The Stranger by Albert Camus

The Stranger by Albert Camus

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The Stranger by Albert Camus

The book that I read was called The Stranger written by Albert Camus. The book is globally famous and was translated to many different languages and texts. The original was called L’Étranger which was written in French in 1942. The plot of this story involved a man in his late twenties or early thirties. The man's name is Meursault. In the beginning of the novel, Meursault is notified that his mother had passed away in the nursing home that he occupied her to. Meursault’s income could not afford to take care of his mother any longer; therefore, he put her in a nursing home. Meursault took off of work and went to the nursing home where she passed away to pay his respects and attend the funeral ceremonies. When he arrived at the nursing home, the funeral director brought Meursault to his mother’s coffin. The director asked if he wanted to see her and he quickly replied to keep the coffin shut. Meursault sat in the room and nearly went through an entire pack of cigarettes while blankly watching his mother’s coffin. At the actual funeral, Meursault shows no signs of normal emotion which would normally be induced at such an event.
When Meursault returns home he decides to take another day off and relax at the beach. On his way out he sees an old man beating his dog and cussing at it ruthlessly. Normally most people would be bothered by the fact of a man beating a small dog, but Muersault watches as if nothing bad were happening. When Meursault is at the beach he meets a girl, named Marie, which he finds very attractive. Meursault and Marie become very close. As the story progresses they begin taking part in sexual activities. Marie tells Muersault that she loves him and asks if he loves her back.

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His response was again unemotional and very blunt. When Marie asks if Meursault if he thinks that they will get married, the only response he gave was,” I guess.” Meursault again shows signs of low emotion.
Meanwhile all of the events Marie and Meursault are having, Meursault also becomes friends with his neighbor, Raymond Sintès. Raymond comes off as the type of person with a short fuse and a trouble maker. In fact the police visited Raymond's apartment because he had been accused of beating up his Arab girlfriend. Raymond uses Meursault as a form of venting his problems out. Raymond invites Meursault and Marie to come with him to his friend’s house on the beach. At the house Raymond and Meursault go for a walk on the beach. While walking they encounter a group of Arabs. Raymond informs Meursault that one of them is the brother of Raymond’s last girlfriend, who he beat up. Raymond gives Meursault a gun and tells him to only use it if the fight gets out of hand. When the Arabs approach Raymond the brother has a knife and cuts Raymond. Raymond and Meursault quickly leave and go to the house. When Raymond leaves for the hospital something about the whole situation makes Meursault seek revenge so he heads back to the beach with the gun tucked in his pants. When he finally sees the Arabs he starts to get nervous because he can see the knife that cut Raymond. The Arab tries to cut Meursault, he pulls out his gun and shoots him. As the Arab collapsed and lay lifeless, the others scattered at the sound of the gun shots. Meursault stares at the dead body lying on the ground and then shoots the body four more times. The shooting at the beach ends the first part of the book.
Part two starts with Meursault in a jail cell. He had been arrested for murdering the Arab. Meursault’s court-appointed lawyer tells him that the investigators have looked into his private life and see signs of insensitivity. Meursault’s lawyer also asks him if he loved his mother. His response was that he normally does not analyze himself. He said that even though he loved his mother,” That didn’t mean anything.” The lawyer then left in disgust due to Meursault’s indifference to his mother’s death. Meursault also meets with the magistrate who also questions him. The magistrate then asks Meursault why he paused between the first shot and the next four shots. This was the only part of the murder that bothered him. Meursault did not answer and the magistrate waves a crucifix at him and asks if he believes in God. Meursault answered no. The magistrate states that his own life would be meaningless if he doubted the existence of God, and concludes that Meursault has a hardened soul. Even though being locked up in prison and not being able to do the things that he urges for. Most important, his imprisonment does not incite any guilt or regret over what he has done.
The following summer his trial begins. Meursault is asked many questions about if or not he loved his mother, what made him kill the Arab, and if he loved Marie. With all of the questions, the attorneys stated that Meursault is insensible and an uncaring person. Meursault said that he had no intention of killing the Arab when he went back on the beach. He said that the sun had an affect on the way he was acting. Towards the end of his trial, Meursault feels that he is not going to walk out a free man. Meursault begins to reflect on things in his past. His mind seemed to drift away many times during the trial. The prosecutors closing argument stated Meursault’s obvious intelligence and lack of remorse is evidence of premeditated murder. Calling for the death penalty, the prosecutor elaborates that Meursault’s actions have paved the way for other criminals, so Meursault must be considered guilty of the other man’s crime as well. Even after Meursault’s lawyer says that he did a noble thing by putting his mother in a nursing home, Meursault is found guilty of premeditated murder and sentenced to death by guillotine. While awaiting his execution, Meursault takes the final step in the development of his consciousness. Whereas during his trial Meursault passively observed the judgments leveled against him, in prison he begins to ponder the fact of his inevitable death. He begins to see his life as having a past, present, and future, and concludes that there is no difference between dying soon by execution and dying decades later of natural causes. This capacity for self-analysis is a new development for Meursault, and it contrasts greatly with his level of self-awareness earlier in the novel. Meursault learns to forget hope. The only thing that hope does is create a false illusion about what will happen with his death. Hope prevents him from fully grasping the situation. After he speaks with the chaplain, Meursault no longer views his execution with hope or despair. He accepts death as an inevitable fact and looks forward to it with peace. Prior to his execution, Meursault says that he comes to recognize the “gentle indifference of the world.” Meursault decides that, like him, the world does not pass judgment, nor does it order or control the events of human existence. Yet Meursault does not despair at this fact. Instead, he draws from it a kind of freedom. Without the need for false hope, Meursault feels free to live a simpler life.
The type of psychology provided in this novel would most likely match the psychology of emotions, feelings, and thoughts. These types of psychology study the behavior of human beings and how emotion is involved. Some say that behavior is solely caused from the mental state of the particular person. These types of psychology also study what goes through the minds of particular people who have highly fluctuating emotions that easily reach both extreme sides. In Meursault’s case, he showed low signs of emotion throughout the entire story. He was very “blah” at his mother’s funeral, showed no signs of caring or love towards Marie, and stated that he did not believe in God. With all of this being analyzed, the jury found Muersualt guilty of shooting the Arab five times, meaninglessly, because of a lack of emotional stableness, which may lead to bigger forms of disturbing public safety. Even though Muersault finally grasped the fact that he does have emotion right before being executed, it was too late for him to change, or to receive a second chance. Meursault made a choice and had to pay the consequence for it.
In my opinion, I thought that this book was excellent. It was very detailed and full of suspense. I would recommend this book to anyone, especially people who enjoy reading suspenseful books. All-in-all, everyone should try to express themselves. Holding everything in all the time is not a very good thing to do. It could lead to bigger problems that you think you already have. Being emotionless can lead to getting you into trouble, and no one wants to be referred to as, the cold-hearted person, or, a stranger.
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