Trust the Honest Good Man
Due Friday, Oct. 11th
Most people change themselves to fit into society. They tend to do what is socially acceptable instead of what they really believe in. Even students in high schools wear masks to make them popular. However, in the book The Outsider by Albert Camus, the narrator Meursault behaves differently than all the people around him; he does not follow common beliefs; and he does not care about what others think. This makes him authentic, which fortuitously allows the readers to count on his description. But what he describes is depends on what he sees; and he is indeed bad at reading others' emotions. This makes it hard for the reader to interpret information because Camus wrote the book from Meursault's point of view. Although the readers can only rely on others' physical reactions and Meursault's inference, the readers can trust Meursault because of his pure honesty.
It is the fact that Meursault's motivations cannot be trusted because he is unable to read others' emotions; however by interpreting others' behaviour the readers are able to analyse other people's minds. He can sometimes realize something has "gone wrong" by others' unusual behaviour but he can never interpret the behaviour from others' emotions. Instead, he is more thinking about himself and the physical comfort around him. After he refused to see his mother's body for instance, he only finds "it made [him] rather embarrassed" (12) instead of realizing that something might be wrong. Since readers can only see the world through Meursault's eyes, his inability to interpret situations makes some of the information the readers get unreliable. Although Meursault's interpretations cannot be trusted, the readers are able to interpret other character's thinking themselves by analysing their...