The Stranger


Meursault is a French Algerian who learns of his mother's death by telegram. Meursault's indifference to the news of his mother's death demonstrates some emotional detachment from his environment. There are multiple instances throughout the novel where significant moments do not have an emotional impact on Meursault. He doesn't show emotion to the fact that his mother is dead, Marie loves him, or that he killed someone. Another aspect of Meursault is that he is a truthful person. He always speaks his mind and does not care how other people see him. However, he may have committed perjury by providing hearsay testimony on behalf of his neighbor, Raymond. He is regarded as a stranger to society due to his indifference.

Raymond Sintès is the neighbor of Meursault who beats his mistress which causes a conflict with the Arabs. He brings Meursault into the conflict which ultimately results in Meursault killing the Arab. Raymond can be a foil character of Meursault in that he takes action while Meursault is indifferent. Raymond and Meursault seem to develop a bond as the story goes on, ending with Raymond Sintes testifying for Meursault during his trial. Raymond also believes that he can control people - he assaults a woman because he believes she cheated and he insists Meursault is his friend after a simple favor from Meursault.

Marie Cardona is a typist in the same workplace as Meursault. A day after Meursault's mother's funeral she meets him at a public pool, which sparks their relationship. She asks if Meursault loves her but Meursault replies that he doesn't think so. He still agrees to marry her prior to the murder and his arrest. Marie, like Meursault, enjoys physical contact in their relationship through the act of sex. She represents the enjoyable life Meursault wants and her pleasing aesthetic is one of the things that Meursault misses in jail.

Masson is the owner of the beach house where Raymond takes Marie and Meursault. Masson is a carefree person who simply likes to live his life and be happy. He wants to live life without restrictions.

Salamano is an old man who routinely takes his dog out for walks. He abuses the dog but is attached to it. When he loses his dog, he is distressed and asks Meursault for advice. Meursault does not offer helpful advice and Salamano acknowledges that his life has changed.

The Arabs. Includes the mistress of Raymond. None of the Arabs were named in The Stranger.

The Arab He is shot by Meursault on a beach of colonial Algiers. The Arab was given an identity and a whole novel by the Algerian journalist and novelist Kamel Daoud in his 2013 novel The Meursault Investigation.

On the surface, L’Etranger gives the appearance of being an extremely simple though carefully planned and written book. In reality, it is a dense and rich creation, full of undiscovered meanings and formal qualities. It would take a book at least the length of the novel to make a complete analysis of meaning and form and the correspondences of meaning and form, in L’Etranger.

Viggiani 586[6]

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