Books and Movies Reviews

Camus The Stranger: Summary and Outlines Some of the Main Themes

The novel’s protagonist, Meursault, is a distanced and indifferent
young man.He does not believe in God, and lives his life with seemingly
sensuous abandon.After Meursault is caught up in the life of a local
pimp, he rather inexplicably murders a young man on the beach, and is put
on trial.In a ridiculous and seemingly arbitrary trial, he is essentially
tried and found guilty for failing to adhere to society’s beliefs and
morals.It is during this trial that Meursault comes to terms with the
The Stranger begins with the news that Meursault’s mother has died.
Writes Camus, “Mother died today.Or maybe yesterday, I don’t know.I had
a telegram from the home: ‘Mother passed away.Funeral tomorrow.Yours
sincerely.’That doesn’t mean anything.It may have been yesterday” (p.
9). Here, the somewhat disturbing detachment of Meursault’s recounting of
his mother’s death sets the distanced and cynical tone for his experiences
Meursault takes two days off work to go to the home where his mother
lived.At the home he meets the warden and caretaker, and views his
mother’s body.At the home, Meursault naps, talks to the caretaker, and
drinks some white coffee.He encounters his mother’s friends, and notes
that he had ” the ridiculous impression that they were there to judge me”
(p. 15).The next day, Meursault struggles with the heat during his
mother’s funeral service, while his mother’s fianc;, Thomas P;rez, is
overcome with grief. Meursault looks forward to returning home, and having
the chance to sleep for 12 hours straight.
The next day, Saturday, Meursault decides to go to the beach.There
he meets Marie Cardona, who he frolics with in the water.Later, although
Marie is somewhat disturbed at the death of Meursault’s mother, she agrees
to see a comedy with him that evening.The next morning, Meursault enjoys


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