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The Stranger

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Alyssa Bruer

on 16 October 2012

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Transcript of The Stranger

Photo Essay by Alyssa Bruer The Stranger Having a routine... Showing no emotion... "The director then looked down at the tips of his shoes and said that I hadn't wanted to see Maman, that I hadn't cried once, and that I had left right after the funeral without paying my [Mersault] last respects at her grave." Having no relationship commitment... "Then she [Marie] wanted to know if I loved her. I [Mersault] answered the same way I had the last time, that it didn't mean anything but that I probably didn't love her." Detached Observation... "A little later, just for something to do, I picked up an old newspaper and read it. I cut out an advertisement for Kruschen Salts and stuck it in an old notebook where i put things from papers that interest me." The odd one out... "I smoked a couple of cigarettes, went inside to get a piece of chocolate, and went back to the window to eat it...I sat there for a long time and watched the sky." In the novel, Meursault is meaningless in how he randomly likes to appease others. When Salamano, his neighbor, tells him that his dog is missing, Meursault invites him in and comforts him in order to form a friendship. Meursault also does this with Raymond when he writes the letter to his ex-girlfriend. The picture represents Salamano's missing dog. Appeasing others... "I cut out an advertisement...and stuck it in an old notebook where i put things from the papers that interest me. I also washed my hands, and went out onto the balcony." Meursault is a man with a very predetermined routine, he gets up, reads the paper, washes up and then goes out to his balcony for the whole day on Sunday. On his balcony he watches the people below on the street and vividly describes them. This shows how separated he is from society and how meaningless he is from it. This is existentialism because Meursault shows signs of despair and he is alienated from society. "I found old Salamano waiting outside my door. I asked him in and he told me that his dog was lost, because it wasn't at the pound." Meursault also displays meaninglessness when he shows no emotion at his mother's funeral. He doesn't ever look at his mother or cry about losing her. This is existentialism because he hides his emotions and instead acts bored. This picture shows how hidden and unexpected Meursault is with his emotions. When Meursault says that love is meaningless, this is existentialist because it is against society which is a form of nihilism and it is a lack of passion which is also existentialist. The picture represents how Meursault will never know what love is and will never find love. Another form of meaninglessness that Meursault shows is having detached observations. He shows this when he randomly cuts articles out of the newspaper and pastes them in a notebook. This is what the picture depicts. He also shows detached observation when he randomly writes a letter for Raymond just to get closer to him as friends. When Meursault sits on his balcony all day and watches the street below he is seen as the odd one out of society. This eventually leads to his death at the end of the novel because he doesn't fit it. He is sentenced to death not because he committed murder, but because he doesn't fit the social norm. This alone is meaningless. The picture shows how different Meursault is from others.
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