Throughout the progression of part one of The Stranger, it becomes clear that the protagonist Meursault does not experience human in emotions in the same way they are typically presented.
This trend become particular clear when Meursault is repeatedly asked by his partner Marie whether or not he loves her. This question it met by a response of, “it [love] didn’t mean anything but that I probably didn’t love her.” This conversation that surfaces twice in the first part of the story illustrates Meursault’s indifference towards human emotion. While he doesn’t explicitly expression a distain from love, he clearly demonstrates that, for him, love is insignificant.
What I find most interesting about the book so far is how the relationships Meursault observes reflects his own view on intimacy. This dynamic is most prevalent in Salamano relationship with his dog. When the two are first introduced in the story, it is clear that they share a tumultuous relationship which most outsiders view as abusive. When Celeste voice that he finds the relationship, “pitiful,” Meursault internally disagrees and voices passive indifference. Later in the story, when Salamano is emotion distress after losing his dog, he reaches out to Meursault asking whether he believes his dog will be returned to him. Rather then comfort the old man, Meursault’s response is clear and calculate, expressing that ponds only, “kept the dogs for three days, then after that they did with them what they saw fit.” Both of the instances illustrate that Meursault view on emotional relationships is detached from any sort of empathy. He therefor places very little regard on his own relationships, resigning himself to little emotional intimacy.