Written Assignment: How did Meursault transition in characterization from the beginning of the book to the end of the book?
Camus’ novel The Stranger offers a view of someone’s indifference from society. Through the interactions and relationships Camus puts Meursault though, displays Meursault's transition in characterization, going on to show how he is indifferent from society. Ultimately furthering his development from indifferent, to realizing he has a place within society. There is an emphasis placed on Meursault’s indifference from society through the shift in the book on how he interacts with people in the beginning of the book to how he interacts with people in the second half of the book.
Meursault in the beginning of the book does not have a care for anyone he interacts with. Right in the beginning of the book his mother passes away and, although most people would mourn for their mother, Meursault did not. He was not even going to go to his mother's funeral, but the people in his workplace and that knew him and found out about the news strongly encouraged him to go. When he made it to the place of his mother’s funeral he spent time where his mother’s body was being kept, but he never once requested to see her one last time. All he did was sit around and drink and smoke near her coffin. The day of his mother’s funeral Meursault was more concerned with the environment around him rather than the fact that his mother was dead, and mourn with the other people who had came to her funeral. Instead, all he had to say about the mournful day was, “...Sunday was over...and, really, nothing had changed.” (24). Another instance in the first part of the book where Meursault shows his carelessness for people, is when Marie asks Meursault to marry her. When Marie brings up the thought of marriage Meursault has no reaction to what is very exciting to Marie. With being so excited Marie is not given the response that she was expecting as Meursault said, “I said it didn’t make any difference to me and that we could if she wanted to.” (41). Marriage is a big step for a couple as well as being something that takes a lot for someone to want to do as well as being very exciting, and all Marie got from who she wanted this from was, “if you want to”. Which really put on display what he has said time and time again, “Its all the same, either way.” (5). Even when he murdered a man it was not out of intent, but of carelessness. When Meursault is going through his thoughts of what was going on in his mind during this situation, it is seen that Meursault did not kill the man on purpose, “The trigger gave…”(59). He did not even kill the Arab correctly, it was the trigger’s fault, as he did not even mean to pull the trigger, it was the guns fault, not his. Also after killing the man he shot the corpse four more times, which in doing so shows the utmost carelessness for humanity.
As the novel continues on, Meursault’s dispassion for people becomes evident. He...