Meursault's Death And Loss In 'The Stranger'

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To what extent does Meursault's recollection of death and loss throughout the novel explain his attitude towards his mother's death? As The Stranger is predominantly written as a reflection of the past, the narrator recalls many instances and vividly describes his environment in ways that draw parallels to his mother’s death and funeral. Meursault’s lack of emotional distress is not due to a lack of interest, but rather a deeper understanding of a life’s last days, just as his mother experienced in the nursing home. These parallels will be investigated through Meursault’s narration of Salamano and his dog, the murder of the Arab, Meursault’s court trial, and his last remaining days in prison. The Stranger, narrated in past tense, is just as…show more content…
Salamano and his dog mirror the relationship of Pérez and Maman, by giving Salamano and Maman both a relationship that they embrace before death, regardless of how imminent their deaths may be, “But his real affliction was old age, and there’s no curing that” (Camus 58). Meursault’s description of his apartment shows similarities to the way he described his mother’s funeral – completely objectively. “The whole building was as quiet as the grave, a dank, dark smell rising from the well hole of the stairs. I could hear nothing but the blood throbbing in my ears, and for a while I stood still, listening to it. Then the dog began to moan in old Salamano's room, and through the sleep-bound house the little plaintive sound rose slowly, like a flower growing out of the silence and the darkness” (Camus 42) The dark stairwell resembles the grave his mother was placed into, and he has similar reactions to the smell and sight of the environment. The moaning of Salamano’s dog connects to the woman at Maman’s vigil, who was “crying softly, steadily, in little sobs” (Camus

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