Mersualt In The Stranger, By Albert Camus

2007 Words9 Pages
Throughout history, people have distinguished themselves from their society by setting their own life values and principles rather than having them unconditionally passed down to them. Many of these people are labeled as outcasts. Some are a detriment to society, others successfully show their society the truth. Mersualt is a character in Albert Camus’s novel The Stranger whose indifference and lack of emotion is perceived by his society as something threatening to their wellbeing. After killing a man out of supposed self-defense, Mersault goes to trial and is portrayed by the prosecutor in the most abject way possible. By appealing to the jury’s emotions and feelings, the prosecutor makes Mersault look like the opposite of an ideal member…show more content…
It’s almost as if Mersault is so content with his life, he could not care less how it turns out. What matters to Mersault is simply that which is real; his cigarettes, his wine, anything he knows for a fact exists. This extreme objectivity leads him to live a life of little meaning or depth, a life lacking any subjective feelings, emotions, or intuitions. He deems his actions to be meaningless and in turn sets no goals, takes little self-responsibility for his life, and feels no remorse for his mistakes. Since Mersault believes his choices are meaningless to the world’s overall fate, he fails to make good choices. For a brief moment we are able to see Mersault understanding the existence of choice during his second to last encounter with the Arabs, “it was then that I realized I could either shoot or not shoot” (Camus 56). This is just a small glimpse of Mersault’s understanding of choice and later on after killing the Arab Mersault explains, “the trigger gave” (Camus 59). This explanation detaches him self from the responsibility for shooting a man from point blank range. Earlier, he stated he knew there was a choice, to shoot or not to shoot; however, after killing the Arab, he makes it seem like no choice even existed. “The trigger gave”, it just... happened. This kind of radical indifference for the outcome of events and failure to understand how choices affect his life are what ultimately lead to Mersault’s

    More about Mersualt In The Stranger, By Albert Camus

      Open Document