The Stranger was originally written in French. When Stuart Gilbert translated the novel, he came across a small problem. “The title of Camus’ classic novel is difficult to render into English because the French word bears the connotations of both ‘stranger’ and ‘foreigner’ at the same time, and each of these concepts is at play in the novel.” (Mairowitz1) Finding the right translation was crucial because the title is symbolic. “The Stranger symbolizes the theme of the story.” (Mairowits1) Meusault is a stranger to society. “He is alienated by society because of his unique personality.” (Alley2)
Hearing Meursault tell his story, allows the reader to experience his life first hand. Writing the novel in first person narrative allows the reader to go through Meursaults experiences.
The plot is told in chronological order. It begins with Meursault discovering his mother has passed away. After the funeral, he returns to his every day life. He goes to movies, spends time with his girlfriend, goes to the beach and makes friends with his neighbor.
Meursault and his neighbor, Raymond Sintes, begin spending a lot of time together. A day relaxing day at the beach turns into a blood bath. Because of a disagreement, Meursault kills an Arab.
Meursault is arrested for killing an Arab. He is sent to prison and tried for murder. During the trail, Meursault’s lawyer asks him to lie. Because of his honesty, Meursault is marked as a danger to society. (Alley1)
The Stranger’s setting is in the city of Algiers. Algiers is located in North Africa. The entire novel except his mothers funeral, took place in Algiers.
In the novel, Meursault is the main character. He is an outsider to society. Meursault enjoys simple thing, like going to the beach, drinking and having sexual relationships. There is no right or wrong in Meursault’s mind since he never judges anything or anyone. Because Meursault does not judge other people, he does not expect others to judge him. Therefore, he will do things without considering social values or how other people might think towards him. (Alley2)
One of the only people attracted to Meursault’s unique personality is Marie. Marie is Meursault’s girlfriend. Her love for Meursault remains true throughout the novel.
Meusault’s life becomes very complicated after he is introduced to Raymond. Raymond is a “pimp”, who uses “violence to demonstrate his manhood.” (Alley2) Raymond’s personality creates a conflict between him and a group of Arabs. This conflict results in Meursault killing an Arab.
After being sent to jail, Meursault is interviewed by the magistrate and chaplain. Both the magistrate and the chaplain “tried to change Meursault’s point of view toward God.” (Alley2) They wanted Meursault to accept God and ask Him for forgiveness; they do not succeed.
During the trial, Meursault’s behavior is the prosecutor’s main focus. The prosecutor uses the...