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marie's role in the outsider

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ENGLISH ESSAY -2 How does the character of Marie, and the way she is presented inform your understanding of The Outsider? In The Outsider, Mersault is finally given a hearing and his punishment is not directly related to the murder of the Arab, but for his lack of social skills governing appropriate behaviour after his mother's death. One meaning of the title of the novel, The Outsider, is that if you live a life different than what society accepts, then you are a stranger; an outcast, and will be punished by the rest of society. In other words, the title refers to Mersault as the stranger in the society. The Outsider is really about a one man's story and how his way of living and social ethics challenged society. The first page of the novel gives a shady sketch on Mersault's character. Meursault is a very quiet person who rarely shows any external emotions when a situation in which most people would. In the opening scene of the novel, we find out that his mother has just died. ...read more.


And this strange behaviour is further more emphasized in the presence of his girlfriend Marie. Marie's character is introduced as soon as he returns from his mother's funeral. The two were acquaintances as Marie was a former employee at the same place where Mersault worked. He then goes off for a swim with her and from the next few pages; Marie can be noted as a flirty and fun person. Marie seems to be one of the few people who put up with the eccentricities of Mersault. She doesn't run away or tell Mersault off for not mourning his deceased mother when she finds out about the death. She "Recoils slightly, but makes no remark". Blocking out the incident or pretending to overlook Mersault's oddness, Marie's behavior towards Mersault remains unchanged. Chapter 4 looks at intimacy between the two where Mersault clearly 'wants' Marie and nothing more. Whereas Marie actually believes that their act of intimacy wasn't just being intimate but had a profound meanivcvng and even asks Mersault if he loves her. Mersault tells her frankly that he doesn't and that makes her sad but only for a moment. ...read more.


Thus it is as though Marie has two sides to her - an individual playing a part in this man's life as companion and society by eyeing and observing him closely. This creates further understanding of the novel The Outsider, Mersault doesn't act the way society expects him too and doesn't seem to have any regrets about it. He quite frankly states that he doesn't love Marie and he isn't the least bit emotional or apologetic about it. The Outsider can thus be recognized as a novel dealing with how anything that was different from the rest was treated as a threat and maybe even misunderstood by the rest of society. As in the end of the novel Mersault is condemned to death for not living by the laid out rules of society. The no show of remorse and sadness of his mother's death to his no reason other than the heat being intolerable for killing the Arab, all lead to society to feel threatened by such a man with no emotions. Marie's character and her relationship with Mersault accentuated his oddness and serves as proof for him being different. ...read more.

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