Stranger And Death Theme

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Stranger And Death Theme

The Stranger Camus shows that Meursault can find his true identity only through
an encounter with death. Meursault goes through some deaths in his life that
lead to his own. This awkward, but most entertaining, character discovers
himself through the tragedy that occurs in his life. His life is a full one and
he faces each situation the same way. The encounters of death starts here, the
death of Meursault's mother. "I wanted to see Maman right away"(Camus
4), this extraordinary quote by Meursault is a side of him that we do not get to
see that often. That is one of the few times we get to see his loving side come
out and show his affection to his mom. He accomplishes the capability of getting
is inner feelings out. Camus expresses the true thoughts of Meursault by saying,
"That's partly why I didn't go there much this past year. And also because
it took up my Sunday - to mention the trouble of getting to the bus, buying
tickets, and spending 2 hours traveling"(5). Meursault tells us that he
really didn't want to go through all that trouble just to see his own mom. He
has feelings for his mom, as you heard in the last quote, but not enough to go
see her. As Bree said," . . . Meursault's error lies precisely in his
estrangement"(112). Bree is saying that Meursault is a great guy and all,
but his main, and big, problem is his personality. The most important part of
finding his own identity was the murder of the Arab. Meursault gets out of hand
and shoots an Arab dead. "My whole being tensed and I squeezed my hand
around the revolver"(59 Camus). Meursault had the revolver in his hand and
he claims that because he was so tensed about everything that was going on, that
made him shoot the gun. He has some mental problems as you can see, Meursault is
normal most of the time, but he defiantly has his moments. Albert Camus tries to
show that Meursault is finding himself through this violent act he has done,
"I knew that I had shattered the harmony of the day, the exceptional
silence of a beach where I'd been happy"(59). Meursault is slowly finding
his true self, after you read this quote, you think he has realized the terrible
thing that he has done, and that he broke the beautiful day that he was having.
He feels the grief of doing this to the Arab. But once again Meursault gets out
of hand when he " . . . fired four more times at the motionless body where
the bullets lodged without leaving a trace"(Camus 59). Meursault tries to
find his identity by thinking everything over, but then his craziness takes over
again. The whole murder scene can be summed up in this simple quote by Bree,
" . . . the revolver shot jolts Meursault out of his purely negative state.
At this time he is aware that he has committed an irreparable act. . ."
(114). Germaine Bree reveals the feelings that Meursault does not show. So
Meursault explore his identity by shooting a man and realizing that he has
changed his life forever. One way of saying it is that he has changed his life
forever, but another way is that he just sent himself to death row. What
Meursault did was a great thing by making another step to find his own identity,
but also sent him to jail. Now he must make his final stage to find himself, who
he really is. "On my way out I was even going to shake his hand, but just
in time, I remembered that I killed a man" (Camus 64), when Meursault said
that just in time he remembered, that was a very important thing that he did.
That's important because he shows that he is expressing courtesy and respect for
other. He is accepting who he is. Camus tells that Meursault's feelings come out
again, "When I was first imprisoned, the hardest thing was that my thoughts
were still those of a free man" (76). Meursault feels that he liked his
life the way it was before the killing. This is the most important part of the
book, Meursault thinks of the way his life would be if he would have never had
done that. He is completing his final stage of finding himself. " . . . I
had only to

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