We Are All Migrants

In Exit West, Nadia and Saeed are two very different people. Saeed is very religious and is more conservative, while Nadia is more modern and is not religious. As we move throughout the story we can see the differences between the two as Nadia rides a motorcycle, does not pray like Saeed, and wants to have sex with him before they are married. The two get along well together despite their differences but over time it seems they grow apart.

After leaving their country, both describe feeling tension and feel a coldness towards each other. At the same time, Nadia seems to be finding a part of herself she had been keeping down. To me, Nadia was obviously less traditional than Saeed and many other people, but she put on an act for the society she used to live in. After leaving her home, Nadia started to let more of herself show to others. The narrator describes how she thought of the girl she met in more than just a platonic way and was thinking of her romantically. Nadia and Saeed ended up going their separate ways. Saeed was comfortable with his own traditional beliefs but Nadia seemed to be discovering new things about herself in her new home and seemed to embrace herself more.

I think a huge part of this book is how traumatic events and change, in general, can change us, and even though it can be hard and painful, sometimes it is necessary to discover our true selves. Nadia needed to move on from her home country and even from Saeed in order to truly embrace herself. People and places are not always going to last forever, and sometimes they are just there for our journey, to guide us to the right path to finding happiness and love for ourselves and others. No matter if we are moving from one place, person, or time in our lives to another, we are all migrants searching for a home and searching for ourselves.

Meuraults Take on Death

During Meursault’s trial, the death of his mom is brought up many times, and his reaction to his mother’s death is used against him. Witnesses are called to question how Meursault acted at his mother’s funeral and was described by many as being cold and disinterested.

People noticed that he did not cry at the funeral and did not want to see his mother’s body. It is also held against him that he went on a date and saw a funny movie with a woman the day after the wedding. Meursault expresses confusion as to why this is being used against him. He does not understand how this has any connection to his case. He also illustrated when his mother passed away that he was not too distressed as nothing had changed. Based on his reaction to his mother’s death and how it was being used against him at trial, it does seem to me that Meursault is not afraid of death or feels sad about anyone that dies.

Meursault seems to only care about a person’s death of it significantly changed his life and how he goes about things. For example, when Meursault shot the Arab man, he was not guilty or sad that he had done so. Meursault realized he had made a mistake as he was now going to go to prison but did not have remorse for the man.

By the way that Meursault reacted to his mother and the Arab man’s death, I believe Meursault does not care about the death of others, and only about the impact and undesirable effect it could have on him. 

Does He Care?

In “the Stranger” by Albert Camus, we are met by an extremely complex character. The story starts off with the character, Meursault, experiencing the death and funeral of his mother. As the story moves along, we start to see more depth in his character and are witnesses to how he goes about life. One thing is evidently clear as we continue to read. Meursault simply does not care.

Even in simple interactions with other characters in the story, Meursault has a facade of a laid back persona that is almost alarming. His response to events, that most people would have more reaction or opinion towards, is met by a cold response of disinterest. When asked if he wanted to marry Marie, his girlfriend, Meursault simply responded by saying, “It didn’t make any difference to me and that we could if she wanted to” (41). This brief response was one of the many time Meursault has illustrated his true disregard for other and his own emotions. It seems as though Mersault cannot make a decision for himself when concerning important matters such as marriage, love, sticking up for an abusive man, and even helping hurt the abusive mans girlfriend by writing a hurtful letter. Time and time again, Meursualt continues to show sociopathic tendencies that are hard to miss. Although at the end of the story we can see some emotion in Meurault and regret from shooting a man, it is clear that it takes a lot for him to show this and react to it.