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English: Literature & Composition Names: Aldina Jakupovic, Zobiya Momin, Hong Nguyen, Oanh Tran. Edgar Jimenez Major Works Data Sheet Title: The Stranger Biographical Information about the Author Albert Camus was born in November 1913 in Mondovi, Algeria. Camus' father left the family when Camus was a baby to fight in Author: Albert Camus; Translator: Matthew Ward WWI, and passed away leaving Camus' illiterate mother to care for the family. Because Camus only had his mother, the mother-son Date of publication: 1946 relationship is prominent in his works. Camus was accepted into the University of Algeria for philosophy. After graduating from college, Camus took part in theater. In 1940, Camus married Genre: Postmodern Existentialism Simone Hie, but later divorced because Hie was a drug addict. From 1937 till 1939, Camus wrote for the Alger-Republican, and then he moved onto Soir-Republican. Then in 1940, Camus remarried to Francine Faure, a pianist and mathematician. During WWII, Camus became a writer for the French Resistance and became an editor for the newspaper Combat. Camus' reputation was growing and he wrote several books including The Stranger, The Plague, The Fall, and Exile and the Kingdom. Camus also wrote philosophical essays including The Myth of Sisyphus and The Rebel. In 1957, Camus was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature. Three years later on 4 January 1960, Camus passed away due to a car accident. http://www.tameri.com/csw/exist/camus.shtml Historical Information about Period of Publication Characteristics of the Genre World War II has just ended and the world is now in tensions; Postmodern Existentialism- A philosophy that emphasizes the colonies are fighting for their independence from big imperialist uniqueness and isolation of the individual experience in a nations like England and France. During this time the Algerian hostile or indifferent universe, regards human existence as Movement emerges fighting to get their independence from unexplainable, and stresses freedom of choice and responsibility France. Moreover, this is the time period between the end of for the consequences of one's acts. Existentialism was based on World War II and the Cold War, weapons of mass destruction are the principle which states that existence precedes essence; you being built and people are afraid of another war. define yourself at each given moment by acting at each given moment. http://www.answers.com/topic/1946 http://www.shmoop.com/the-stranger/genre.html Plot Summary (1 paragraph) Meursault's mother has passed away; however Meursault does not show any remorse to this news. Meursault takes the news very lightly and agrees to attend the funeral because it is expected. At his mother's care home, he said he did not want to see his mother for the last time. When the funeral officially started, Meursault paid more attention to the people and environment surrounding him rather than the funeral’s purpose. Meursault acts as he does not know his mother’s wants and needs. After the funeral he leaves immediately and goes to the beach where he met an old friend, Marie. They hung out the whole day and hooked up at the end of the day. The next day, Meursault returns to work and his ordinary and simple schedule. Meursault's neighbors are also introduced in the novel: Salamano and his dog and Raymond. Salamano lives with his dog and they are like an old married couple because they have been living together for so long and would often aggravate each other for no reason. Raymond, who is said to be a warehouse guard, is often seen with women and he even asksMeursault to write an angry letter for Raymond to send to Raymond's ex-girlfriend. One day Marie asked Meursault if he loves her and wants to get married. Meursault refuses and says it does not matter, but if Marie wants to then he will. Later on, a scream is heard and it is Raymond beating up his ex-girlfriend. On the weekend, Raymond took Meursault and Marie to his friend's, Masson, house. While traveling to Masson's house, the three friends saw that Arab men were following them, and one of the men turns out to be Raymond's ex-girlfriend's brother. At the beach, they saw the Arab men again and as tensions rose, Raymond and Masson got into a fight with the Arabs. Raymond got struck with a knife and after receiving aid from a nearby doctor, Raymond and Meursault started walking to an end of the beach where they encounter the Arabs again. At this point, the four men just sat in silent and secretly eyeing each other. Raymond and Meursault started walking back to Masson's house, but Meursault decided to walk back to where the Arabs were lying with Raymond’s gun in his pocket. As he continues to walk, he describes how the sun was burning on him causing him to get a headache and somewhat frustrated. Meursault claims the sun continues to beat on him which causes him to step towards the Arab and