Meursault is completely estranged from societal norms like set plans, ambitions, desires, love, and emotions in general. The reader sees the nature of his personality in the first few lines of the novel: “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.” (Pg. 3). These lines introduce Meursault’s emotional indifference, one of the most important traits he shows us throughout the novel. Meursault does not express any sorrow upon learning of his mother’s death; he just took the news in and processed it without showing any emotion. Her death made no real impact on his life other than momentarily disturbing his daily lifestyle by taki...
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... indifference to things that happen and his own indifference bond Meursault and the universe. He even labels the world as “a brother”, unlike in the beginning, when Meursault was passively content. Now, at the end, Meursault finds that he is happy once he sees the reality in the human existence. Meursault also sees that he is happy where he is in society. He doesn’t mind being hated for his crime. He accepts that companionship will keep him from feeling alone, and he accepts that the companionship will be in the form of an angry mob on the day of his execution.
However, he changes throughout the trial and eventually becomes a hero. This is because he finds meaning in life. It is ironic, though; that he learns to appreciate life after his is effectively over.
Camus, Albert. The Stranger. Trans. Matthew Ward. New York: Vintage International, 1989.
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