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The Stranger

Uploaded by the_manchild on Apr 26, 2004

It has been said that the eyes are the windows to a person’s soul. It can be reasonably stated, therefore, by reasons of logic, that what one perceives is an indication as to what type of soul one has. In The Stranger, Monsieur Meursault is vivid in his descriptions of the sensations provided him by his five physical directories. In explicit details he describes the feel of the heat of the sun on his bare skin, the sights and sounds of the night as he sat on his balcony, undoubtedly the taste of Marie’s kiss, and even the physiological response to her embrace. Note, however, the earlier statement: it is what one perceives that indicates what type of soul one has.

Perception is not seeing, feeling, tasting, nor is it any function of the extemporaneous senses. Perception is the conclusion that one comes to based upon the stimulation of those senses. It is not merely knowing what is going on in the universe, but attempting to understand the actions and counteractions of the universe. Meursault is very much aware of his surroundings and the actions therein, yet is not aware of their importance. The very first words from Meursault are indicative of the fact that he sees, but does not perceive.

“Mother died today. Or, maybe, yesterday; I can’t be sure.” Though it is true that the telegram he received was vague, it is evident that he was not concerned with the particular time her life ceased at that time nor did he enquire details from anyone of the home where she had died when he arrived there for the funeral. This is contrary to the actions of nearly all men. Perchance one does not have a strong relationship with his or her mother, oft times that person will still desire to know, in the least, “When and how did the old bat die?”

It becomes evident at his trial that Meursault’s response to his mother’s passing was contrary to what was expected from one in his situation. Both the warden of the nursing home at which his mother had been placed and the doorman of that same establishment testified on behalf of the prosecution (though he was being tried for the murder of an Arab, not for anything concerning his mother), suggesting that the actions of Meursault during that time were less than human. As far as that goes, the testimony...

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Uploaded by:   the_manchild

Date:   04/26/2004

Category:   Literature

Length:   4 pages (956 words)

Views:   1076

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