The Stranger Diction

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During my first read through The Stranger, I paid little attention to how the novel was written, focusing more on content and plotline. I mainly noticed that the sentence structure employed was very limited, the majority of the sentences were short, and the figurative language was restricted. The interactive oral on translational effects introduced me to the importance of the syntax and diction used and its significance with respect to Meursault’s character. In the discussion, we examined the first line of the novel of Ward’s version, which is “Maman died today” (Camus 3). The diction is significant because the phrasing allows for a smooth reading which is consistent with Meursault’s simple personality and oblivious nature. This discussion inspired me to look into other versions of this novel with different translators, specifically Stuart Gilbert’s edition. After reading a couple lines I immediately noticed that Gilbert’s version…show more content…
Ward states that he “left his room, closing the door behind [him], and paused for a minute in the dark” (33) while Gilbert states that “after closing the door behind [him he] lingered for some moments on the landing“ (23). Gilbert’s use of the word “lingered” has a connotation that Meursault was reluctant to leave or that he was in contemplation while Ward’s use of “paused” signifies that Meursault temporarily stopped without the connotation that he had an intention for stopping. Ward’s version is also blunter while Gilbert’s version contains more literary devices. The significance of each version is that Ward’s Meursault is much more simple-minded while Gilbert’s translation strays farther from Meursault’s true character and is more figurative. The translational intentions of the novel are significant to consider because each version characterizes Meursault with variation in subtle ways, but can portray substantial
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