The Stranger by Albert Camus
In Literature there comes a time where a character seems to always be the target and is continually placed in situations which aren’t good. The character may have done wrong, but far worse happens to the character. The character therefore is …. “A man more sinn’d against than sinning” Monsieur Meursault is a character whose mother just died and he doesn’t seem to know the exact date. Maybe it‘s some sort of coping mechanism to deal with the loss of someone close to him, but it doesn’t seem normal to those around him.
Immediately he’s judged just because he doesn’t seem to act the same as others would’ve if they were in his situation. “But I hesitated, because I didn’t know if I could do it with Maman right there. I thought about it; it didn’t matter. I offered the caretaker a cigarette and we smoked. ”This is just the beginning of his down fall, his bad decision making is seen and he chose to smoke even though he knew it wasn’t appropriate at his mother’s funeral. “I remember opening my eyes at one point and seeing that all the old people were slumped over asleep.. ho was staring at me as if he were just waiting for me to wake up”.
The man who truly cared for his mother couldn’t understand how her own son could be sleeping during her funeral. The day after his mother’s funeral he doesn’t seem to be in mourning, but rather enjoy himself: “I caught the streetcar to go to the public beach down at the harbor”. He couldn’t even t answer simple questions about his mother to his boss “He asked me if I wasn’t too tired and also wanted to know Maman’s age. I said ‘About sixty’, so as not to make a mistake”. Monsieur Meursault doesn’t seem to make the right decisions.
He’s constantly placing himself in circumstances which allow him to do something he shouldn’t and latter lead him to become a victim. He became friends with a man who clearly didn’t understand the concept of right from wrong. “Raymond….. thought of asking me to write it for him”. “I didn’t say anything; he asked if I’d mind doing it right then and I said no”. He had no opinion; he just went with whatever Raymond asked him. Monsieur Meursault doesn’t seem to have any sort of opinion, he just let’s life past by him. There isn’t any logical reason to why he wrote the letter knowing he didn’t know the woman or even the whole story. Read shame by Gregory questions and answers
He constantly feels that he has to please everyone, when he does so it backfires and he’s led to feel like he’s a victim. Whoever’s directly or indirectly involved with what he did, begins to take out their frustration on him. He continues to allow his friendship with Raymond get him into difficult situations. … “Take him on a man to man and give me your gun”. Later on while Monsieur Meursault was taking a stroll he saw the man Raymond almost got into an altercation with, one thing led to another and he wound up shooting him. Monsieur was arrested and put on trial, found guilty and went to jail.
Monsieur Meursalt is justified in feeling like he’s a victim. He didn’t truly have a fair trial. It was based on his reaction to his mother’s death. That isn’t fair; people have different reactions and ways of dealing with their emotions. This is exactly the case with Monsieur Meursault. His life ended all in a few days after his mother death all because he couldn’t cope with the heat or himself? In the end he was a victim, a victim of himself, he continued to allow the people around him to influence his future and state of mind.