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The Outsider by Albert Camus

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Julie Clores

on 12 October 2011

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Transcript of The Outsider by Albert Camus

OUTSIDER How does Meursault’s reaction to his mother’s death , differ from what the society expects as the ‘proper’ behavior? Society
Meursault Detached,honest and observant of his surroundings. Reactions towards mothers' death and funeral causes him strife. Does not think of hiding his lack of feeling by shedding false tears over his mother’s death. His inappropriate reaction to his mother's death damages his reputation more than his murder. Always scrutinizing Meursault's actions Meursault implicitly challenges society’s accepted moral standards, which dictate that one should grieve over death. Because Meursault does not grieve, the society views him as an 'outsider' or a threat. "It occurred to me that anyway one more Sunday was over that Mother was buried now, that I was going back to work, and that, really, nothing had changed." Part 1, Chapter 2, pg. 24

"...for the first time in years, I had this stupid urge to cry, because I could feel how much all these people hated me." Part 2, Chapter 3, pg. 90

"But all the long speeches, all the interminable days and hours that people had spent talking about my soul, had left me with the impression of a colorless swirling river that was making me dizzy." Part 2, Chapter 4, pg. 104

"As if that blind rage has washed me clean, rid me of hope; for the first time, I that night alive with signs and stars, I opened myself to the gentle indifference of the world. Finding it so much life myself - so like a brother, really - I felt that I had been happy and that I was happy again. For everything to be consummated, for me to feel less alone, I had only to wish that there be a large crowd of spectators the day of my execution and that they greet me with cries of hate." Part 2, Chapter 5, pg. 122
Quotes Is Meursault a fictional reflection of Albert Camus? Doesn't mention anything about Meursault's father
Camus' father died during WWI's Battle of Marne when he was one year old Both grew up in poor conditions
Meursault "[wasn't] able to look after [his mother] poperly. She needed a nurse. [He] only had modest income." (Pg. 10 - The Outsider)
Since Camus lost his father, his mother was widowed and lived in extreme poverty.
Camus' mother had no possibility of earning a reasonable income because she was nearly deaf Both had marriage issues
Camus' first wife was a morphine addict
He married another woman and loved her but felt it was unnatural
Possibily leads to why Meursault doesn't really want to marry Marie
Meursault said a marriage with Marie "didn't really matter" (Pg. 44 - The Outsider) showing there is no importance of marriage to him Both saw events from an outside perspective
Meursault wasn't associated with many groups or people
Camus lived his life "in" various groups/surrounded by many groups but was never "part" of them
AP College English. nd. Thurs. 31 March. 2011.

Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. nd. Thurs. 31 March. 2011.

Existential Primer. nd.Fri. 1 April. 2011.

CHARACTERS Meursault's character is absurd to society as he portrays a lack of emotion such as regret and compassion. "Mother died today. Or maybe yesterday, I don't know." He is an irrational character who defines existentialism. In trial, this leads others to think of him as a heartless murderer, a "monster." PART ONE:
Meursault seems to mainly care about the physical world. He does not seem to focus on himself, but rather life around him.
- the old man crying at the funeral
- Salamano who is abusive to his dog
- Raymond, who is abusive to his mistress.
- Maries physical appearance.
- Heat at the funeral and when he shot the Arab 4 extra times.
In part one, Meursault lives in the moment and does not seem to deeply think about things. PART TWO:
-Meursault reflects on his past memories.
- It is the first time in his life in which he thinks about his relationship to society.
- He is sentenced to be decapitated publicly.
- His encounter with the priest enlightens him with ideas on life and death: "Given that you've got to die, it obviously doesn't matter exactly how or when."
- He finds that what to live for is life itself. It is ironic in the timing of this thought as he learns this only when he is sentenced to die. SALAMANO
- Is abusive to his dog. Although Meursault comments on this, he does nothing about it. RAYMOND
- selfish, cruel and initiates conflict.
-he physically hits his mistress.
-uses Meursault to help him write a letter to seek revenge upon Raymond's mistress.
-Raymond is the cause of Meursault's downfall.
-He lures him into trouble as he gives Meursault the gun in which later, he kills the Arab.
- In contrast with Meursault, Raymond is seen as immoral. MARIE
-Meursault's girlfriend
-very sentimental and greatly attached.
-She is placed in the novel to point out Meursault's lack of emotion and feeling for her. When she asks him if he loves her, his reply is a simple "sure," instead of a more affectionate response. MLA Works Cited

Camus, Albert. “The Outsider.” The Penguin Group, Great Britain: Hamish Hamilton, 1982.

Simpson, David. “Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.” Albert Camus (1913 - 1960). . http://www.iep.utm.edu/camus/#SSH5c.iii. DePaul University. Web. March 31, 2011.

SparkNotes Editors. “SparkNote on The Stranger.” SparkNotes.com. SparkNotes LLC. 2003. . Web. March 31, 2011.

“The Character of Meursault in The Stranger .”
. http://www.123helpme.com/assets/15319.html. Web. March 31, 2011
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