The Stranger

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 12th grade August 2001

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This book demonstrates how society judges individuals for doing something that is not the usual way to do things. Meursault displays many of these abnormal personality traits. He is not an emotional person and has a laid back attitude. Unfortunately people pass judgement on him because he does things and see things differently than most people do. He does not show emotion at his mother's funeral, does not tell his girlfriend he loves her, and does not tell his neighbor that he should not beat his dog. To most of us it may seem pretty common to cry at a funeral or to tell a significant other that we love them or to say "Does that dog really deserve to be yelled at like that", but Meursault has a different way of thinking. This scares people. Society thinks that everything should be the same. Meursault challenges the everyday normal issues of society by being a strong believer of his own actions.

He is not a religious person, which is almost uncommon and is presented that way in the book. This book has many conflicts ranging from love to religion to freedom. The only part of Meursault's life that may be considered common is that he is an individual who works in an office and relaxes with is off time.

People have different ways of expressing how they feel about someone; Meursault showed this with several relationships in his life. The first example exists when Maman dies. People in the town of Algiers already have a chip on their shoulder towards Meursault because he sent his mother away to an elderly home. The townspeople think that Meursault is a heartless person because he did not provide for his mother at his residence in her elder years. It is sad that society...