No matter how you look at it, there is not a reasonable explanation for Meursault's actions. Why would Maman ask for a religious burial? The novel is concerned with the absurd and touches on the French colonization of Algeria. I spent a bit of time writing this answer, but now I'm hungry and will probably grab some food :). ), Shortly before that he had already thought to himself: "I probably loved mother, but that didn't mean anything. It was like a red-hot blade gnawing at my eyelashes and gouging out my stinging eyes. Meursault kills as a response to the sun. Meursault expresses a tenet of existentialism here: Each individual possesses only the present moment in which to act. To learn more, see our tips on writing great answers. My whole being went tense and I tightened my grip on the gun. The “absurd” refers to the feeling man experiences when he tries to find or fabricate order in an irrational universe. At the end of a normal mourning process, the mourner eventually prefers himself over the lost "object"; at the end of a pathological process, the mourner is unable to give up the lost "object", ascribe the lost to himself and decides to share its fate (see Freud's Mourning and Melancholia). This is nature's hand, i.e. Though, of course, Meursault must have one: he may be impoverished, he may not have found the right station in life or he may simply be grieving over some unmentioned passion that Camus omits to mention. The Stranger is not existentialist, but nihilist. In The Stranger, Albert Camus uses light and heat imagery along with intense diction to depict the duality between the characters in the novel trying to find a cause for Meursault’s crime, and the way he denies a cause because of his existential mentality. Gallimard, 1992; page 114-123.) The Stranger’s central event occurs when Meursault shoots the Arab. When he becomes blinded by the sweat that washes into his eyes, the flash of light from the Arab’s knife, and the cymbals of pain clashing in his head—he shoots the Arab dead. And nor is this how marginalisation often works: Man is a gregarious and social creature - he does not exclude himself from the social. Rather than decide whether he is guilty of murder, the prosecutor seeks to prove how Meursault is an unloving and uncaring individual, that he has 'no soul.' The passages in these pages offer that parallel. Best Questions & Answers from 4th Quarter of 2020. The magistrate breaks this self-delusion when he escorts him to the door, calls him Mr. Antichrist, and hands him back to his jailers. Does having no exit record from the UK on my passport risk my visa application for re entering? That said, I think there are a lot of positives about this answer. Meursault’s anger resulted in a kind of baptism that cleared away his confusion. To subscribe to this RSS feed, copy and paste this URL into your RSS reader. Moreover, if I recall rightly Camus insisted that he was not an existentialist - at least in Sartre's mould. Meursault even acknowledges that he doesn't have to kill "the Arab". What is the significance of the names Mersault and Meursault? As is his way, Meursault agrees to write a letter to him. It is with his gun that Meursault kills the brother. What's the earliest treatment of a post-apocalypse, with historical social structures, and remnant AI tech? Analysis: Chapter 6. Two Arabs were seemingly following them. Meursault describes his and Marie’s responses after they witness Raymond beating the Moor woman who has been unfaithful to him. He doesn't necessarily follow social norms, he's not married... etc. Meursault kills the Arab in cold blood, gets tossed into jail, and awaits his trial for a year or so. Stack Exchange network consists of 176 Q&A communities including Stack Overflow, the largest, most trusted online community for developers to learn, share their knowledge, and build their careers. The abyss that separates Meursault … The sun was beginning to burn on my cheeks, and I felt drops of sweat gathering in my eyebrows. I told her it didn't mean anything but that I didn't think so. Meursault is also honest, which means that he does not think of hiding his lack of feeling by shedding false tears over his mother’s death. Quoted in Bernard Pingaud: L'Étranger d'Albert Camus. Or a person in mourning feels their pain in an internal way; it is felt in the unconscious only, where the person is not aware of it. And it was like giving four sharp knocks at the door of unhappiness. Meursault feels none of the same emotion. The day after he Meursault is tried and sentenced to death. After returning, he goes on a date with Marie Cardona, a former co-worker, and has a sexual relationship with her. The Stranger Quotes Showing 1-30 of 412 “I may not have been sure about what really did interest me, but I was absolutely sure about what didn't.” ― Albert Camus, The Stranger. Meursault was undoubtedly under the sun, and it was affecting him. The director of the home where Meursault’s mother lived responds to Meursault’s feelings of guilt regarding his mother’s situation. This is due to Camus's narrative technique. Meursault reacts to the Prosecutor’s closing argument that he did not show the least bit of regret for his actions. Why is Camus asserting that “Marx scientific Messianism” is Bourgeois? Camus himself remarked in his notebooks (in a draft for a letter in response to a review of The Stranger), "Realism is a meaningless word (Madame Bovary and Demons are realist novels and they have nothing in common." The theme of existence is largely at play. How is the Czechoslovak traveller's story relevant to The Stranger as a whole? You can shoot or not shoot. Can 1 kilogram of radioactive material with half life of 5 years just decay in the next minute? Making statements based on opinion; back them up with references or personal experience. I left his room, closing the door behind me, and paused for a minute in the dark, on the landing. She looked sad. Though Meursault may feel "the whole thing was over," the fight actually happened only a little while earlier and must surely be fresh in the Arab man's mind. The novel The Stranger by the French writer Albert Camus is the story of a Frenchman (only identified by his surname Meursault) from Algeria during the 30’s or 40’s who kills and Arab (he claims, unintentionally) and is condemned to die by the guillotine. Meursault fires the gun once. The entire story is told from a first-person perspective, i.e. I think this answer would probably be improved if you talked more about existentialism. It comes through the naturalism. We see an example of this in The Stranger when Meursault kills an Arab. He remarks on Meursault’s failure to provide for the full-time caretaker she needed but reassures him that she had many friends there. He does not think much about events or their consequences, nor does he express much feeling in relationships or during emotional times. Gallimard, 1992, page 187.). It's often taken that Meursault is the outsider, the stranger amongst men and that he has chosen this destiny for himself and this ties in with the notion of existentialism where one chooses who one is to be - day by day - and maybe hour by hour. The presence of the Arab disturbed him. The director kindly explains that he understands Meursault’s decision to put his mother into the institution. I said that people never change their lives, that in any case one life was as good as another and that I wasn't dissatisfied with mine here at all. These passages provide a direct narrative for what directly instigated the act. site design / logo © 2021 Stack Exchange Inc; user contributions licensed under cc by-sa. Literature Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for scholars and enthusiasts of literature. As mentioned above, Meursault tells his story with a kind of outsider's objectivity. All the norms and laws were dictated by the French government in colonial Algeria. They decide to return to the bungalow but along the way, Meursault becomes befuddled, overcome by the sun’s red glare, and decides to take a walk on the beach alone. His protagonist, Meursault, becomes a nihilist. Whatever happens, it doesn't matter. Initially, there isn't much. As for why Meursault kills the Arab, again Camus gives us very few clues. Meursault shows his oblivious estimation of the magistrate and his lawyer as they handle him after his arrest. Because Meursault does not grieve, society sees him as an outsider, a threat, even a monster. Nightmare Stage Meursault has been in prison for a year and is found guilty of murder. Several early critics have commented on this, for example Jean-Paul Sartre, Maurice Blanchot and Claude-Edmonde Magny. First atomic-powered transportation in science fiction and the details? Meursualt is accused of "morally killing" his own mother; during his closing speech, the prosecutor even claims Meursault is also guilty of killing his father. The universe has no judgment because there is no God or objective morality. (See for example, Bernard Pingaud: L'Étranger d'Albert Camus. Was there ever any actual Spaceballs merchandise? Meursault is also a robot. You have to remember that Meursault had simply gone with his friends for a day on the beach. 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