The Stranger

1499 Words6 Pages
The novel The Stranger by Albert Camus translated by Matthew Ward explores the concept of indifference and values of living life through the perspective of a man who acts seemingly without much thought. This novel tells the story of a man who is convicted of murdering another man, but during his trial he is criticized for the way he lives his life. Throughout the novel, dialogue is presented solely through the eyes of the main character, Meursault. Through the exploration of dialogue and lack thereof by means of syntax and quality of dialogue, the novel works to show the significance of finding values in life. The novel in unconventional in the way that dialogues spoken by each character do not start on a new line and is instead worked into…show more content…
This is relevant because the story is altered to how Meursault perceives the events in the novel. In a scene where Marie visits Meursault, Meursault says, “Marie came by to see me and asked me if I wanted to marry her […] she wanted to know if I loved her” (41). Typically, conversations about marriage hold great significance especially when discussing feelings and emotion. In this situation, Marie’s words are blended into paragraphs and more importantly, Meursault fails to quote Marie’s words. Instead, he paraphrases them and brushes them off by replying, “It didn’t make any difference to me and that we could if she wanted to” (41). This demonstrates Meursault’s lack of analytical skills because he is unable to comprehend the gravity of Marie’s questions and is oblivious to Marie’s desires to spend the rest of her life with him because she genuinely cares for him. The effect of Marie’s filtered words in this scene indicates that Meursault does not associate marriage with the meaning of living; whether he gets married or not plays no role in living a successful life. This instance draws attention to Meursault’s disregard to others’ feelings or positions when making decisions or living life. Meursault’s values in life are revealed during his trial. The judge asks Meursault questions regarding his crime and the death of Maman. In trials, the phrasing of questions is very important because lawyers and judges have to make sure the questions are not leading or unclear. These aspects emphasize a fair trial for the defendant. It would make sense for Meursault to cite these questions exactly as stated to make sure that he receives a fair trial, but he paraphrases them instead. The implication of this is to illustrate Meursault’s lack of respect of others and concern for his own well-being and fairness of his trial. This proposes that Meursault values
Open Document