Essay about The Absurd Morality of Death in The Outsider

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The Absurd Morality of Death in The Outsider

In The Outsider by Albert Camus, death can clearly be seen as a significant image - there being six deaths mentioned in total. In Part
One we are shown the natural death of Meursault's mother and
Meursault's murder of the Arab, and in Part Two we are presented with the parricide of a brother/son and the subsequent suicide of the perpetrators, another parricide that is to be tried after Meursault's case and the death penalty pronounced on Meursault. Through these depictions of various deaths, Camus shows clearly the conflicting and often arbitrary treatment of death within society, a treatment that reveals a confusion between the motives behind acts and the subsequent response to
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Added to this pattern are the responses to the event. Meursault is unexpectedly passive towards the event. On first hearing the news he comments, "For the moment, it's almost as it mother's still alive,"[7] and when he returns from the funeral to his normal life he adds to this sentiment, "I realized thatÂ…mother was buriedÂ…and that, after all, nothing had changed."[8] Other people's responses to this death are much more what the society of the time would expect. Cé–˜este sympathises before Meursault heads for the funeral with the comment,
"There's no on like a mother,"[9] a comment that prevents Meursault from returning to Cé–˜este's for Sunday lunch, because "I knew they'd ask me questions and I don't like that."[10] Meursault's unusual way of dealing with this death is seen in his exchange with Salamano, an exchange that concludes with, "He seemed to assume that I'd been very unhappy ever since mother had died and I didn't say