Why Do People Love People Who Don’t Love Them Back?

A common theme that stood out to me in the first part of this novel was how much Marie loves Meursault, and how indifferent Meursault is towards Marie. “When she laughed I wanted her again. A minute later she asked me if I loved her. I told her it didn’t mean anything but that I didn’t think so. She looked sad. But as we were fixing lunch, and for no apparent reason, she laughed in such a way that I kissed her”(35). Obviously, we can see that there is no apparent termination to the relationship upon the realization that Marie and Meursault are not on the same page emotionally. Meursault, while not in love , is still very physically attracted to Marie, only truely caring about her in a sexual, physically affectionate nature. He is positively indifferent in any conversation with her regaurding the future as well as feelings. “That evening Marie came by to see me and asked me if I wanted to marry her. I said that it didn’t make any dfference to me and that we could if she wanted to. Themn she wanted to know if I loved her. I answered the same way I has the last time, that it didn’t really mean anything but that I probably didn’t love her”(41). The relationship dynamic is so interesting in the way that Meursault is willing to do almost anything to make Marie happy and keep her in the relationship even if it is not really something he wants to do. I almost wonder if he’s doing this as a way to avoid confict or if he simply does not actually care. I also find it peculiar that Marie continues her relationship with Meursault because she does care how he feels about her. She loves him and wants him to love her even though he has stated on several occasions he does not feel the same way.

2 thoughts on “Why Do People Love People Who Don’t Love Them Back?

  1. Mac P.

    I wonder what Marie is still seeing in Meursault after him stating multiple times that he doesn’t love him. Even though she has love for him if he doesn’t have love for her I wonder what she thinks she’s getting out of this relationship.


  2. Calvin R

    Interesting, it’s hard not to notice his odd reaction. While reading, I thought that Marie would bring out emotion in him that we hadn’t seen, but that obviously didn’t happen. I liked how you wondered if he his actions were just to avoid conflict. There may be some truth to that on a subconscious level, but I believe that he’s just being honest.


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