The Stranger Research Paper

1351 Words6 Pages
The meaninglessness of life is a major theme in The Stranger. Meursault seems to have no reasons for his actions such as marrying Marie even though he’s never thought about it before she mentioned it, writing the letter for Raymond, and killing Raymond’s mistress’ brother. Everyone around him tries to rationalize Meursault 's actions. At the court they try to figure out Meursault 's reasoning for killing the Arab man. The prosecutor and Meursault 's lawyer come up with explanations based on logic and reason, yet Meursault doesn’t really seem to care about what he has done and doesn’t want to think about it either. A motif in the novel is death. Meursault doesn’t show any emotion towards his mother dying, but everyone around him believes…show more content…
The novel is set in Algeria. In 1942, Algeria was still under French rule and World War II was going on in Europe. Meursault is a Frenchman living in Algeria. He is a European raised in Algeria, but is part of neither the French culture or the African culture. Part of the reason he feels like an outcast is because is unable to identify as French or African. The main events of the story take place in the city, by the water, and in jail. The novel is narrated from the first-person point of view. Meursault is both the narrator and the protagonist which makes him an unreliable narrator. He doesn’t go into depth when explaining his thoughts. He narrates in a straightforward way, making only statements. His sentences are very short, simple and to the point, especially in the beginning. He doesn’t make an effort to understand the attitudes, thoughts, and feelings of the other…show more content…
(A) What gives Meursault a sense of peace at the end of the novel? / At the end of the novel, Meursault accepts the idea of death and the fact that human life has to end eventually. This makes him come to term with his execution. (B) People think of Meursault as as a “social monster.” Do you agree with this statement? / I don’t think of Meursault is a social monster the same way the people in the book do. He’s a monster for killing someone and not feeling bad for it. He’s not a monster for not believing in God and caring more about the physical world instead of emotions. (C) Explain the absurd elements of Meursault 's trial. / It seems as if he is being judged for not feeling sad over his mother’s death instead of being judged for killing the Arab man. They are judging his character rather than his case. The judge should focus on his crime rather than how he acts. It was unfair for the judge to order his execution for not having the same feelings about the world as everyone else
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