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Mortality in the Stranger by Albert Camus Essay example

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Everyone will die. Meursault’s awareness of death contributes to his nonchalant attitude toward every death he witness or must endure in The Stranger. Death fails to upset Meursault. In The Stranger, Albert Camus emphasizes mortality in order to expose the ignorance humanity has towards the inevitable or unknown end.
Camus’s emphasis on time accentuates Meursault’s indifference. This indifference reveals that death occurs inevitably, regardless of time. The first thought that the audience reads, “Maman died today. Or yesterday maybe, I don’t know. I got a telegram from the home: ‘Mother deceased. Funeral tomorrow. Faithfully yours.’ That doesn’t mean anything. Maybe it was yesterday,” immediately exhibits that when Maman died does not
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This realization demonstrates the lack of power that people have over time, and by association, death. The reader assumes that since Salamano and his dog grow old together, they may likely also die together. Nearer to Meursault’s execution, the chaplain asks, “But if you don’t die today, you’ll die tomorrow, or the next day. And then the same question will arise. How will you face that terrifying ordeal” (Camus 117)? Death, unpredictable and uncontrollable, will occur when it wishes, and through his indifference to time, Meursault asserts that getting upset over something known to be inevitable provides as useless. Camus foreshadows Meursault’s death through the symbols of heat and Salamano’s dog. While observing Salamano and his dog, Meursault notes, “After living together for so long, the two of them alone in one tiny room, they’ve ended up looking like each other…They look as if they belong to the same species, yet they hate each other” (Camus 26-27). The likeness of Salamano and his dog produces the idea of inescapable death for all living things. They have become similar to each other in appearance without noticing, just as they have always had the same end laid out without noticing. Meursault’s recognition provides a sense of the period of existentialism, focusing on the individual, but also contrastingly granting that the individual is part of a whole. However, the nurse acknowledges that all beings have the same fate when she says, “If you go slowly, you
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