Emotions During Loss

In The Stranger, we see how emotions change when you lose a loved one. The book introduces Salamano and his dog, and readers quickly believe that Salamano is aggressive, violent, and shows immense hatred towards his dog. In the book, Salamano calls his dog a “Filthy, stinking bastard(27)” and constantly yanks the dog, beats the dog, and swears at the dog. From Salamano and the dog’s daily relationship, you would think that Salamano has no emotion and care towards his dog. However, when Salamano’s dog was lost, he showed different emotions. When his dog was missing, Salamano was anxious to find his dog, talking to Meursault about ways to find him(45). Salamano even said that when he hears other dogs bark, he thinks it is his own dog(36). Salamano’s actions show care and compassion towards his dog, which is a stark contrast from how he acted towards his dog during everyday life. This was confusing to me. It made me wonder if our true emotions and feelings are shown in our everyday life, or if they are shown when we lose the people/animals that we love the most? I don’t know the answer to my question, but it was very interesting to think about.

5 thoughts on “Emotions During Loss

  1. Molly H

    I agree with you because during the dog’s life, Salamano abused it and was a terrible pet owner. However, when his dog died, he showed grief and was very sad. It’s strange because Salamano had learned to rely on his dog, and when he was gone, he didn’t realize how much he actually depended on his dog to live.


  2. Mirabella V.

    I really like this post because when I was reading this part of the book I remember being confused and surprised that Salamano cared so much for his dog. I also think that the relationship between Salamano and his dog go to show that you never really know both sides of the story. While yes, the treatment of the dog was horrible and abusive, we also learned that Salamano was the one who rubbed the dog with ointment twice a day when he had gotten the skin disease. It goes to show that while no one could see the love that Salamano had for his dog by their walks on the street, he did care for his dog.


  3. Lily M

    I was also conflicted about Salamano’s true feelings towards his dog and how we reflect our own true feelings. I think you made an interesting point by highlighting the contrast of how we show our emotions compared to how it would be different if we lost a loved one. Hopefully, we show our true emotions before we lose our loved ones instead of only realizing our feelings afterward. However, I do feel bad for the dog and understand why it ran away as Salamano does verbally and physically abuse his dog. I would run away too.


  4. Danielle W

    I actually wasn’t that surprised when Salamano reacted the way he did about his dog’s disappearance. Just from the way the characters were presented, it seemed to me that Salamano was playing the part of the stereotypical grumpy old man. It seemed to me that Salamano was angry with his life and just taking it out on his dog, and even if he did hate the dog, losing something so integral to your daily life can be difficult.

    To answer the question about emotions, I think that we do show our emotions more clearly after we lose someone or something we care about. Grief can be a powerful thing, and it can often serve as a mechanism to lower peoples’ guards. A lot of people put up barriers to hide their feelings, but after losing someone or something, those barriers usually come down, at least for a time.


  5. Grace W

    I think out true emotions are shown through both. I think that the in the moment/ short lived emotions are should in everyday life and that are long lived and strong emotions are shown when the loved one are lost. Both of them are our true emotions, some are just more powerful than others. In the case of Salamono and his dog, I think that Salamono took his dog for granted. He always loved the dog, he just always assumed the dog would be there, so when the dog was actually gone, he couldn’t believe it and felt guilty about it.


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