Superficial Relationships

In Strangers, the protagonist Meursault meets with several other characters in the story but his relationships lack any emotional connection. Meursault relationship with his mother, her friendship with Raymond, and romance with Marie are passionless and surface level.

At the start of the story, Meursault discovers his mother has died. It states, “Maman died today. Or yesterday maybe, I don’t know. I got a telegram from the home: “Mother deceased. Funeral tomorrow. Faithfully yours.” That doesn’t mean anything. Maybe it was yesterday.” (3). Meursault isn’t focused on her death but more obsessed with which day she has died. Meursault’s lack of reaction presents the absence of a emotional connection to his mother.

Throughout the story, Meursault’s non-existent emotional connection with others is juxtaposed with other passionate bonds between characters. During the virgil, his mother’s friends in the home grieved for her. Meursault’s superficial relationships is compared with the tender relationship between his mother and Thomas Perez from the home.

Although residents from the home weren’t usually allowed to go to the funerals it is written, “But in this case he’d given one of mother’s old friends–Thomas Perez–permission to join the funeral procession.” (13). While Meursault reacts to his mother’s death passively, Thomas Perez was so close to her that he was allowed to be at the funeral.

Then it describes their relationship, “He told me that my mother and Monsieur Perez often used to walk down to the village together in the evening, accompanied by a nurse.” (15). Thomas and Meursault’s mother’s relationship is passionate and emotional. They have an emotional connection that Meursault doesn’t have in any of his relationships.

One thought on “Superficial Relationships

  1. LUKE L

    I agree with this 100%. It’s the character around Meursault that act normal, while he is in his own bubble. People don’t have to be emotional, but Meursault is the extreme opposite, and is completely emotionless. I would say he is a less interesting character because of his lack of emotion


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