Natures Haters Essay, Research Paper
English- The Plague and The Stranger
Every year when light hits my window a little bit earlier than regular and the smell of dew on grass is fresh every morning the birds from hell wake me up at five o’ clock. The stupid little critters got to chirp their way into my dreams and bother me. Every year I put with this for three months during summer and when they start migrating I start celebrating. But sometimes I am sad that they had to leave, actually I’m not. We take nature for granted sometimes. We know that the trees will be in the same place everyday to provide us shade, and the birds will be their to drop shit on a freshly washed car. We are used to thing they are part of our everyday living, but when these things are not there we miss them and have a feeling of despair. We don’t know where to turn to, where to find a substitute for those void feelings. Neither did two similar people in
THE PLAGUE (TP) and THE STRANGER (TS) both by Albert Camus. We see these two characters abuse and harass nature, but when that nature is gone they have no one to turn to. In both books we see the two characters parallel each other’s traits.
In TP we have an elderly man who everyday comes out of his balcony to torment the cats that are living in his neighborhood. On page 25 last paragraph we get a descriptive passage about his efforts at nuking the cats with luggies. “?He had a soldierly bearing, very erect, and affected a military style of dressing; his snow white hair was all brushed to perfect smoothness. Leaning over the balcony he would call: “Pussy! Pussy!” in a voice at once haughty and endearing. The cats blinked up at him with sleep-pale eyes, but made no move as yet. He then proceeded to tear some paper into scraps and let them fall into the street; interested by the fluttering shower of white butterflies, the cats came forward, lifting their tentative paws toward the last scraps of paper. Then taking careful aim, the old man would spit at the cats and, whenever a liquid missile hit the quarry, would beam with delight.”
Weird guy this Camus, what kind of people did he hang around with? In TS weirdness goes to a whole new level. On page 26 we are introduced to Salamano the old man who has a dog that looks like him. Full of scabs and losing his hair. The dog and Sal are always having struggles they never get along. Every day at 12 and 6 Sal takes his dog for a walk. He swears and curses at him and they have been going through the same routine for 8 year.
We come to their first similarity. The old man who spits at cats and Salamano both heckle nature. Their routines are based upon badgering animals, you see this is their life. They have no other duty than to screw around with creatures. Without that their lives are meaningless. In TP when the cats are killed off the old man no longer comes out and eventually dies off. When Sal’s dog runs away he is stricken with grief and pain.
Both men are very lonely. With no one else in their lives they find joy and happiness in evoking pain in the wildlife around them. Sal never loved his wife, but learned to live with her so when she died he bought the dog to fill the void left by his wife. He learned to live with the dog too and they grew old together. When the dog ran away he had no one to turn to. On page 38 and 39 Sal goes to Meursault for help he can not live without the dog and must have him back. But still he curses the dog as he is asking for help. In the cliff notes for TP on page 17 it states that the old man is sad and goes into his house to die without the cats.
We have come to the point where we can see that both characters parallel each other and are probably brothers. We can also deduce that because of their loneliness and their taking nature for granted they were sad when nature went away from them and left them to die alone, without a soul that cared for them. I can safely say that these two men brought about their own deaths by never treating something special with care. It was their habit to badger the cats and the dog, and overall they strangled themselves with their habits. vc