Is It Intentional Carelessness?

In chapters 1-3 we learn a lot about who Meursault really is as a person. These chapters are filled with little details that show a lot of who he is. The main part that I think is very interesting is the fact that he is WAY to good at minding his own business and not caring about something unless it effects him. There are so many examples of this but specifically in the part where he witnesses this man every day physically abuse his dog and he literally does nothing because it does not have anything to do with him. Meursault tells the reader that the dog owner “was saying, ‘Filthy, stinking bastard!’ I said ‘good evening’, and the dog was whimpering.” It is pretty abnormal to say good evening to someone who is abusing a dog but he is able to stay out of it and do nothing.

4 thoughts on “Is It Intentional Carelessness?

  1. Abby H

    The part of the novel when Meursault was listening to the whimpering and describing the relationship between Salamano and his dog was difficult to read at some point. I could not understand how Meursault could rationalize and totally disregard what he was witnessing as though it was normal. Even if I would be too afraid to speak up or do something to help the dog, I would express some sort of discomfort with the situation.

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  2. TEAGAN OSGA

    I completely agree. I think another good example of this is his befriending of Raymond. Knowing his reputation, Meursault still made no effort to avoid him simply because he did not care enough. He even says at one point that he tries his best to please Raymond because he “didn’t have any reason not to please him” (32). This isn’t necessarily valid in my opinion, similar to the dog abuser situation, too.

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  3. Clark T.

    I think that Meursalt is a very confusing character and that it is hard to get a real sense of his true emotions sometimes. It’s hard to tell what he is feeling throughout and I think you made a good point of that here. Do you think that Meursalt will change at all and that he will be more open at the end of the book?

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