The Stranger

“There’s no need to excuse yourself, my boy. I’ve looked up the record and obviously you weren’t in a position to see that she was properly cared for. She needed someone to be with her all the time, and young men in jobs like yours don’t get too much pay. In any case, she was much happier in the Home.”

While it is natural for man to show respect for the dead, it is quite clear that warden displays the theme of absurdity of the scenario in the above statement. His perspective about the life after death is an invented belief in which one believes that things could be better, but there is life. For example, the warden tries to convince Meursault that he is not to blame for the mother’s death and the mother’s apparent lack of friends outside the home and even people of her generation from outside the home to visit him. In most occasions, it is expected that Meursault is to be questioned why he did not visit his mother and never even bothered to send someone to visit him. It is also interesting how the society develops a false sense of connection and care.

Everyone knew that the mother had no much future because of both age and medical conditions. Once in the home, she was just wiling away time. When such statements are made, one is likely to wonder if visiting her at the home or having friends at the home could change her date of death. The fact remains that the mother would die someday and no amount of friends or care could change the inevitability of death.

Just as everyone could have wanted to blame him for being far away leaving his mother to staying with the strangers in the home, the warden was tactful in asking rhetoric questions. It becomes clear that man has statement and questions they do not mean and are not interested in the answers. In most occasions, man work hard to console each other that the situations would have been different, had something happened? The absurdity of life is that people hold on to meaningless beliefs and any person who have different perception about the same beliefs is considered a stranger.

“…..And now, it seemed to me, I understood why at her life’s end she had taken on a “fiancé”; why she’d played at making a fresh start. There, too, in that Home where lives were flickering out, the dusk came as a mournful solace. With death so near, Mother must have felt like someone on the brink of freedom, ready to start life all over again. No one, no one in the world had any right to weep for her…”

This statement sets to explain the fact that human beings tend to have the different perceptions about life but in the end their existence is purposeless. For example while people try to escape the absurdity of life, they forget about a lot more than they were thinking. It even becomes different when you are in a cell or in a home with your fellow generation and age mates. When, Meursault’s mother took on a fiancé thinking of making a fresh start, she may have been thinking of escaping the reality of life. Nevertheless, life has a way of making one understand that it is real because despite these entire struggles, a rude awakening always marks the end and people come to realize that the end was still to come.

Meursault never thought about friends, their emotions and their feeling, but he realized that life has more to offer than just the personal feelings and the physical connection he shared with his girlfriend. He realized that people need to interact even in a home where life is flickering out and the dusk came like a mournful solace. It is also clear that towards the end, life becomes so meaningless that death become she next best alternative. In as much as this can be considered as absurdity of life, it has become clear that everyone will be wishing for death when they see the meaninglessness of life.

…………..”Surely, surely he must see that? Every man alive was privileged; there was only one class of men, the privileged class. All alike would be condemned to die one day; his turn, too, would come like the others’. And what difference could it make if, after being charged with murder, he were executed because he didn’t weep at his mother’s funeral, since it all came to the same thing in the end?….”

If everyone is condemned to die one day, then life is useless because the end justifies the means, the sad thing about the life lead by the rich and the poor is that the end is all defied for both the privileged and the unprivileged. Everyone is set the die at one time; however, how they live on earth is what make a difference is how they live their lives on earth. It is the beauty that one experiences in life that makes the life worth living not the sacrifices ion life. Nobody will be interested in how you lived your life. Both the people who suffered in life and those who enjoyed leading a good life all have the same end.

This means that man is not supposed to hope for nothing, fear nothing in order to be free. The mother only became free in death, and Salamano’s dog was only freed from this hopeless life in death. It is becoming more interesting that everyone who had a lot of hopes in life lead a disappointed lif and ended up experiencing hopelessness in life. Marie was one of the first people to have lost hope when Meursault could not marry her.

The point of the matter is that man’s hope in life should not be tied to God because it is meaningless, material things or other human being because human beings have one ultimate end. In the end, it becomes absurd that instead of questioning the heinous nature of the murder, the court was interested in analyzing his disinterest in the death of his mother and the fact that he did not even mourn the death of his mother.


Camus, A., & Ward, M. (1989). The stranger. New York: Vintage International.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s