Emotional Disconnect

In the novel, The Stranger by Albert Campus, the narrator, Meursault, is continuously depicted as non-feeling and lacking emotion. On multiple occasions where one would normally be upset, Meursault displays absolutely no reaction to the situation. We first see this in the reaction to his mothers death, “It occurred to me that anyway one more Sunday was over, that Maman was buried now, that I was going back to work, and that , really, nothing had changed” (24). He seems to have no opinoin on anything throughout the story and he has this attitude that nothing matters. His lack of emtion becomes more concerning as it begins to upset other people.

Marie, the girl he has been involved with throughout the story, asks him if he would like to marry her and his response is “It didn’t make any difference to me and that we could if she wanted to” (41), he also says that he “probably didn’t love her” (41). Marie is obviously upset by this and very confused. Meursault seems extremely disconnected from the world around him, almost as if he view it as a separate thing altogether that has no effect on him. His lack of emotional response to anything throughout the story makes me wonder what could have possibly caused him to become this far disconnected emotional from his relationships.

He eludes to his time of realization that nothing matters by saying “When I had to give up my studies I learned very quickly that none of it really mattered” (41). This makes me wonder what crushed his previously present ambition? What caused him to mentally separate himself from society? He also speaks of having no dissatisfaction with life, but also having no happiness in it. He almost seems as if he has become so separated from society and connection that he is just watching as his body moves through life, not actively encouraging or opposing events.

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