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Commentary on a short passage on The Outsider (IB exam 2010)

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Commentary on a short passage on The Outsider (IB exam 2010) Written by: Albert Camus Jennifer Through a short glimpse of Albert Camus's The Outsider, numerous key points are revealed. In the beginning of the passage, it is evident that the narrative is done in a first-person point of view-later named Mr. Meursault. Therefore, the narrative is due to be biased, but the readers can confirm that the portrayed is Meursault's honest take of things, not a third-party's point of view. The sentence structure of the opening is very short and choppy, which is understandable, amidst the unexpected death of his mother. However, Meursalut is quite indifferent to his mother's death, confirming that "[her] death doesn't mean anything." It may be due to his inability to think clearly after the shocking news as he later states that "It's almost as if mother were still alive." However, the readers start to question the relationship between the son and the mother. ...read more.


The bright-eyed warden gave Meursault a warm encounter, holding his hand for a long time to show his support and condolences. Despite the good intentions of the warden, Meursault feels that every comment is targeted towards him in a condemning and reproaching manner. This is probably due to his guilt that derived from his inconsideration towards his mother in the past. He acknowledges that he had not taken well care of his mother, that when the warden comments that there is no need to make justifications under his circumstances, Meursault wants to and does believe that "[it] was true." His following digression describing his mother who only "[spends] all her time just watching me in silence," conveys the amount of neglect he must have had towards her. He continues to interpret his mother's crying in his own way, believing that she had merely had difficulties getting used to the new environment. Very soon, the reader realize that Meursault is a very selfish person, having no dedication towards his mother who has raised him! ...read more.


Meursault did not care about his mother's pains, but It may also imply that his mother didn't consider him as "her friends." Even at the end of the passage, Meursault doesn't seem to regret over his foolishness. It almost seems as if he is mocking his mother who "had never given a thought to religion in her life" wanting a religious funeral. The readers feel pity for Meursault for two different reasons: he has lost his mother, but more importantly, it is very sad that he still has not realized his terrible attitude towards his mother; Meursault has not developed a maturity level where he grasps this concept. Through this gloomy passage, Albert Camus successfully conveys to the readers of the importance of treating parents well, touching on other morals of selfishness and maturity. The importance of family over work is evidently stressed, accentuating on the theme that people should know what their values are. On the other hand, readers start to question what the role of emotion plays in individuals, and is left to reflect on the theme of remaining humane. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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