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How does Meursault begin to find meaning and happiness in a world filled with unhappiness?
Transcript of How does Meursault begin to find meaning and happiness in a world filled with unhappiness?
- The chapter reveals a "new" Meursault who becomes more honest about his emotional feelings. (He reveals the "things" he "never liked talking about" (72)).
-Marie sends him a letter saying she can’t meet her anymore, but then she visits him anyway
-They talk, but people were talking on top of others because the visitors and prisoners are about 8-10 meters away from each other
- Meursault realizes the things he could have done and could be doing instead of being stuck in prison and thinking about his feelings and recalling memories
-His greatest challenge is to kill time: Through this, he finds out more about himself and unravels memories he overlooked before
-Reads a story from the newspaper about a tragic event that happened in Czechoslovakia Meursault’s detachment from society: -"... through a small window I could see the sea. One day as I was gripping through the bars..., a guard came in and told me I had a visitor... To get to the visiting room I went down a long corridor, then down some stairs and, finally, another corridor" (73) -"The room was divided into three sections by two large grates that ran the length of the room. Between the two grates was a space of eight to ten meters which separated the visitors from the prisoners.... Because of the distance between the grates, the visitors and the prisoners were forced to speak very loud.... My cell was quieter and darker. It took me a few seconds to adjust" (73) Marie -"... the things I've never liked talking about began. Anyways, I shouldn't exaggerate, and it was easier for me than for others" (76) -“...the main problem was killing time. Eventually, once I learned how to remember things, I wasn’t bored at all” (78) -“Sometimes I would get to thinking about my room, and in my imagination I would start at one corner and circle in the room, mentally noting everything there was on the way. At first it didn’t take long. But every time I started over, it took a little longer. I could spend hours just enumerating the things in my room. And the more I thought about it, the more I dug out of my memory things I had overlooked or forgotten. I realized that a man who had lived only one day could easily live for a hundred years in prison" (79) In the previous chapters, Meursault never really cared about what others thought of him
The "new" Meursault, being able to express his emotions; he's more aware He remembers all the irrelevant details and memories, but not the main reason why he's in jail: the Arab that he killed.
-Meursault does not reflect on his nonsensical and cruel act of murder. Summary: -Czechoslovakian man left his hometown to find fortune
-He comes back home 25 years later as a wealthy man
-He visits his mother and sister in their hotel and shows off his wealth to them
-Failing to recognize this man, the mother and the sister murders and robs him.
-The man's wife gives away the man's identity, without knowing that he has been murdered by his family.
-The mother and the sister commits suicide METAPHOR The murder Meursault comitted: RANDOM/ No particular reason Myth of Sisyphus -No matter how hard we try to succeed, we will still encounter failure -All the hard-work in the end is meaningless because we will all eventually encounter death Whether someone is a good or a bad person doesn't matter because in the end we'll all die - Whatever we do before we die doesn't matter because we will all die in the end "Anyway, I thought the traveler pretty much deserved what he got and that you should never play games" (80) "There were others worse off than me. Anyway, it was one of Maman's ideas, and she often repeated it, that after a while you could get used to anything"(77) "Then I remembered what the nurse at Maman's funeral said. No, there was no way out, and no one can imagine what nights in prison are like. - Maman waited for her son to visit her in the Nursing Home.
- She wanted love and affection: Monsieur Perez Meursault and Maman: Thoughts of a prisoner They have something to look back and forward to, unlike the others - Looks back to what he put his mother through
- Nursing Home was similar to a prison; he now understands the boredom and loneliness Maman must have felt
- Meursault understands the tormenting nights in prison "I looked at myself in my tin plate. My reflection seemed to remain serious
even though I was trying to smile at it... I smiled and it still had the same sad, stern expression" (81) "It was near the end of the day, the time of day I don't like talking about, thatnameless hour when the sounds of evening would rise up from every floor of the prison in a cortege of silence... I had realized that all that time I had been talking to myself" (81)