shot the man. As the man fell down, Meursault shoots the Arab four more time. In the second part of the novel, Meursault is arrested for his murder. In the beginning of his prison’s life, he is often visited by his defense attorney and the magistrate. During these questionings, Meursault says he does not believe in God which angers the magistrate. Shortly after being in prison, Meursault started to stop smoking and missing the free time he had with Marie as he realizes he was no longer a free man. Marie would visit him, however was stopped shortly after because she was not a spouse. When Meursault’s trial finally started, he was fascinated by how much the public was interested in his case rather than the case. Some people Meursault knew were called to testify. People at his mother’s care home talked about his calm and odd behavior at the funeral, while Raymond confessed that he was the one that started all this, and Marie’s statement adds onto the public’s mindset that Meursault was a heartless man. Altogether the trial included more information for being emotionless towards his mother, which shows that he does not have any feeling thus he intentionally wanted to kill the Arab. However, Meursault states that it was the sun’s extreme heat that influences him. At the end, Meursault is founded guilty and will be executed. In his jail cell, he had time to think alone. He thought about how it would feel if he was the one that was looking into an execution rather than the one being executed. He starts to wonder how life would be for Marie and others once he dies, and he realizes that nothing will change because death is a part of life. When the prison chaplain came in to talk to Meursault about God, Meursault once again states that he does not believe in God. Finally the day of Meursault’s execution he realizes how his mother must have felt when she was dying. Also he hoped to hear some type of response from the audience watching his execution so that he feels as he was a part of the world; that he was not a stranger. The only time that Meursault truly felt as if he was a stranger to the world was when he stepped into the court room, the first place he was able to go to after being locked up for so long. Now that he is nearing death, he does not change his mindset as much but thinks that maybe he could have taken a different path in life. Major Works Data Sheet Page 2 Author’s style: Camus' writing in The Stranger is simplistic and written in first person, yet with much detail. The reader gets descriptions of the weather, the green color of the evening sky and much more, thus developing intense moments. However, on the surface the writing is very childlike with little dialogue, but the writing is formulated to hold a lot more hidden meaning, that can be interpreted in many ways depending on a person's perception. Quotations Significance He was moving toward the casket when I stopped him. He said, The reader is shown that although Meursault may not be a very "You don't want to?" I answered, "No." He was quiet, and i was emotional person, this passage lets one know that Meursault cares embarrassed because i felt i shouldn't have said that. pg 6 a lot of what others think of him. It occurred to me that anyway one more Sunday was over, that One less person in his life made no difference to the rest of the Maman was buried now, that i was going back to work, and that, world, life goes on regardless of whether we still live or not. nothing had changed. pg 24 Meursault thinks of his current life as no better or worse than any He looked upset and told me that i never gave him a straight other life he could have. He is content with his current lifestyle answer, that I had no ambition, and that it was disastrous for but states that if some change occurred he would be content with business. pg 41 that as well. But according to him, the dog's real sickness was old age, and Age is an inevitability of life, and as one gets older one begins to there's no cure for old age. pg 45 regret things they may have or may not have done. Salamano is the dog’s reflection, for he too is sick with old age. We didn't change our pace, but Raymond said, "If there's trouble, Masson, you take the other one. I'll take care of my Meursault agrees to engage in the fight simply to please man. Meursault, if another one shows up, he's yours." I said, Raymond, as he did when he wrote the letter for him. The reader "Yes", and Masson put his hands in his pockets. pg 53 is again shown that Meursault cares a lot about how people view him. It occurred to me that all i had to do was turn around and that In his situation there was no one around he would want to please, would be the end of it. But the whole beach, throbbing in the he chose to move forward by his own free will, yet he puts the sun, was pressing on my back. pg 58 reason of his actions on account of the sun. He asked me if he could say that that day I had held back my The lawyer appears to dislike