Mersault, the narrator and protagonist, is The Stranger. He has cut himself off from the world. As he narrates the novel is divided into two parts. In part 1 he deals with everyday affairs except for two important events. At the beginning of the novel his mother has died. He is struggling to make ends meet, therefore he sent his mother to a nursing home in Marengo. This has brought criticism from the community. At the funeral he does not feel the grief as is expected nor is he concerned with the formalities of mourning. The next day Mersault starts an affair with Marie, who at one time been a typist in his office. They have a wonderful time eating, swimming, watching movies and making love. People, i.e. society is aghast that he has not observed what is considered a proper mourning period for his mother.
Part 1 also shows his involvement with his neighbor Raymond Sintes, who is a pimp. Raymond is vindictive, he has beaten up his girlfriend for cheating on him, but he is not satisfied, he wants further satisfaction. He has Mersault write a harsh letter to her for him. This results in a second confrontation in which Raymond beats her brutally. Mersault agrees to testify for Raymond that the confrontation was provoked by the girl. They go to the beach house of Masson, where they run into two Arabs, one of which i...
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...orm to society’s expectations. The idea of death makes one aware of one's life, one's vital being – that which is impermanent and will one day end. When this vitality is appreciate, one feels free – for there is no urgency to perform some act that will cancel the possibility of death, seeing as though there is no such act. In this sense, all human activity is absurd, and the real freedom is to be aware of life in it’s actually and totally, of its beauty and its pain.
The protagonist, Meursault, was interesting character. His ideas and beliefs seem to point to a time when there is no hope to be had. Although he is able to accept the fact that everyone dies and in so doing realizes that you can live better. He lives a controlled life in which he takes responsibility for all of his actions. This is a direct reflect of Camus personal beliefs about absurdism.
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