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The Stranger: The Relationship between Meursalt and the Reader Sentimentally speaking, the character Meursault in Albert Camus novel, The Stranger, is a detached character.

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Hopper 1 Zephaniah Hopper Mrs. Cooper IB English IV 30 November 2009 The Stranger: The Relationship between Meursalt and the Reader Sentimentally speaking, the character Meursault in Albert Camus' novel, The Stranger, is a detached character. He is detached from humanity itself; he does not care about everyday issues or even celebratory events that occur in one's life. He tells his story methodically and lacks any real emotion yet harbors great indifference; he resembles an android in that he is in the world but he is not of the world on a sentimental level. Throughout the novel, Meursault shows his seemingly inadvertent carelessness for mankind all together by his absurd behavior, his inability to communicate and be communicated with and overall, his lack of human characteristics. Had it not been for Meursault's surprising revelation while in prison, and a small release of emotion in a specific scene, one may have truly asked, "Is Meursault truly a human being?" His lack of humanity baffles the reader along the way and his senselessness is nothing short of frustrating, it leaves the reader craving for emotion and shifting the emotions within their own selves. The reader gathers much information surrounding Mersault's character in the first couple of pages, this is where many of his idiosyncrasies are introduced and he is put on display as an "absurd" character. ...read more.


At this point one can conclude that Meursault is an irritable person. One of Meursault's mother's friends begins to weep silently, which is a normal occurrence at most funerals. This however annoys Meursault, he states,"I wished I didn't have to listen to her anymore", "I thought she'd never stop"(Camus, 10). Even after learning of the woman's intimate friendship with his mother, Meursault still seems bothered by her silent weeping; in a cold manner he says "Then finally she shut up" (Camus, 11), his irritability was the cause of this bitter remark and his acerbic choice of words (notice that he says "shut up" instead of simply saying "silenced herself" or a remark of that nature). Meursault further establishes his absurd character by showing that he also does not care about his love life and relationships with women. The reader is once again is Hopper 4 brought down the tunnel of confusion as Meursault becomes less and less human-like as Meursault and Marie attempt to understand one another. Normally, a man would have some fondness concerning matrimony; however this is not the case for Meursault. Meursault obviously has no real thoughts and intense feelings towards Marie and seems willing to abide by however things turn out between the two of them. ...read more.


These last fluctuations of emotion allow the reader to abandon the question of whether or not he is a human being or not, for he clearly shows that he is a human being and not simply a robot. Meursault is a complex character. In the beginning, we see him as an emotionless being, one who has no tendency to care about others and process advanced emotions and thoughts. He frustrates the reader by his carelessness and lack of emotions but gives the reader hope as he connects with Marie at the beach. He then upsets the reader again by placing him/her on an emotional rollercoaster; first he/she feels happy that he is finally Hopper 6 coming to his senses but that happiness is short lived, for he kills the Arab heartlessly, making the reader face the same question: "Is he or is he not human?" This finally all diminishes as he opens up to the world in prison and so the reader is happy for him again, but the reader then must realize that his "new" mindset will be short lived because death is quickly approaching. Meursault leaves the reader both hopeless and glad at the same time in that he finally reached a heightened sensitivity to human affairs but will soon die. The reader feels sorry for him but at the same time knows that he must die due to the actions of his "old" mindset. ...read more.

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