The Stranger As We Know It

Throughout the novel “The Stranger” we know that Meursault is a stranger in his society. The way Camus wrote “The Stranger” mainly to challenge society’s moral standards, comes down to relationships, emotions, and actions. Being a stranger means being a stranger to the world. In the society of Algeria, men and women have these stereotypes that they are not supposed to break out of, where they are supposed to live life based on these norms. But the stranger is indifferent to what would be expected. They do the unexpected, they lead different lives from reality. And that’s what makes them strangers.

We know that Meursault is overall a very relaxed and honest person. But when a fun day with some friends leads to five gunshots, and four knocks to the door of unhappiness. Something must be wrong. In chapter 6 it says,

“The sun started to burn my cheeks and I could feel drops of sweat gathering in my eyebrows…It was this burning which I couldn’t stand anymore, that made me step forward…I took a step, one step forward” (59).

From this passage we can sense some tenseness from Meursault, regarding the sun. At this point I’m thinking that Meursault is strange for blaming the sun for his silent breakdown. And when the Arab drew a knife on Meursault. Meursault, already on edge, shot him down. It’s more worrisome. It’s not the personality traits that make a person commit a crime, but the nurture (environment) that’s around them.

When thinking about the law and how it plays a part in Meursault life. We know that he wasn’t very fond of the police, which is what made Raymond like him. Because when it comes down to someone’s life, they’re either right or wrong, guilty or innocent. Which is a norm that everyone is a part of. And what Meursault had done, was the biggest mistake he could have made. Because now he is exposed to the government, and they don’t understand him. And they never would. Now facing the troubles that await him, realizing the always reality of being indifferent from the world.

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