English 12 CP
14 Jan. 2011
The lifestyle of Albert Camus’ The Stranger
Throughout the novel Albert Camus’ The Stranger, he uses foils to show that Meursault has changed from when he was with Maman after she died and when he was with the priest in the jail cell. Meursault’s relationship with Marie has different kinds of actions. When Marie talks about them getting married Meursault right away acts like he doesn’t care what they do. However, when Meursault talks back and forth to Marie through the window inside the jail, he says that he has everything right there and he is referring to Marie (Camus 74-75). This all takes place in France 1942. “His instinctual rejection of ideologies and the carefully nurtured ambiguity which informs all his works and, in the eyes of several critics, some of his positions are some of the reasons for the increasingly ambivalent reception his work has received in France. The flow of criticism on Camus is matched only by the perennially high sales figures of his major works, both in French and in translation. Camus remains a popular but controversial writer whose importance and influence are undeniable. To understand the ongoing controversy, his thought and work must be seen in the decisive contexts of his formative years in North Africa and his self-imposed "exile" in Paris during and after World War II.” (paragraph 1).
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" (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. [He was] her sole support. [He didn’t] have to justify himself... 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 modest salary. And the truth of the matter is, she was happier here" (4). "You're young, and it must have been hard for her with you" (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. But, as the director tells Meursault, after "a few months. ..she would have cried if she'd been taken out. She was used to it"(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, and it was too much trouble to buy a bus ticket and spend two hours traveling to visit her. Meursault had no thoughts or feelings toward Maman. Camus describes a human acts this way because people are selfish and they don’t want to be there for others. This also takes place in Algiers 1942 and World War II is taking place. “The initial Italian invasion of Egypt in 1940 was repelled by a few divisions of British Middle East Command. By February 1941, reinforced units under the command of General Archibald Wavell had advanced 1,700 miles into the Italian colony of Libya, taking the port of Tobruk and over 114,000 prisoners. Hitler, unwilling to see his Italian ally humiliated, sent a tank division and air support (later expanded into the Afrika Korps) under the command of General Erwin Rommel to strengthen the Italian army. Rommel launched his offensive in April 1941 retaking Libya and driving the British back to the Egyptian border” (paragraph 3).
The director spoke to Meursault 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"(Camus 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 and 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.
Still, throughout Albert Camus’ The Stranger, Albert Camus uses the priest as a foil to show that Meursault has changed from when he was with Maman after she died. He goes from emotionless from after Maman died and he gets emotional when the priest shows up in his jail cell.
In the passage when Meursault yells at the priest when he comes to talk to him, Albert Camus shows that Meursault did not have a good relationship with him because of how he treated him. This symbolized that not all people have close relationships and get along with each other. This shows us that Meursault’s attitude changed from being selfish to being unmannerly. Albert Camus has Meurusault act this way because he explains what its like to be selfish and to not be there for another family member.
When the passage begins, Meursault starts by yelling at the top of his lungs at the priest. Meursault says, "I insulted him and told him not to waste his prayers on me"(Camus 120). Meursault then grabbed him by the collar of his cassock and was pouting out on him everything that was in his heart, cries of anger and joy. Meursault feels guilty and tells the priest to not waste his time on him. "I had lived my life one way and I could just as well have lived it another" (p.121). Meursault has feelings of death.
Meursault still has feelings of guilt because he didn't cry at Maman's funeral. Meursault felt that because he didn't cry, it didn't matter. It didn't matter that he was accused of murder and being executed.
Meursault has gasped for air because of all the shouting he did. "But they were already tearing the chaplain form my grip and the guards were threatening me" (Camus 122). The chaplain calmed them and looked at Meursault for a moment without saying a word. The chaplain's eyes were full of tears and then he turned away and disappeared.
The chaplain then left and Meursault was able to calm down. Then he started to think about Maman again. "I was exhausted and threw myself on my bunk. I must have fallen asleep because I woke up with stars in my face. For the first time in a long time I thought about Maman. So close to death, Maman must have felt free then and ready to live it all again too" (Camus 123). This shows he is still thinking about Maman and having guilty feelings about Maman and their relationship.
