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The Stranger Book 1, Chapter 6
Transcript of The Stranger Book 1, Chapter 6
Sunday Morning (47)
I had a hard time waking up on Sunday, and Marie had to call me and shake me. We didn't eat anything because we wanted to get to the beach early. I felt completely drained and I had a slight headache. My cigarette tasted bitter. Marie made fun of me because she said, I had on a "funeral face"
Action and Consequence (48)
"The day before, we'd gone to the police station and I'd testified that the girl had cheated on Raymond.He'd gotten off with a warning. They didn't check out my statement."
"I saw a group of Arabs leaning against the tobacconist's shop. They were staring at us in silence, but in that way of theirs, as if we were nothing but stones or dead trees. Raymond told me that the second one from the left was his man, and he seemed worried."
"We'd better step on it."
"Suddenly Marie said, "Do you know what time it is? It's only eleven-thirty!" We were all surprised, but Masson said that we'd all eaten very early and that it was only natural because lunch time was whenever you were hungry" (52).
Book 1, Chapter 6 of
focuses on the freedom of individuals to do what they choose regardless of justification, and the possible ramifications that poor decisions can lead to.
Something is obviously wrong with Mersault
This is odd because it should be a relaxing Sunday morning when he is getting ready to go to the beach
"funeral face" is ironic because he was not actually sad at a funeral
Based on the end of the last chapter, he could be regretting sending Maman to a nursing home
He could have just stayed up late drinking, the text does not specify
Ether way, his actions are catching up to him and he is not feeling well
Important motif representing consequences to Mersault's actions.
Sadly it is just a coincidence that this chapter happens to occur on a Sunday.
(It does not work the same way in French)
Once out in the street, because I was so tired and also because we hadn't opened the blinds, the day, already bright with sun, hit me like a slap in the face.
repetition of "because" displays the harmfulness of the sun as a consequence for his actions
develops the motif of the sun
also wakes him up a bit
vs. Mersault (47)
"The sun hit me like a slap in the face."
"Marie was jumping with joy and kept on saying what a beautiful day it was."
"he'd put on a straw hat, which mad Marie laugh."
"I found it a little repulsive."
Marie continues to act as a foil to Mersault, emphasizing Mersault's negativity.
Mersault had helped Raymond despite his obvious immorality
As a consequence there is now an angry group of Arabs following them
Raymond realizes that he is in danger and that this is because he beat his mistress
rather than confronting them he runs away and puts it off for later
Sun on the Beach (50)
I was absorbed by the feeling that the sun was doing me a lot of good. The sand was starting to get hot underfoot. I held back the urge to get into the water a minute longer, but finally I said to Masson, "Shall we?"
Mersault feels satisfied with his life but and like his actions will not have bad consequences
starting to realize his consequences
tries to escape into the water with Marie
Sun in The Water (50-51)
The water was cold and I was glad to be swimming. Together again, Marie and I swam out aways, and we felt a closeness as we moved in unison and were happy. Out in deeper water we floated on our backs and the sun on my upturned face was drying the last of the water trickling into my mouth.
There is no force in the universe telling people when to eat lunch other than their own body
Marie and the others are surprised because eleven- thirty is not the normal lunch time
More sun and Arabs
"The sun was shining almost directly overhead onto the sand, and the glare from the water was unbearable" (52).
"I wasn't thinking about anything because I was half asleep from the sun beating down on my bear head" (53)
"I noticed, at the far end of the beach and a long way from us, two Arabs in blue overalls coming in our direction. I looked at Raymond and he said, "It's him"(53)"
"The blazing sand looked red to me now"(53)
"When they thought we were far enough away, they took off running as fast as they could while we stood there motionless in the sun and Raymond clutched his arm dripping with blood" (54).
All I said was, "He hasn't said anything yet. it'd be pretty lousy to shoot him like that." You could still hear the sound of the water and the flute deep within the silence of heat. So Raymond answers back, "So I'll call him something and when he answers back, I'll let him have it." I answered right but if he doesn't draw his knife, you can't shoot." Raymond started to get worked up. The other Arab went on playing, and both of them were watching every move Raymond made. :No" I said to Raymond, "take him on man to man and give me your gun. If the other one moves in, or if he draws his knife, I'll let him have it."
"But we just stood there motionless, as if everything came to a stop there between the sea, the sand, and the sun, and the double silence of the flute and the water. It was then that I realized that you could ether shoot or not shoot" (56).
I went with him as far as the bungalow, and he climbed the wooden steps, I just stood there at the bottom, my head ringing from the sun, unable to face the effort it would take to climb the wooden staircase and face the women again. But the heat was so intense that it was just as bad standing in the blinding stream falling from the sky. To stay or to go, it amounted to the same thing. A minute later I turned back toward the beach and started walking.
From the distance I could see the small, dark mass of rock surrounded by a blinding halo of light and sea spray. I was thinking of the cool spring behind the rock. I wanted to hear the murmur of its water again, to escape the sun and the strain and the women's tears, and to find shade and rest again at last. But as I got closer, I saw that Raymond's man had come back.
The sun was the same as it had been on the day that I'd buried Maman, and like then, my forehead especially was hurting me, all the veins in it throbbing under the skin. It was this burning which I couldn't stand anymore, that made me move forward. I knew that it was stupid, that I wouldn't get the sun off of me by stepping forward. But I took a step, one step forward.
The Knife (59)
The light shot off the steel like a long flashing blade cutting at my forehead.
All I could feel were the cymbals of sunlight crashing on my forehead and, indistinctly, the dazzling spear flying up from the knife in front of me. The scorching blade slashed at my eyelids and stabbed at my stinging eye.
The Killing (59)
I squeezed my hand around the revolver. The trigger gave; I felt the smooth underside of the butt; and there, in that noise, sharp and deafening at the same time is where I knew that I had shattered the harmony of the day, the exceptional silence of the beach where I'd been happy. Then I fired four more times at the motionless body where the bullets lodged without leaving a trace. And it was like knocking four quick times on the door of unhappiness.
As if revolver is doing the action
Long sentence: length of moment
he realizes that nothing good will come and he is only asking for unhappiness
stay or Leave? (57)
False Hope (57)
Memories and Decisions (58-59)
Chapter Six of
builds up tension leading to Mersault's final decision to shoot the Arab that was following Raymond. All of his decisions in book one start to catch up to him and create the absurd conflict that Mersault finds himself in in book two.