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"The Outsider" By Albert Camus Essay

2884 words - 12 pages

I. Setting: The Outsider is placed in Algeria in North Africa; we can see this on the first page with the reference to Marengo and Algiers both of which are cities in Algeria. (P. 9) There are two main ethnic groups in Algeria; Arabs and "pied noirs". A pied noir is a Frenchman who was born and raised in Algeria. Arabs and the French had many conflicts on the subject of Algerian independence. France ruled Algeria for over a century and caused severed feelings of resentment by the native Algerians, the Arabs. This puts Raymond's conflict with the Arabs into a better perspective as we can see that this type of thing could/would happen.The first setting we are introduced to is that of Mr. Meursault's deceased mother's old people's home just outside of Morengo. The old people's home seems to be a small home in the country, just over a mile from Morengo actually. (P. 10) There seem to be a few buildings one of which houses the old folks and at least one more that serves as a small mortuary. The small mortuary had a glass roof and had white walls, which reflected the bright lights. (P. 13 and P. 14) From the old people's home you could see "hills which separate Marengo from the sea" (P. 17). The climate around the old folk's home is very hot. (P. 21) My guess is that Meursault's mother passed away during the middle of summer. With no other alternatives it seems Meursault had made the best of the situation by sending his mother to such a beautiful home.Meursault lives in Algiers a city close to the Mediterranean Ocean on a tram ride away in fact. (P. 23) Meursault lives in a decent sized apartment of which he says, "it's too big for me and I've had to move the dining-room table into my bedroom." He lives in one room only, which has "some rather saggy cane chairs, a wardrobe with a mirror that's gone yellow, a dressing-table and a brass bed." Mr. Meursault's bedroom looks out onto the main street of the suburb. Even on beautiful days the pavement still looks grimy. (P. 25) Fig trees lined the street and there was a tobacconist's across the street. Meursault's area seems to be a middle class area... Good sized apartments, trams and buses nearby and families walking with their children on the street. The next place we are introduced to is the beach where Mason's chalet is. The beach is only a bus ride away. "It (the beach) was covered with yellowish rocks and brilliant white asphodel..." There were other little villas along the beach, "some half buried, with their verandahs overgrown with tamarisk, others standing naked among the rocks." Masson's chalet was at the end of the beach. The house part backed onto some rocks while the piles supporting the front were set in the water. (P. 51) The beauty and pureness surrounding every description of the beach contrasts completely with the horrific crime that occurs. Meursault is arrested after his murder of the Arab man. When he was first arrested he was put into a cell with several Arab men....

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