Life is too short because just like Maman, we will eventually die someday and well regret our actions on not having the chance to be close to a loved one that we may lose at any given time. Also just like Maman, Meursault is going to die and be executed and his death is going to be quick. This relates to part 1 because Meursault still has guilty feelings about his relationship with Maman and he did not have a good relationship with the priest either because of his behavior.
Throughout the novel The Stranger, Albert Camus shows that Meursault’s behavior towards Maman and the priest have changed in a big way because he went from being emotionless after Maman died, and he became very emotional when the priest walked into this jail cell. This explains that he didn’t have a good relationship with Maman and the priest. For humans, this symbolizes that people that act like Meursault, do not have close relationship with loved ones or people that are being mice and trying to help him. If Meursault had changed his attitude form the beginning, maybe he wouldn’t end up where he is now.
Annotated Bibliography for Camus’ The Stranger
Camus, Albert French Novelists, 1930-1960. Ed. Catharine Savage Brosman. Dictionary of Literary Biography Vol. 72. Detroit: Gale Research, 1988. From Literature Resource Center. COPYRIGHT 1988 Gale Research, COPYRIGHT 2007 Gale, Cengage Learning
Albert Camus describes his life and how he went to the War. It is also how he became a writer when he was young.
“His instinctual rejection of ideologies and the carefully nurtured ambiguity which informs all his works and, in the eyes of several critics, some of his positions are some of the reasons for the increasingly ambivalent reception his work has received in France. From the cold war period through the Algerian struggle for independence and into the 1960s, reaction to both the man and his work often turned to hostility and ridicule, especially among left-wing intellectuals in France who thought that he had betrayed them. Outside of France, where Camus has been the subject of more detached critical inquiry, his reputation has continued to grow. The flow of criticism on Camus is matched only by the perennially high sales figures of his major works, both in French and in translation. Camus remains a popular but controversial writer whose importance and influence are undeniable. To understand the ongoing controversy, his thought and work must be seen in the decisive contexts of his formative years in North Africa and his self-imposed "exile" in Paris during and after World War II.” (paragraph 1).
In this Biographical essay about Albert Camus, Meursault was around when World War II was going on. Meursault is considered a stranger for the way he acts. He acts very strange in jail when the priest tries to help him out. He yells at the priest for trying to make him believe in God. “I started yelling at the top of my lungs, and I insulted him and told him not to waste his prayers on me. I grabbed him by the collar of his cassock. I was pouring out on him everything that was in my heart, cries of anger and cries of joy. He seemed so certain about everything, didn’t he? And yet none of his certainties was worth one hair of a woman’s head. He wasn’t even sure he was alive, because he was living like a dead man. Whereas it looked as if I was the one who’d come up empty handed” (Camus 120). “With him gone, I was able to calm down again. I was exhausted ant threw myself on my bunk. I must have fallen asleep, because I woke up with the stars in my face” (Camus 122).
This article is about what Absurdism is. It was really hard to understand. This is based on a play..
“The play's raise en scene constructs a sense of their enclosure in systems of language and in personal and economic relationships that, while they might provide the illusion of meaning and agency, in fact control their potential meanings and actions” (paragraph 8).
Meursault has a relationship with Marie and they have certain kinds of actions. When Marie talks about them getting married Meursault right away acts like he doesn’t care what they do. However, when Meursault talks back and forth to Marie through the window inside the jail, he says that he has everything right there and he is referring to Marie (Camus 74-75).
"Gaulle, Charles de."Europe Since 1914: Encyclopedia of the Age of War and Reconstruction. Ed. John Merriman and Jay Winter.Detroit: Charles Scribner's Sons, 2006. 1172-1177. Gale World History In Context. Web.
This was a biography Charles De Gaulle. It was about his time in the army.
