Can Meursault experience deep emotions?

Whether it is mourning the loss of a loved one, evaluating right vs. wrong, or opening up about love, Meursault tends to respond in an unusual way.  In The Stranger by Albert Camus, the main character Meursault does not seem to be capable of having a deep, meaningful relationship with the people around him. His supposed romantic relationship with Marie is passionless, and when asked about marriage Meursault responds in a lackluster way, “It didn’t make any difference to me and that we could if she wanted to” (41).  Providing no emotions or thoughts on the idea of something as important as marriage shows insight on Meursault’s ideas on love or relationships. His descriptions of Marie also focus on her body, as of now, the reader does not know much about Marie as a person other than when she was wearing a striped dress, Meursault could observe, “The shape of her firm breasts, and her tan made her face look like a flower” (34).  When talking about Marie, it is always in a sexual way, Meursault talks about her in a surface level way.

Is this casual approach to relationships a way to ensure that Meursault does not get himself hurt? Or is there something else behind his detached approach to life?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s