Analysis of the funeral scene in Albert Camus's novel 'The Stranger'

Essay by jellenkoA, May 2004

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The scene deals with the funeral of Meursault's mother. More than on the funeral the extracts puts emphasis on nature and weather.

Meursault is again very perceptive, even a bit too much for someone who just lost his mother. He notices Peréz, his mother's fiancée and he describes every little detail about him, including his outfit and appearance ("He was wearing a soft felt hat with a round crown.....thinnish white hair revealed curiously droopy ragged ears..."). He also observes the way Peréz walks, where he goes and how he acts. This points to the fact that he is not bothered with his mothers death that much. One might even conclude that he did not even care about her because he does not know how old she was. This is also supported by the fact that he refuses to see his mother for the last time, the fact that he felt joy when he entered the bus back home as well as with the fact that he slept for twelve, carefree hours.

All of these are not logical reactions of a person who just lost someone he cares about.

Meursault was very observant of his surrounding, both weather and nature. Throughout the scene he constantly mentions the weather and its influence on him. Meursault uses smell, sound and sight to portray it better. At first everything points to the fact that it is going to be a beautiful day. He sees the red streaks in the sky and he senses the salty breeze as well as the fresh smell of the earth. As the sun rises he feels that it is warming up his feet. When the sun is high in the sky, Meursault feels like it is weighing down heavily on the earth. As it gets hotter he starts...