“Even though Pétain had taught at the École de Guerre (War College), he had no hope of becoming a general, because he had voiced reservations about theories favoring offensive military strategies, which were then considered de rigueur. Although the war would allow Pétain to assume command of the entire French army in 1917 and to become its marshal in 1918, it was less favorable to the young de Gaulle. Wounded twice quite early on, first on 15 August 1914 and then again on 10 March 1915, he was wounded a third time, this time seriously, outside Douaumont during the battle of Verdun on 2 March 1916, and was taken prisoner by the Germans. Despite several escape attempts, he was not freed until the Armistice of 11 November 1918. He then returned to active service and took part in Maxime Weygand's military mission during the Russo-Polish War in 1920” (paragraph 2).
Meursault lives by himself after Maman dies. World War II was going on at this time. After Maman died, Meursault faced problems such as killing an arab man and going to jail and then be executed. Meursault could not cry when Maman died. He didn’t even want to see her when she was put in the funeral home. “Just then the caretaker came in behind me. He must have been running. He stuttered a little. ‘We put the cover on, but I’m supposed to unscrew the casket so you can see her.’ He was moving toward the casket when I stopped him. He said, ‘You don’t want to?’ I answered, ‘No.’ He was quiet, and I was embarrassed because I felt I shouldn’t have said that. He looked at me and then asked, ‘Why not?’ but without criticizing, as if he just wanted to know. I said, ‘I don’t know.’ He started twirling his moustache, and then without looking at me, again he said, ‘I understand’” (Camus 6). This shows that he was acting very selfish at the time.
Korb, Rena. "The Middleman".Literature of Developing Nations for Students: Presenting Analysis, Context, and Criticism on Literature of Developing Nations. Ed. Elizabeth Bellalouna, Michael L. LaBlanc, and Ira Mark Milne. Vol. 2. Detroit: Gale Group, 2000. From Literature Resource Center.
An immigrant character is a Jew from Iraq. He lived in India and New York City and has not left the United States by choice. Overall, he is Jewish, comes form Iraq, a country in the Middle East that is predominantly Muslim, and as such is an inherent enemy of Jewish people.
"A modest provident fund I'd been maintaining for New Jersey judges was discovered," he explains. "My fresh new citizenship is always in jeopardy. My dealings can't stand too much investigation” (paragraph 2).
Meursault is alone in because he is in a jail cell at the end of the book and he awaits his death by guillotine. “For everything to be consummated, for me to feel less alone, I had only to wish that there be large crowd of spectators the day of my execution and that they greet me with cries of hate” (Camus 123).
This was an article about immigration. It was about Lili Boniche, who was one of the last of a generation of Jewish Algerian musicians.
“He became known as the ‘crooner of the kasbah’, and started performing at private parties, beginning to augment his classical roots with other popular styles by his late teens” (paragraph 4). “His songs appeared in a number of French films from around 2000, the year he made his first UK appearance, at the Africa: Roots and Shoots festival at the Barbican Centre in London - a frail but jovial figure toting an electric guitar and an incongruously rock'n'roll aura, playing alongside his long-term colleague the pianist Maurice el Medioni” (paragraph 8).
When Maman died, Meursault was the last member of his family. There was nobody else besides him. The only person in Meursault’s family at this time was Maman. However, Meursault and Raymond ended up being friends. The only person that really cared about Maman was Monsieur Perez. (Camus 16).
June 10th, 1940, Italy declared war on Britain and France. The British, deprived by the fall of France, and pre-occupied with the expected German invasion of the British Isles, were unlikely to be able to reinforce their small garrison in Egypt. At the third Battle of El Alamein in October 1942, the British Eighth Army under General Bernard Montgomery started the attack that would drive the Axis from Africa (paragraph 1).
“El Alamein was the turning point in North Africa: the victors, the British Eighth Army and its commander, Bernard Montgomery, are still fondly recalled icons in the memory of the Second World War”(paragraph 2). “The initial Italian invasion of Egypt in 1940 was repelled by a few divisions of British Middle East Command. By February 1941, reinforced units under the command of General Archibald Wavell had advanced 1,700 miles into the Italian colony of Libya, taking the port of Tobruk and over 114,000 prisoners. Hitler, unwilling to see his Italian ally humiliated, sent a tank division and air support (later expanded into the Afrika Korps) under the command of General Erwin Rommel to strengthen the Italian army. Rommel launched his offensive in April 1941 retaking Libya and driving the British back to the Egyptian border” (paragraph 3). “The filmmaker Roy Boulting (1913-2001), then attached to the Army Film and Photographic Unit, later recalled that, in the summer of 1942, he had been told just how crucial the offensive at El Alamein was to the Allied cause in the Middle East, and thus felt that a film record should be made of the campaign from footage shot by film units with the Eighth Army” (paragraph 5).
