The Art Of “Getting Used To It”

As we continue through Albert Camus’s The Stranger, we see Meursault continue on through his life and eventually end up in prison for killing an Arab. This is a huge twist in the story and Meursault’s life changes drastically. He went from having a routine, a way of life, to ending up in a dark, bug infested prison. As I read this, I thought about how hard it would be for Meursault to adjust to this new experience and new way of life. He was so used to doing things on his own time, without any outside influence about how he acted and what he did. Now, he is thrown for a loop and has little to no control over his actions in prison.

He states that the adjustment was difficult at first, “When I was first imprisoned, the hardest thing was that my thoughts were still those of a free man” (76). He continues on and thinks, “But that only lasted a few months. Afterwards my only thoughts were those of a prisoner” (77). This highlights how he was able to adjust to a new life, adapting the thoughts and actions that he felt helped him in his new environment. Furthermore, he states, “All the time, I often thought that if I had had to live in the trunk of a dead tree with nothing to do but look up at the sky flowering overhead, little by little I would have gotten used to it” (77). I think this is important because he is showing that no matter where he is put, he feels that he is able to adjust and become familiar and “used to” his new place.

I think this is a very important point to make, especially in regards to the year 2020 and what has been going on in our world. No one thought that the entire world would be going through a pandemic and all of the chaos that has emerged from it, but we have gotten used to it. We went from being confused and scared, to every person wearing a mask being normal, and another semester of school from home. While no one was expecting this to happen, and no one is necessarily ecstatic about it, we as humans have all gotten used to it. It is a human adaptation, being able to grow and learn in a new environment, and it is one that I think is very crucial in present times. Both Meursault and people all over the world have been able to “get used” to a big change and make the best out of it.

One thought on “The Art Of “Getting Used To It”

  1. Emma L

    I think this is a really interesting thought about Meursalt’s attitude towards new situations. Since he doesn’t get in touch with his emotions, it’s just easier for him to get “used to” the new situation instead of struggling with it and reflecting on his emotions. I also like how you connected this to 2020 and how we have gotten used to this new sense of normal. Of course we’re not happy about it, but we have learned to adapt and make the best of a situation, or at least get used to it.


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