Essay on The Stranger: Changes in Meursault

994 Words 4 Pages
In The Stranger, Albert Camus describes the life of the protagonist, Meursault, through life changing events. The passage chosen illustrates Meursault’s view during his time in prison for killing the Arab. In prison, one can see the shifts in Meursault’s character and the acceptance of this new lifestyle. Camus manipulates diction to indicate the changes in Meursault caused by time thinking of memories in prison and realization of his pointless life. Because Camus published this book at the beginning of World War II, people at this time period also questions life and death similar to how Meursault does. Diction shows the difference in Meursault’s views and beliefs as he spends more and more time in prison, adapts to his new lifestyle, …show more content…
One can also notice the negative connotation of the words the author manipulates to imply Meursault’s unhappiness in prison. In this passage, the shift in Meursault’s growth in self reflection when he looks at his reflection on the tin plate, shows his recognition of himself. He observes and understand himself when he looks directly at himself unlike before. It’s in this passage that Meursault finally recognizes himself and his voice, “I, distinctly heard the sound of my own voice. I recognized it as the same one that had been ringing in my ears...and I recognized that all that time I had been talking to myself” (81). The importance of Meursault’s recognition of his voice symbolizes his understanding of himself. Until now, Meursault lived his life without the recognition of himself or his voice. This significant change shows Meursault’s beginning to understand himself, his views or philosophies, and his life as he spends more and more time in prison. Meursault’s unending days in prison confirms his realization of meaninglessness of life. For Meursault, the days in prison “ended up flowing into one another” seeming endless, symbolizing he was trapped. In prison, he understands where his life is headed and the meaninglessness of life, “For me it was one and the same unending day that was unfolding in my cell and the same thing I was trying to do” (81). This shows how life is same thing over and over again and just a series of events and choices for