Stranger And Death Theme Essay Research Paper

Stranger And Death Theme Essay, Research Paper

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 wish that there be a large crowd of spectators the day of my

execution and that they greet me with cries of hate" (Camus 123), this

amazing quote shows that Meursault knows that his day is coming and that he has

done nothing but caused harm to the city and his friends. He has finally found

that person that he really is, a caring, loving and respectful person. It is

just a shame that after all the hard work to find himself, and he does, he has

to die. The encounters of death have slowly showed the way for Meursault. He was

able to see who he really is. Meursault’s journey has been a full one. This

journey started with the dreadfully painful death of Meursault’s mom. Then it

went to Meursault killing the Arab, which helped him show his inner feelings.

Last of all, was the waiting for his own execution. When Meursault realized what

was going on, and put everything together, he was able to find his own identity.

Germaine Bree has the answer to the whole problem, "It is clear that

Meursault’s initial mental attitude proves inadequate to cope with even the

simplest of lives" (117).

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