World War II was going on during this time in The Stranger. This is the time where Meursault goes to Maman’s funeral. “The old people’s home is at Marengo, about eighty kilometer from Algiers, I’ll take the two o’clock bus and get there in the afternoon. That way I can be there for the vigil and come back tomorrow night” (Camus 3).
Poe, Edgar Allan, “Alone” Peotryoutloud.org
Edgar Allan Poe describes that he is alone. He couldn’t awaken his heart to make himself happy.
From childhood’s hour I have not been
As others were—I have not seen
As others saw—I could not bring
My passions from a common spring—
From the same source I have not taken
My sorrow—I could not awaken
My heart to joy at the same tone—
And all I lov’d—I lov’d alone—
Then—in my childhood—in the dawn
Of a most stormy life—was drawn
From ev’ry depth of good and ill
The mystery which binds me still—
From the torrent, or the fountain—
From the red cliff of the mountain—
From the sun that ’round me roll’d
In its autumn tint of gold—
From the lightning in the sky
As it pass’d me flying by—
From the thunder, and the storm—
And the cloud that took the form
(When the rest of Heaven was blue)
Of a demon in my view-”
This relates to The Stranger because Meursault is alone after Maman died. He is also alone when he is taken to jail and in his own jail cell. He looked at himself in his tin plate. His reflection seemed to remain serious even though he was trying to smile at it. He smiled and it still had the same, stern expression. He gazed at his reflection one more time. It was still serious and then Meursault remembered what the nurse at Maman’s funeral said. “No, there was no way out, and no one can imagine what nights in prison are like” (Camus 80-81). He is alone when he is buried with his own thoughts as he awaits death.
Stephen Vincent Benét is describing himself.
By Stephen Vincent Benét
“My mind’s a map. A mad sea-captain drew it
Under a flowing moon until he knew it;
Winds with brass trumpets, puffy-cheeked as jugs,
And states bright-patterned like Arabian rugs.
“Here there be tygers.” “Here we buried Jim.”
Here is the strait where eyeless fishes swim
About their buried idol, drowned so cold
He weeps away his eyes in salt and gold.
A country like the dark side of the moon,
A cider-apple country, harsh and boon,
A country savage as a chestnut-rind,
A land of hungry sorcerers.
—Your mind is water through an April night,
A cherry-branch, plume-feathery with its white,
A lavender as fragrant as your words,
A room where Peace and Honor talk like birds,
Sewing bright coins upon the tragic cloth
Of heavy Fate, and Mockery, like a moth,
Flutters and beats about those lovely things.
You are the soul, enchanted with its wings,
The single voice that raises up the dead
To shake the pride of angels.
I have said.”
Meursault’s mind is a map because he doesn’t know what he is doing. When he shoots the Arab man at the beach, he wasn’t thinking anything. He was too hot and he could not control his actions. “The scorching blade slashed at my eyelashes and stabbed at my stinging eyes. That’s when everything began to reel. The sea carried up a thick, fiery breath. It seemed to me as if the sky split open from one end to the other to rain down fire. My whole being tensed and I squeezed my hand around the revolver. The trigger gave; I felt the smooth underside of the butt; and there, in that noise, sharp and deafening at the same time, is where it all started. I shook off the sweat and sun. I knew that I had a shattered the harmony of the day, the exceptional silence of a beach where I’d been happy . Then I fired four more times at the motionless body where the bullets lodged without leaving a trace. And it was like knocking four quick times on the door of unhappiness” (Camus 59). In jail all he had was his thoughts and nobody else.