1. Title: The Stranger
2. Author: Albert Camus
3. The title, The Stranger, in my opinion refers to the main character, Monsieur Meursault, and his perception of life. He seems to have no feeling at all, while the people around him show emotion, so I think that’s why it’s called The Stranger. He doesn’t know how to really relate to other people. He doesn’t even seem to know exactly what he believes in. He is a stranger to life.
4. The story is organized in chronological order, and it’s separated into two parts; events leading up to the shooting of the Arab and everything that happens after the shooting (his time in jail, the trial, etc…).
5. The setting takes place in France during the 1930s or 1940s. At the beginning of the novel, everything takes place in small town or village that is within a bus ride of the beach. Halfway throughout the book the setting changes strictly to prison and the courtroom.
6. The setting simply makes the story seem real. Though there isn’t much description about the surroundings, they are talked about enough to make it seems like a real place. The physical structures aren’t described nearly as much as the weather and elements, which makes you feel like you are in the characters’ shoes.
7. The main character is Monsieur Meursault. He is a man in his twenties or thirties, and that’s all that you can infer about his physical nature. You do learn a lot about his personality, though. Meursault is a very odd character. He seems almost like a robot; he lacks almost any emotion or feeling. He has no opinion on almost all matters, so whenever someone asks him a question, he either simply agrees or says no. If he can’t respond with yes or no, he usually will not answer the question. He is very awkward, but people seem to like him even though he doesn’t talk at all. He lacks motivation, and just lets life pass by him.
8. The story starts out with Meursault saying that his mother died. He can’t remember if it happened today or yesterday, which shows his lack of emotion from the beginning. He goes to her funeral and shows no emotion at all; he doesn’t cry or even seem upset, and he doesn’t want to see his mother one last time before she is buried. After the funeral is over, he goes back home for the weekend. Meursault spends time with his girlfriend Marie going to the movies and to the beach. He also spends some time with his neighbor Raymond who has trouble with his girlfriend. Raymond thinks that she is cheating on him, so he wants to beat her. Raymond asks Meursault for his opinion on the matter, but he just agrees with Raymond in that he should get back at her.
Raymond follows through in hurting his girlfriend, which leads to him becoming a target of her brother. Her brother and his crew watch Raymond and Meursault as they get on a bus to go to the beach and visit a friend of Raymond. Raymond thinks that they will be safe, but when they are on the beach, the brother and his crew are there and attack Raymond. Raymond is cut on the arm and the mouth, but the injuries aren’t serious. Shortly after that, Meursault takes Raymond’s gun and goes out to the beach to find the brother, then shoots him five times, killing him for no apparent reason.
Meursault is then taken into custody and stays in prison for about a year. He doesn’t seemed phased at all by the fact that he killed somebody and that he is stuck in prison. During the trial, his insensitivity is brought up and used against him. He is found guilty and is sentenced to be beheaded in front of a crowd. No one can ever get through to him, not even the chaplain that tries to awaken him to his life.
9. I think the theme is basically about how people can be strangers to life, as is the case of Meursault. He shows no remorse for killing someone, he is not saddened by the death of his own mother, and always answers questions with a yes or no. He has no motivation for anything, like the idea of marrying Marie. She asks him to marry her, but he says that it doesn’t make any difference. I think the author is just trying to point out how it’s wrong to live like that, and that it’s necessary to have emotion and feeling to live a full life.
10. The most interesting scene in the book is the scene where Meursault shoots the Arab brother. The description of how the sun pushed Meursault toward him portrayed the scene very well. It was weird how Meursault was overtaken by this urge to kill a man, when normally Meursault was very calm and collected during the story. The scene seemed to stand out from the rest of the book, so that’s why I think it’s the most interesting.
11. I thought it was a pretty good novel. It was on the short side, but the author’s writing style allowed him to put all the necessary information he needed and portray the story the way he wanted to. I thought there might be a twist at the end and that Meursault wouldn’t be guillotined, but I was wrong. I also thought there would be a stranger introduced in the story that would help Meursault at some point, but at the end I realized that he was the stranger. The story is easy to read and it’s fairly eventful, so it was actually pretty enjoyable to read.