The fear of Change

In the novel, “Exit West”, Saeed and Nadia started out as very much in love, but as time went on, and they spent more and more time together they slowly fell out of passion and love for one another and were “slipping away” from each other (213). Saeed even started to become interested in the preacher’s daughter but refrained from starting a relationship with her because he feared hurting Nadia. Nadia would similarly fantasize about different people and not Saeed. While most people would assume that this is an unhealthy relationship and the couple should split, this is easier said than done. 

Saeed and Nadia still cared about each other and were fearful to lose one another which is why they remained living together and pursuing their (unhappy) relationship. The two of them never discussed their feelings of “drifting apart” and “ending the world they had built together”. Because of the shared feelings of care towards each other, Saeed and Nadia remained good friends, and didn’t want to let their relationship end. So, fear of change and abandonmet is what ultimately led Saeed and Nadia to stay together for as long as they did.

How societal detachment can lead to violence and harm

At the beginning of The Stranger, Mersault had no friends, family, and had a job he hated. Though it seemed like Mersault didn’t mind being isolated and enjoyed spending time alone, this disconnection from the world really harmed him in ther long run.

In the first chapter, we learn that Merault’s mother died, yet he feels no emotions towards her death, and the realtionship between Mersault and his mother was strained before her passing. Mersault is so impartial to this death, that as soon as he gets back home from his mothers’ funeral, he meets up with a girl Marie, and Marie instantly feels connected to him.

Though Mersault and Marie end up spending a lot of time together, when Marie proposes to Mersault, he remains very casual and disinterested. Receiving a marriage proposal is obviously something that most people would get very excited about, so Mersaults reaction, or lack thereof, proves that he is detatched.

All of this emotional disconnection from the world ends up being a bigger deal when Mersault kills a man and feels no remorse. The prosecutor ended up bringing Mersaults disinterest towards his mothers death and other examples of his emotional detatchment to convict Mersault guilty enough to receive the death penalty. When Mersault finds out that he will be sentenced to death, he still has no reaction, which proves his extreme detachment from society and the dangers that come with being disconnected.

The Tragic Life of Mersault

The first sentence of the entire book, Mersaults mother died, but he is too depressed to pay any attention or to care about this loss. He never had a close relationship to his mother, and didn’t even know how old she was when she died. Mersualt clearly feels guilt about his mothers death because throughout part one of the story, he feels the need to defend himself by saying “it’s not my fault” when referring to his mothers death.

One morning, when Mersault decides to go for a swim, he runs into a woman named Marie Cardona, whom he had known in the past. The two of them end up going to a movie, and Marie spends the night. The next morning, Mersault finds that Marie had left. He ends up staying in bed and smoking cigarettes until noon.

Mersault is very unsatified and unhappy with his job and claims that waking up to go to work is “the most difficult time of day” for him. The notion that getting ready to do a simple daily task is that challenging for Mersault shows that he is in a state of depression.

Later on in the story Marie asks him, “do you love me?”, which Mersault responds with “I don’t think so” and when Marie asks him to marry her, Mersault claims that he would do it if “she really wanted to get married”. He is unable to express love to Marie who clearly loves him, just as he wasn’t able to express love or compassion towards his mother. 

Throughout this part of the storyreaders will find that Mersault is incapable of feeling positive emotions which ultimately makes him depressed.