Expression Of Awareness

Meursault is characterized as an insensible and emotionless character. As we have seen in many examples throughout the book, this characterization is supported by his actions and thoughts. However, in the second part of the novel, Camus begins to reveal a bit more into Meursault’s internal conflict and reasoning. His awareness of topics can be very easily misinterpreted and I believe that he is misunderstood in many situations. From the first part of the novel, Meursault doesn’t seem to have weighted opinions on matters, but in part two when he is experiencing life in prison, he seems to be more aware of his surroundings and to details. This may be a factor that is simply revealing in his character, or that developed from his shift to life in prison, but in many instances he finds himself “noticing” things he previously wouldn’t have seen.

I think that Meursault’s way of interpreting events such as his mothers death is simply different than the stereotypical reactions one would have, and this seems so out of the ordinary to the judges and courtroom. The judge characterizes Meursault as “calm” because he didn’t cry at his mothers funeral. I understand how this may seem insensitive from the outside but everyone processes events differently and the fact that it was such a big factor in his case seemed unfair to me.

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2 thoughts on “Expression Of Awareness

  1. Caitlin C.

    I had always thought that Meursault deliberately ignored social rules and the question of what is or isn’t moral because he just didn’t care. It wasn’t a well-meaning ignorance that he was trying to correct, he just never thought those things mattered to any significant degree. I think this is why the only time we see him upset was when the chaplain condescended to him. That whole outburst was started because the chaplain told him that he was misguided. He wasn’t, he knew what he was doing wasn’t normal, he just didn’t care, and in the resulting monologue we find out he thinks he’s right to not care.


  2. Katarina O.

    I agree that it was unfair how Meursaults fate was decided based on his reaction to the death of his mother. People express their emotions differently and we should not judge others because they react differently to situations than us. We do not know the relationship that Meursault had with his mother because there were no interactions of them together. His reaction to her death may be heartless to others but Meursault grieved in his own way. Everyone has different responses and we should not think that other responses are wrong or cruel.


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