• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Meursault and the Arab: A Detailed Study of Pages 57-60 of The Outsider

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Meursault and the Arab: A Detailed Study of Pages 57-60 of The Outsider Adam Blake D0555006 World Literature Assignment Two Word Count 1188 The last pages of the first part of The Outsider, by Albert Camus, are critical to both the themes and the plot of the book. This is a pivotal moment within the book; all that has occurred before this point culminates during these few pages, and all that comes after is shaped by this moment. This point also serves at a division between Meursault's life as a freeman and his life as a prisoner. To have any meaningful comprehension of the books plot or themes one must understand this passage. Depending on one's interpretation of this passage, we can see Meursault as a victim of circumstance, or as a cold detached killer. By examining this passage and is relation to the rest of the book one obtains a unique insight into the books meaning. Also, a careful examination of this passage suggests that Meursault had no intension to kill the Arab. When one examines this particular passage of the play one begins to see the death of the Arab as a tragic accident. ...read more.

Middle

The passage also serves to further portray and confirm his existential beliefs. Meursault throughout the book acts in a self-serving manner unconcerned with the feelings or beliefs of others. This belief system can be seen quite clearly in the initial chapter when he attends his mother's funeral. The passage in question is no exception. In this passage he is primarily motivated by his physical discomfort. He does not return to the chalet because he was "unable to face the effort of climbing the wooden staircase and confronting the women again" (Camus, pg 58). He walks to the beach to escape the heat and "dazzling red glare" (Camus, pg 58). He approaches the rocks upon which the Arab sits because he desired "to escape from the sun and the effort and the women's tears" (Camus, pg 58). His desire for physical comfort also causes him to approach the Arab. He moves forward because he could no longer "stand this burning feeling any longer" (Camus, pg 59). His killing of the Arab was also motivated somewhat by his own physical discomfort. The blazing description of the sensations, experienced just prior to the Arab's death, help to explain his actions. ...read more.

Conclusion

If the final pages of part one are interpreted differently, this theme of man versus society is lost or weakened. The final pages of part one of The Outsider are crucial to the plot, characterization and theme of the book. It is only with careful evaluation of the final passage that we are able to judge the severity of Meursault's crimes. With this careful evaluation one cannot escape the fact that the crime was not premeditated and may have been an accident. This scene also furthers the characteristics of Meursault's existentialism. It provides ample evidence of his preoccupation with physical sensations and his own comfort. It is important that one interpret these final pages in a way that Meursault is seen at least to some extent as a victim of circumstance. It is only with this interpretation that one is able to appreciate fully, the man versus society theme, which is portrayed by Meursault's trial. The final pages of part one of Camus' work are arguably the most important to the book as a whole and only through the understanding of this passage can one fully understand the work in its entirety. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Albert Camus section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Albert Camus essays

  1. EXISTENTIALISM IN THE OUTSIDER

    Mersault is later put on trial for the murder. It seems that it is not about the murder - in fact about the fact that he behaves in such a stoic manner. He is asked whether he felt any remorse about his mother's death, Mersault replies, 'I probably loved mother quite a lot but that didn't mean anything.

  2. The role of judgement in The OutsiderThe actions of Meursault, the protagonist in The ...

    Little later, the magistrate makes then his judgement upon Meursault:"Then he looked at me intently and rather sadly. He murmured, 'I have never seen a soul as hardened as yours. The criminals who have come to me before have always wept at the sight of this symbol of suffering'" (69).

  1. This is the commentary on the book "The Outsider" written by Albert Camus. I ...

    The importance of the physical world. Meursault is more interested in the physical aspects of the world around him rather than in its social or emotional aspects. In the "Outsider", Meursault's attention centres on his own body, physical contact with Marie, on the weather and on the nature.

  2. The Language of Prosecution in Albert Camus's 'The Outsider'

    Meursault's evidently unbiased report of the prosecutor's successful technique of manipulation is crucial to further the introduction of Camus's intended message of the absurdity of moral judgment by society into his story. Masson is the first interviewee who was actually with Meursault on the day of the crime.

  1. The Outsider

    As a result of Meursault not seeing the need to give life more meaning than what can be seen, he doesn't see and need to believe in God nor religion.

  2. People's perception of the protagonists as being indifferent in "The Metamorphosis" by Kafka and ...

    As a result, we sympathize for him and recognize him as a tragic hero. Although we might assume that Meursault is indifferent to his own death, he accepts it because he knows that in the end, everyone dies. His relentless insistence on telling the absolute truth is the reason that

  1. Franz Kafka and Albert Camus were two writers whose work flourished as part of ...

    Even as Gregor lay dieing, he did not call upon his family to be with him. His family isolates Gregor as much as Gregor isolates himself. They confine him to a small room and do not care to notice his diminishing state.

  2. A Comparison Between the Coping Mechanisms and Realisations Made While in Prison by Alba ...

    Alba's and Meursault's contrasting attitudes to life are also, to some extent, related to guilt. In Meursault's case, the absurdity of his judgement comes across in his realisation that he has been sentenced to death not because he killed a man, but on the basis of his character: "what did

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work