Misogyny in The Stranger and Trust (1990)

Both pieces of media, The Stranger and Trust (1990), center around men, these being Mersault and Matthew. These men both have love interests, the love interests being Marie and Maria, with Maria being more of the main character. My main issue is with Marie from the novel The Stranger. In the book, Marie is never a fleshed-out character, despite being an important character for the events within the novel. 

Marie is seen as merely an extension of Mersault, not as a unique individual. Furthermore, most descriptions of Marie are when he is having sex with her or thinking about having sex with her, illustrating that Mersault likely just sees her as a sex object. 

Trust is different in that regard, with Maria being a more fleshed-out character. However, Maria is also an extension of the male main character, albeit in a more subtle way. Maria’s development centers around Matthew, constantly trying to prove to him how smart and mature. Even conflicts with her mother heavily center around men in the story, that being her dad, her (ex) boyfriend, and Matthew. Matthew, on the other hand, has his character development rely not only on Maria but also on the events of his job and conflicts with his father.

In the end, Trust  is not a movie that criticizes the misogynistic troupes, leading to said troupes not being challenged and an overall misogynistic mi

5 thoughts on “Misogyny in The Stranger and Trust (1990)


    I agree with your analysis and also found it annoying that Maria’s “liberation” from societal norms was prompted by how smart Michael was and all of the things he was teaching her, it made it seem like she wouldn’t be able to function without him.


  2. Olivia L

    I definitely agree with your point here. I think both forms of media do present a form of misogyny, perhaps The Stranger more so than Trust.


  3. Rohan W

    I agree with you but I think it’s hard to really judge the characterization of Marie as it’s being told through Meursault who doesn’t care about anything. He doesn’t show any strong emotion towards her and treats her as a sex object but he doesn’t show strong emotion at all. Marie doesn’t seem bothered by their relationship and doesn’t demand more of him as far as we can tell. But again, everything is through the words of Meursault so they’re hard to really judge.


  4. Elijah M

    Super in depth and thoughtful analysis of both projects. We had plenty of discussion of the way gender is explored in both works in class and I’m super glad you brought that to the forefront of discussion here on the blog. It’s really fascinating, and I love the distinction of Maria’s character development in Trust being synonymous to that of Matthew.


  5. LINA E.

    I agree with your great analysis, especially on how Marie isn’t as fleshed out as she should be given the amount of scenes she could’ve been introduced better.


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