Mrs. Schuet's AP Literature Class of '16 discussion

The Stranger
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The Stranger by Albert Camus

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Manasa Susarla | 8 comments I chose this book after reading a brief summary because the main character seemed to be really interesting and different from other people, in general. I wanted to know more about the character.

I am currently on page 20. The main character's, Monsieur Mersault's, mom died and he goes to attend the funeral. However, he is not sad and does not express any feelings which is very weird. He just attends the funeral because he has to and he decides to not look at his mother in the casket. He just wants this event to be over so that he can move on with his life.


message 2: by Oded (new)

Oded (odedtzori) | 4 comments When I read this book, what I found interesting was how apathetic Mersault appeared to be about everything. His emotions are present, but it just seems like he does not care about anything that happens in his life.


message 3: by John (new)

John | 8 comments Manasa wrote: "I chose this book after reading a brief summary because the main character seemed to be really interesting and different from other people, in general. I wanted to know more about the character.

I..."


Do you feel that the main character really wants this event to be over? How to you think that the main character expresses his opinions if at all? How do you think the fact that the main character is different affects the way society treats him.


Julie Wi (juliewi) | 6 comments Manasa wrote: "I chose this book after reading a brief summary because the main character seemed to be really interesting and different from other people, in general. I wanted to know more about the character.

I..."


Mersault really seems not to care about his Mother's death at all, but you might see later on that he still thinks about her and is affected by her not being there. As you see the story unfold, try thinking about how Maman's death leads to his later actions and whether he actually cares about her. Some questions to answer: What about Mersault's psychology makes it difficult for him to feel sympathy? If he doesn't care about death or relationships, what does he value? etc.


message 5: by Anjuli (new)

Anjuli Corzine | 5 comments While reading this book, it is important to consider why Camus chose to write Mersault as such an apathetic and dissociated character. Why is it important that we see the world from his point of view? How does it relate to the overall theme of the novel?


message 6: by Manasa (last edited Dec 09, 2015 04:26PM) (new) - added it

Manasa Susarla | 8 comments John wrote: "Manasa wrote: "I chose this book after reading a brief summary because the main character seemed to be really interesting and different from other people, in general. I wanted to know more about th..."

The audience/reader gets a first-hand look at the main character's expressions via the main character's thoughts. From what I read so far, it seems that the main character does not have many friends and not many people know him. At least for now, the main character seems to be unaffected by society.


Sruthi | 4 comments Anjuli wrote: "While reading this book, it is important to consider why Camus chose to write Mersault as such an apathetic and dissociated character. Why is it important that we see the world from his point of vi..."

It's also important to consider Mersault's relationship with the other characters in the novel, especially the way they're written. What could Marie Cardona or Raymond Sintes' character/morals reveal about Mersault? How could this relate to Camus' greater meaning?


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Manasa Susarla | 8 comments In chapter 2 and 3, Monsieur Mersault hangs out with a coworker and later on decides to have at Celeste's so that he does not have to answer people's questions about his mother. In this case, he seems like he wants to run away from others. Why does he not want to talk about his mother other than the fact that she has just died?


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Manasa Susarla | 8 comments I finished the whole book and in the end, he finally seems to understand what his mother has gone through and he finally feels a bit emotional that hee is going to die...


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Manasa Susarla | 8 comments Julie wrote: "Manasa wrote: "I chose this book after reading a brief summary because the main character seemed to be really interesting and different from other people, in general. I wanted to know more about th..."

In most of the novel, he doesn't seem to value life in general. He seems to be the "happy-go-lucky" guy who does not really care what happens around him and he is indifferent to others. I think Mersault just values life itself.


message 11: by Manasa (new) - added it

Manasa Susarla | 8 comments Anjuli wrote: "While reading this book, it is important to consider why Camus chose to write Mersault as such an apathetic and dissociated character. Why is it important that we see the world from his point of vi..."

Mersault is a very different character compared to others in the novel. Therefore, seeing it from his perspective shows how he views society differently and what he thinks of the world around him. This leads to the theme of how life is meaningless because Mersault does not seem to care about anyone or anything around him. His indifference towards other characters shows that he does not care about life.


Julie Wi (juliewi) | 6 comments Manasa wrote: "I finished the whole book and in the end, he finally seems to understand what his mother has gone through and he finally feels a bit emotional that hee is going to die..."

The ending is interesting because you get to see how a character who usually doesn't care about anything starts to feel emotional about death itself. Like you said earlier, he's a happy-go-lucky guy who doesn't care about the past or the future, just the present, but like anyone else he's afraid of death. At the very end though, he becomes happy and relaxed. He's been alone like a stranger his whole life, but now that he embraces the world's indifference, he's calm. Why might this be?

Albert Camus was an absurdist, who believed that there is no "meaning" or end-goal in life and it's useless to explain our existence. So knowing that how specifically does Mersault reflect this? (pssst think about his conversation with the religious guy at the end)


message 13: by Chau (new)

Chau Nguyen (jajajajajaja) | 8 comments Julie wrote: "Manasa wrote: "I finished the whole book and in the end, he finally seems to understand what his mother has gone through and he finally feels a bit emotional that hee is going to die..."

The endin..."


You wrote about the transformation of Mersault from a stoic, indifferent man to someone who is "happy and relaxed" and also described him as being "alone like a stranger his whole life."

If he's been a stranger almost his entire life, and then changes in the end, why is the book named The Stranger if Mersault changes?


Julie Wi (juliewi) | 6 comments Chau wrote: "Julie wrote: "Manasa wrote: "I finished the whole book and in the end, he finally seems to understand what his mother has gone through and he finally feels a bit emotional that hee is going to die...."

To clarify, he doesn't really stop being a stranger. He's still alone and isolated from everyone around him even to the very end. But the difference is in how he eventually embraces his identity as a stranger, and how he comes to an understanding of the cold indifference of the world. So he's still alone, but he's not necessarily lonely anymore.


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