Supervised Writing #5
Why is the book titled "The Stranger"? Who is the Stranger suppose to be?
Some might ask why the novel was titled "The Stranger". Others may ask who 'The Stranger' was in the first place. To answer both questions, one must know the important aspects of the novel and observe how the characters act. First of all, "The Stranger" is a fictional novel written by Albert Camus and was first published in 1942. The story is based around Meursault who learns that his mother has passed away. From the start, the emotional news is sudden, and readers expect Meursault to be heartbroken and tearful but instead he is found in an emotionless state, almost as if he doesn't care. This displays emotional detachment from the world around him and there are multiple examples throughout the novel where significant moments do not have an emotional impact on Meursault. He does not display emotion to the fact that his mother is dead, or that Marie loves him. Though Meursault is unconnected to society he is still an honest person. He always speaks his mind and does not care how others see him. When his mother dies, he does not hide his true feeling. He does not shed fake tears over her death. He expresses what he really feels. With these actions Meursault challenges society’s accepted moral standards, which is that one should grieve over a loss. Because Meursault does not grieve, society then regards him as a "Stranger" to society due to his indifference. So in short, Meursault is "The Stranger" and the novel is titled after him because Meursault is a stranger to common ideas and to the people.
When Meursault's mother dies his reaction is surprisingly dull. He reacts in a way that seems like he doesn't care. His unpredictable reaction introduces the idea of the meaninglessness of human existence, which is a major theme that is present throughout the novel. When he mentions that his mother has died, he says it in a way that makes the reader believe like he doesn't care at all and that Meursault really does believe in the idea of the meaninglessness of human existence. "Maman died today. Or yesterday maybe, I don’t know. I got a telegram from the home: 'Mother deceased. Funeral tomorrow. Faithfully yours.' That doesn’t mean anything. Maybe it was yesterday." (Camus, 3) Spoken by Meursault, this conveys his emotional indifference and detachment from not just society, but the readers as well. This demonstrates how he is a stranger to...