Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Stranger Essay

In the passage when Meursault tells the caretaker that he doesn't want to see Maman after she died, Albert Camus shows that Meursault did not have a good relationship with Maman because of how he did not want to look at her body when she died. For humans, this symbolizes that not all people have close relationships with family members. Also Meursault may have feared the death of his mother and was embarrassed and had feelings of guilt because he did not visit her while she was in the home.
When the passage begins, Meursault starts by saying "Maman died today"(p.3). Meursault says he will take the two o'clock bus and get to the old people's home in the afternoon. He slept the whole bus ride which shows that his thoughts were not on Maman's death.
Meursault wanted to see Maman right away but the caretaker told him that he had to see the director first. The director told him, "Madame Meursault came to us three years ago. You were her sole support. You don't have to justify yourself, my dear boy. I've read your mother's file. You weren't able to provide her properly. She needed someone to look after her. You earn only a modes salary. And the truth of the matter is, she was happier here"(p.4). "You're young, and it must have been hard for her with you"(p.5).
When Maman was at home with Meursault, she used to spend her time following him with her eyes, not saying a thing, which further suggests a distant relationship. She cried a lot the first few days because she wasn't used to the home. "A few months later and she would have cried if she'd been taken out. She was used to it"(p.5). That year of Maman being in the home, Meursault did not go there to visit much. He also said it took up his Sunday, ad it was too much trouble to buy a bus ticket and spend two hours traveling to visit her. This shows Meursault had no thoughts or feelings toward Maman.
The director spoke to Meursalt again. "I suppose you'd like to see your mother. I'll leave you now, Monsieur Meursault. If you need me for anything, I'll be in my office"(p.5). Meursault thanked him. Meursault went in the room and soon after, the caretaker came in. "We put the cover on, but I'm supposed to unscrew the casket so you can see her. You don't want to?" "No." "Why not?" "I don't know." "I understand"(p.6).
Life is too short because just like Maman, we will eventually die someday and will regret our actions of not having the chance to be close to a loved one that we may lose at any given time.

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