"The Outsider", by Albert Camus; "Meursault doesn't want to make life simpler. He says what he is, he refuses to hide his feelings and society immediately feels threatened." (Albert Camus) Discuss.

Essay by scheckaHigh School, 12th grade March 2006

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Yes, I think it is true, that Meursault doesn't want to make life simpler. He doesn't make life simpler in that he is not lying and not saying more than he feels. We all do it, every day, to make life simpler. This is the problem, that Meursault doesn't play the game and is therefore condemned.

On his mother's funeral he doesn't want to see her and Meursault stopped the caretaker of opening her coffin.

"The caretaker said, "Don't you want to?" I answered, "No." He didn't say anything and I was embarrassed because I felt I shouldn't have said that."

Later on Meursault also offers the caretaker a cigarette and they smoke together at his mother's funeral.

This shows that Meursault has no moral sense and doesn't know how to behave and what to do in a society. He is an "outsider" because he acts in accordance with his sentiments.

This means he just felt like having a cigarette, so he had one. In a society it is expected that other considerations should govern one's behaviour.

Just after Marie has asked Meursault if he would marry her they go for a walk outside. Meursault says: "There were beautiful women everywhere and I asked Marie if she'd noticed." It must be admitted that Meursault would seem a "stranger" in almost any society. What a complete fool must you be and point out to your girlfriend that has just asked you to marry her, that there are beautiful women everywhere on the street. Meursault would excite antagonism and aggression in us all.

Throughout the whole novel Meursault doesn't say what people expect him to say.

The problem is that we all assume feelings, points of views, reactions, which are more or less manufactured, and take it for granted that we must...