he notion that our world is a universe which has no place for us, in which our life makes no sense…
The Stranger reflects this philosophy in a myriad of ways. Mr. Meursalt is the main character. He seems to live in his own world, socializing with others, but not caring too deeply about what happens in his life. For example, when his mother died, his thoughts were, Mother died today. Or, maybe yesterday; I can’t be sure (Pp. 1) He did not have any extreme feelings about her death; he just accepted it and decided that is was what was supposed to happen.
He kept himself busy indulging himself in creature comforts like smoking, drinking, and sex. His girlfriend, Marie, wanted him to marry her, and his reply was that if she wanted to get married they would. His reflections about it were, Marie came that evening and asked me if I’d marry her. I said I didn’t mind; if she was keen on it, we’d get married. (Pp. 52) He didn’t seem to care one way or the other. His life was full of existentialism, for he believed that life just happened, nothing you could do would change the future, and that everything happened for a reason.
At several parts in the book, Meursalt observes his neighbor walking his dog. Salamano would beat his dog, it would run ahead, and the man would beat and swear at it again. Everyday it was the same thing. One day, Meursalt came across Salamano in the hall. Salamano was all distraught because his dog ran away. Meursalt could not understand this philosophy because he thought the man hated his dog. Why would he be worried about it?
At the end of the story when Meursalt was going to be executed, he pondered his fate. He seemed to extricate pleasure from the thought of everyone shouting at him with all the bitterness and hate that had built up inside of them. At the same time, he didn’t seem to worry too much that he was going to. He refused to see the priest before his execution because he felt that he had done nothing wrong when he shot an innocent man in the street.