"The Stranger" by Albert Camus - Meursault's emotions

Essay by AyashiHimuraHigh School, 12th gradeA+, March 2004

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In "The Stranger", Albert Camus captures the story of a man who truly understands the basic core of human nature. Meursault, who seems cold and detached from the world, is actually very aware of his own emotions and surroundings. He understands to things to the core of where those emotion and feeling comes from. That is why he is unable to respond and act according to those feelings because he understands the futility of showing those feelings. Meursault is an emotional individual who is not lost, rather an individual who fully understands his surroundings to the point t

hat he sees no reason in expressing his emotions.

When Meursault received the news of his mother's death, all he could respond was: "Maman died today. Or yesterday maybe, I don't know" (Camus, 3). He spoke of his mother using that of a child's calling "Maman", showing that he understands and feels something for his mother's death; however, Meursault didn't show his emotions.

At first it seems to be an act of insensitivity in his part, complaining about the heat, and going swimming the next day, but on the very end of that weekend he explained: "Sunday was over, that Maman was buried now... I was going back to work, and that, really, nothing had changed" (Camus, 24). That statement is showing how Meursault really does understand what is going on around him, and that he is not lost, but he does not see the point to dwell on the past or the point of showing his sorrow because the world continue to move, people continue with their lives, and just like he says, nothing has changed.

The murder of the Arab is the first obvious sign of Meursalt's emotions. Although most would argue that he was not aware of what...