Comparison of Matthew and Meursault

At first glance, these characters may seem very similar. They both exhibit feelings of indifference about love, family, and life itself but they are ultimately very different. Meursault and Matthew are both ready to marry a woman they aren’t in love with, neither displays any attachment to their families and by the end of the book, they are both fully prepared to die. The cause for this indifference is what sets these characters apart.

Meursault is indifferent because he doesn’t assign any greater meaning to life. Unlike most people, he doesn’t see a need to fall in love or sustain familial ties and this comes off as a lack of emotion. He is ready to die when he is sentenced because he doesn’t find importance in living.

Matthew’s indifference is the result of his father’s abuse. He is prepared to marry Maria and run away with her and escape. He is looking to get out of his abusive household and create his ideal family. His unattachment to family stems from his experience with abuse and he is ready to die at the end because he is looking for a way out and uses the grenade as a last resort.

Indifference is present in both of these characters but it is caused by different things.

2 thoughts on “Comparison of Matthew and Meursault

  1. I agree with what you said. While watching the film, I understood that Matthew and Meursault were supposed to be similar but the reasons you listed really stood out to me while and after watching the film. Additionally, adding that Matthew tried to kill himself while Meursault is executed was very interesting, despite that they were both ready to die. Nice job!!

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