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Meursault's Death In The Stranger, By Albert Camus

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Albert Camus’s 1942 novel The Stranger deals with a myriad of pressing questions. Although The Stranger is relatively short, topics such as absurdism, mortality, and ethical decision-making are littered throughout. In addition, as is the case with great works of literature, The Stranger does not provide answers, but rather, opens the door for interpretation, discussion, and conclusions. Why does the protagonist of the novel, Meursault, feel a lack of remorse over his mother’s death? Why did Meursault choose to shoot and kill “the Arab” after attempting to convince his neighbor Raymond not to shoot? Lastly, if what Meursault believes is true, that the world and human existence has no rational purpose or higher meaning, then what is the reason …show more content…
Perhaps the best example of his divergence from what most presume to be “normal” occurs during the vigil for his mother. One would expect a son to be distraught, or at least display an outward semblance of emotion. Instead, Meursault is astonishingly stoic, choosing to focus his attention on his comfort and minor disturbances, as “I fell asleep again. I woke up after a bit, because the ache in my legs had developed into a sort of cramp” (Camus 9). Meursault, after returning home, boldly concludes that “Really, nothing in my life had changed” (17). Meursault’s blatant indifference coupled with a lack of background information about his personality, upbringing, or relationship certainly bring pressing questions to the forefront of the reader’s mind. Moreover, those questions go unanswered, and with every additional perplexing action by Meursault, the level of confusion and curiosity only increases. Why is it that Meursault essentially tricks Raymond into handing over the gun by invoking the importance of honor, then kills the Arab in cold blood. Although the Arab did have a knife, initially prompting Meursault to discharge his weapon, “I (Meursault) fired four shots more into the inert body, on which they left no visible trace” (39). Interestingly, and worryingly, Meursault expresses no remorse over his action, a sentiment that he admits himself during the trial. This shooting highlights another set of key hypothetical

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