The Stranger Essay

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David Drum English 10 Mrs. Temple Mr. Easbey The Stranger Essay Would you cry if your mother died? The average person would cry when their mother died. It’s a natural reaction. However in Albert Camus’ novel The Stranger the main character Meursault is emotionless and has different reactions than the average person. Camus uses Meursault to represent the essence of existential beliefs. These behaviors are shown in many places throughout the story to start with the beginning of the book his mom dies; then in the middle he is arrested for killing the Arab on the beach. In both of these cases Meursault shows no emotion and wonders why others are showing emotion. Part of existential beliefs are that death is part of life and that death does not matter. Meursault in many areas of the story shows this. The first of which is in response to the death of his mother. When the caretaker is about to open the casket for Meursault to see his mom. “He was moving toward the casket when I stopped him. He said, “You don’t want to? I answered no” (6). In this quote Meursault is telling the caretaker at the home that he did not want to see his mom and wanted to keep the casket closed. This shows existentialism because just because his mom died, he does not need to see what happened because an existentialist would say it’s a fact of life and it doesn’t matter. Later that night when Meursault and his mothers friends are standing vigil over Meursault’s mother a woman that Meursault does not even know starts crying. “I wish I didn’t have to listen to her any more. But I didn’t dare say anything.” (10) This fits existentialism because Meursault is emotionless response shows that he does not understand what the woman is going through and is applying his own meaning to the situation. The entire time at the vigil he does not even shed a tear. Even later in the evening after the

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