"Has been a lifesaver so many times!"
- Catherine Rampell, student @ University of Washington
"Exactly the help I needed."
- Jennifer Hawes, student @ San Jose State
"The best place for brainstorming ideas."
- Michael Majchrowicz, student @ University of Kentucky
Seeing past normality
Albert Camus creates a series of characters in The Stranger whose personality traits and motivations mirror those that are overlooked by the average man. Camus develops various characters and scenarios that are considered rude and unpleasant, but because it has become common, society accepts it as norms. Camus incorporates atrocious personality traits of the characters, variety, consistency, and everyone's fate through the creation of the characters. Camus demonstrates the disregarded reason behind the origins of relationships between people to characterize people as selfish. The relationship between Salamano and his dog displays how Salamano as self-centered. When Meursault mentions, "He hadn't been happy with his wife, but he'd pretty much gotten used to her. When she died , he had been very lonely. So he asked a shop buddy for a dog and he'd gotten this one very young" (Camus, 44), the inconsideration is displayed. This evidence proves the wife's lack of importance towards Salamano , but along with time, he adapted to her, just like he did with the dog. After her death, he became lonely which supports the reason for him getting the dog. Not to love the dog, but instead to put an end to his loneliness. Another source of selfishness is shown through the relationship between Marie and Meursault. Meursault's lack of communication and the excess amount of physical contact desired and received is displayed by Meursault in the reference, "I kissed her. We didn't say anything more from that point on. I held her to me " (35). The textual support confirms that Meursault's purpose with Marie, for her physical appearance and not her personality. The relationship between Meursault and Raymond displays another representation of a person being egoistic in the novel. When Meursault states that " According to Raymond, all I had to do was to state that the girl had cheated on him. I agreed to act as a witness for him" (37), the contextual evidence proves that Raymond only uses Meursault for his own benefit by making him his witness. In this relationship, Camus presents Raymond with selfish-like characteristics for using Meursault for his own benefit and not returning the favor to Meursault.
Camus employs a change in routine, Meursault having food with other people, which reveals the unexpected cause for him becoming involved and encountering bad situations. Meursault mentions that "I ate at the restaurant, at Celeste's , as usual" (Camus, 3), which displays his every day routine. The principal factor of his everyday routine which involves food, usually took place at Celeste's . Meursault in the textual quote displays a shift in his food routine when mentioning, ‘I've [Raymond] got some blood sausage and some wine at my place. How about joining me' (28)? Raymond's invitation leads up to him becoming involved in a faulty situation. Meursault mentions the situation when saying, "He'd thought of asking me to write it for him. Since I didn't say anything, he asked if I'd mind doing it right then and I said no" (32). Through the excuse of just having dinner with Raymond, it results in Meursault writing a letter to Raymond's ex-girlfriend. Later the letter causes a quarrel which results in Meursault becoming a witness as well. Another instance of a change from Celeste's restaurant is when Meursault consumes coffee at his mother's funeral. Another change in routine is shown by Meursault when he mentions, "Then he offered to bring me a cup of coffee with milk. I like milk in my coffee, so I said yes, and he came back a few minutes later with a tray. I drank the coffee" (8). Instead of eating at Celeste's or drinking coffee there, Meursault decides to drink coffee at his mother's nursing home. During this time, he does not cry during his mother's funeral and many witnesses notice this fact. The result of not crying reappears during the court scene where they mention several times that he lacks emotions for not crying at his mother's funeral. With an alibi of lunch, Meursault goes to Masson's house and it leads him to becoming involved in a huge problem. Following with Masson's routine, "My wife always takes a nap
View Full Essay