The Stranger

how do meursalts and his bosss' comment demonstrate the fact that meursault is an existentialast and the boss is not

chapter 3 opens with an akward conversation between meursault and his boss . In this conversation the boss inquires about mamans age and then comments that boss seemed to be relieved that the matter of mamans death is closed

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The boss is kind. He is relieved to find that Maman was "about sixty" when she died. Meursault does not remember exactly.

The boss, like most people who believe that life is at least somewhat intelligible in the context of an overall narrative, is relieved to hear that Maman was able to die with a sort of legacy (even if it is only the years she spent living). As an existentialist, Meursault understands this sort of thinking as inherently meaningless--only finding meaning in subjective, free choices.