Meursault’s Passivity Dies

During the novel, the narrator, Meursault, tends to passively agree with things people are asking. Whether he’s accepting Raymond’s proposal to write an angry letter to an ex-girlfriend or apathetically saying I love you to Marie, Meursault does what is wanted of him. 

While Meursault can be seen to have an existentialist mindset, he does not have a care for things that “normal” people have an opinion on. Even when his boss asks him to transfer to Paris as a promotion, Meursault has no ambition or passion about the promotion. His mindset towards traveling and job opportunities do not hold the same value as they would to a normal person, but he still accepts the offer. 

However, Meursault switches his passivity after being imprisoned for his murder.  When talking to his lawyer, Meursault couldn’t give him any insight to prove he wasn’t a callous human. Even when the lawyer asks if he can say that Meursault held back natural feelings, he rejects the proposal. 

Although Meursault continued to not hold the same values as the lawyer, like wanting to make a good case for himself, he wasn’t just submissively agreeing now. Meursault’s mindset of having to conform and value typical thing’s switched during his imprisonment and could be seen as his ultimate demise.

One thought on “Meursault’s Passivity Dies

  1. Marissa K.

    I noticed this as well. I thought that Mersault passively agreeing with everyone in his life was his way of conforming with society. He sticks out less if he agrees with other people than if he were to have no opinion at all.


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