In Albert Camus' book The Stranger, Meursault kills a character known as "the Arab" for no real reason at all. His lawyer later tells him that this could be used against him during the murder trial and suggest that he might say that his insensitivity at the funeral was not real but the result of an attempt to control his emotions. At two o’clock on a sunny afternoon, Meursault kills an unnamed Arab. In most instances, it is based on a scant few seconds without taking an opportunity to get to know the person. The Stranger is not existentialist, but nihilist. Tous les être sains avaient plus ou moins souhaité la mort de ceux qu'ils aimaient.") Later on, during the trial, the killing of the Arab becomes an issue of secondary importance compared to Meursault's insensitiveness. It is with his gun that Meursault kills the brother. The Stranger is Albert Camus’s first novel, published in 1942. In Albert Camus' book The Stranger, Meursault kills a character known as "the Arab" for no real reason at all. I n The Outsider, Albert Camus’s tale of alienation, ennui and ruthless honesty, the anti-hero Meursault murders an Arab on the beach at Algiers simply because the sun gets in his eyes. Should this trial define who Meursaultreally is? I told her it didn't mean anything but that I didn't think so. I realized at that point that you could either shoot or not shoot. This moment marks the beginning of Meursault’s undoing as he later uses that gun to murder one of the Arabs. Stack Exchange network consists of 176 Q&A communities including Stack Overflow, the largest, most trusted online community for developers to learn, share their knowledge, and build their careers. I left his room, closing the door behind me, and paused for a minute in the dark, on the landing. Meursault has killed the Arab. It conveys the theme of existentialism, as well as the title of the book overall - Mersualt is an outsider in the way that he defies the laws of society. (See for example, Bernard Pingaud: L'Étranger d'Albert Camus. What are the earliest inventions to store and release energy (e.g. His protagonist, Meursault, becomes a nihilist. Rather than decide whether he is guilty of murder, the prosecutor seeks to prove how Meursault is an unloving and uncaring individual, that he has 'no soul.' You can shoot or not shoot. It’s the most perfect Booker stage three ever. But strangely enough, no real explanation is given for why Meursault killed "the Arab". This is why society needs an excuse to put Meursault on trial, and by letting Meursault unintentionally kill an Arab, the novelist provides exactly that excuse. As for why Meursault kills the Arab, again Camus gives us very few clues. The murder came as a shock - here we are looking at the life of an absurd man. @Hamlet I'll do that. All the norms and laws were dictated by the French government in colonial Algeria. After his mother's death, he does not seem to be mourning: he is not interested in having his mother's coffin opened so he can take a last look at her, he smokes during the wake, even falls asleep, and he doesn't weep during the funeral. How does The Meursault Investigation reference The Fall? As soon as he saw me, he sat up lightly and put his hand in his pocket. Because Meursault does not grieve, society sees him as an outsider, a threat, even a monster. He also defied many societal standards related to his mother's funeral. In the case of Albert Camus's main protagonist from the French novel The Stranger, Meursault, is literally put on trial. As he kills the Arab Meursault says that it felt like “knocking four quick times on the door of unhappiness”. a type of perspective that, in French literature before The Stranger, had been used to allow introspection. He does not think much about events or their consequences, nor does he express much feeling in relationships or during emotional times. In Europe, can I refuse to use Gsuite / Office365 at work? Where did all the old discussions on Google Groups actually come from? All in all, killing "the Arab" seems like a bad idea. However, readers learn that while he notices sensual details, he fails to notice human emotions. Quoted in Bernard Pingaud: L'Étranger d'Albert Camus. In the novel The Stranger by Albert Camus, Meursault realizes that death is a subject that cannot be erased. The director kindly explains that he understands Meursault’s decision to put his mother into the institution. From a Freudian point of view, a person in mourning can feel their loss in an external way. Sights, smells, and motion combine to cause a change in consciousness that he can neither identify nor understand. As mentioned before, Meursault does not show any signs of grief or mourning after his mother's death. Meursault kills the Arab in cold blood, gets tossed into jail, and awaits his trial for a year or so. Making statements based on opinion; back them up with references or personal experience. As mentioned above, Meursault tells his story with a kind of outsider's objectivity. If you edit this answer enough, maybe you'll get the bounty :-). Why? His final peace is the "benign indifference" of the universe. No matter how you look at it, there is not a reasonable explanation for Meursault's actions. Camus himself remarked in his notebooks (in a draft for a letter in response to a review of The Stranger), "Realism is a meaningless word (Madame Bovary and Demons are realist novels and they have nothing in common." Character is difficult to judge. Meursault fires the gun once. This is nature's hand, i.e. Freudian interpretations take this further to explain other aspects of the novel. However, Meursault makes it clear that such criticism doesn’t bother him at all. They decide to return to the bungalow but along the way, Meursault becomes befuddled, overcome by the sun’s red glare, and decides to take a walk on the beach alone. In displaying his indifference, Meursault implicitly challenges society’s accepted moral standards, which dictate that one should grieve over death. Well, that is what the book is about. Moreover, if I recall rightly Camus insisted that he was not an existentialist - at least in Sartre's mould. During this talk, Salamano mentions that Meursault’s mother had been fond of the dog, which leads to a brief conversation about the narrator’s mother. It is society itself that excludes to protect its coherence. Gallimard, 1992; page 114-123.) Yet the Arab's connection to Raymond is, to Meursault's mind, entirely incidental and he shoots the Arab without even thinking of … He lets go of any expectations for life and accepts the universe’s indifference. Then [my boss] asked me if I wasn't interested in a change of life. It comes through the naturalism. Readers imagine that the employer might be hurt by Meursault’s completely ambivalent response to such an offer as he accuses Meursault of lacking ambition, a grave defect for a businessman. I would rather not have upset him, but I couldn't se… When he does shoot "the Arab", he notes that "each successive shot was another loud, fateful rap on the door of my undoing.". Meursault recounts a conversation with Salamano, who visits him to tell him that he has lost his dog. Several early critics have commented on this, for example Jean-Paul Sartre, Maurice Blanchot and Claude-Edmonde Magny. It is only when Salamano recounts the criticism the neighbors felt when Meursault sent his mother to an institution that he defends himself. The entire story is told from a first-person perspective, i.e. Why is the tense wrong in the beginning of The Stranger? What is the significance of the names Mersault and Meursault? Camus was not a nihilist. Half-blinded by the sun, Meursault steps forward, foolishly trying to escape the heat. The prosecutor uses his moral viewpoint to judge Meursault's amoral behavior as monstrous, using this judgment—not Meursault's murder of the Arab—to justify his request for the death penalty. At the beginning of the novel, the indifference Meursault feels is located exclusively within himself, in his own heart and mind. ("Le réalisme est un mot vide de sens (Mme Bovary et Les Possédés sont des romans réalistes et ils n'ont rien en commun." He literally gets imprisoned. Show activity on this post. My whole being went tense and I tightened my grip on the gun. What sort of work environment would require both an electronic engineer and an anthropologist? Submit your literature reviews to our Tumblr! 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