquers great obstacles to achieve a worthy goal. Sometimes the obstacles are personal impediment, at other times it consists of the attitude and beliefs of others. In the book The Stranger by Albert Camus, shows the character Meursault who is an emotionless character that let’s other people show their opinions and emotions into him giving him a type of feeling even if Meursault doesn’t care. Meursault contains occasion of his emotional indifference between his friends and social indifference. This essay will be about the character’s struggle contributes to the meaning of the work as a whole.

Meursault in the book tries to overcome his emotional indifference within himself. One example shows Meursault emotional indifference against Marie. In this quote, “A minute later she asked me if I loved her. I told her it didn’t mean anything but that I didn’t think so.” The quote explains how Meursault doesn’t really think about the consequences of other people’s emotions. When he said in the quote it didn’t mean anything to him, it shows he believes human life and emotions are meaningless. He also says I didn’t think so, showing he struggles to comprehend and make his own interpretations on human emotions from Marie and other people. Another example shown is Meursault against his mother’s funeral. In this quote ‘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.’ This quote also shows Meursault idea of human life is meaningless. This shows that Meursault believes it doesn’t really matter if his mother died, he’s probably implying that his mother was dying soon...

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...according to him, a man who is morally guilty of killing his mother severs himself from society in the same way as a man who raises a murderous hand against the father who begat him.” This quote is telling how society input their feelings and ideas onto Meursault. The persecutor compares Meursault emotionless and lack on remorse for his killing the same as a person killing their own father. Society believes Meursault as an emotionless killer or a stranger to society’s morality, Meursault then can’t explain why he couldn’t feel any emotion, drives, or thoughts of remorse for his murder. Lastly, when the chaplain visits Meursault against his wishes, this scene showed how society expects everyone to ask for forgiveness from god when near death. Meursault then thinks it is absurd and refused to believe in him because he says it’s ridiculous and there’s no time at all.
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