Merusault due to his lack of natural feelings. I said "No, because it's not true." He gave me a emotion for his mother’s death. It could affect on how well he strange look, as if he found me slightly disgusting. pg 65 would handle his case. "You know, we've blown your case up a little. Summer is the Camus reflect on society's feelings towards the misfortune of slow season for news. And your story and the parricide were the others. We as a society like to condemn the "evil" and enjoy only ones worth bothering about." pg84 seeing them punished “Well, so I'm going to die." Sooner than other people will Meursault begins to accept the fact that he will die. obviously,. But everybody knows life isn't worth living. Deep This quote ties back to chapter two when he states his down I knew perfectly well that it doesn't much matter whether you die at thirty or at seventy, since in either case other men and mother has died and yet nothing had changed. Camus women will naturally go on living-and for thousands of years. In reflects the idea that and individuals death does not fact nothing could be more clearer. pg114 cause a dramatic change in the world we live in. Major Works Data Sheet Page 3 Characters Name Role Significance Adjectives Meursault Protagonist A very simple male that lives by himself Simple, Unemotional, and does not see a big significant in his Straightforward life. Meursault did not take anything to his heart, especially his mother's death which he viewed with almost no emotion. However as he ends up in jail, he starts to question what life really means and the significant of his presence. Raymond Protagonist's Friend Before meeting Raymond, a very Aggressive, Irresponsible, aggressive man, Meursalt did not have Flat Character any major drama in his life. Soon after hanging out with Raymond, Meursalt took part in the Moorish's lady abuse by sending the angry letter for Raymond. Then by joining Raymond on his trip to Masson's house, Meursault encounter the Arab; thus leading him to shot the Arab and get himself in prison. Salamano/Dog Protagonist's Neighbor Salamano serves as an example of how Lonely, Ill-tempered, Meursault should have acted when he Sincere, Round/Dynamic heard his mother had died. When Salamano's dog was missing, Salamano Character was complelty lost without him and Meursault could hear him pacing back and forth and crying for his companion, a reaction that Meursault should have had. Marie Protagonist's Marie and Meursault get together the Naive/Compassionate,Static Girlfriend weekend of his mother’s funeral. She Character comes in just as he loses another woman in his life. However, even though we see his infatuation of Marie, he does not show any true emotions, such as love, toward her, further showing the reader his lack of compassion. Maman Protagonist's Mother Even though the audience is introduce to Parent/Mother Meursault's mother by her death, she keeps recurring throughout the novel. Meurasault shows no mourning nor hard emotions towards his mother's death, thus making the reader why isn't he. At the end, Meursault finally understands how his mother felt when she was approaching death for he was too. Attorneys Prosecutor and Defend Both lawyers did not argue much about Prosecutor- Static Character Attorneys the actual shooting, but the Prosecutor based his argument more on Meursault's reaction to his mother's death. The Defend Attorney-Static prosecutor says because of Meursault's Character heartless actions he is prone to commit murder. Truthfully, both attorneys knew that Meursault was guilty. Chaplain Prison's Chaplin He comes in and talks to Meursault Priest, Religious,Static hoping that he can get some kind of Character religious sentiment out of Meursault. The chaplain contanstly tries to understand why Meursault does not have any religious beliefs and this causes Meursault to become aggresive with the chaplain at the end. Major Works Data Sheet Page 4 Setting Significance of opening scene The setting of the novel is in Algiers. Even though The opening scene opens up the world of Meursault. the "old people's home" is at Marengo, about eighty From the first couple of sentences the reader can see kilometers from Algiers, the novel mainly takes place how unemotional Meursault is, even annoyed to have in Algiers. An important aspect of the setting is to deal with his mother's funeral. This brings the nature because Meursault often spends his time at the reader to begin questioning Meursault and his actions beach, under the sun and by the water. However, the immediately, laying the brick work for all the twist of the story occurs at Raymond's friend's beach questions that follow in the rest of the story. house. After the incident, Meursault's life is centered within the prison. Symbols Significance of ending/closing scene 1) The Sun: The sun usually symbolizes brightness, The novel concludes with Meursault wishing that pople happiness, or a new beginning. However, in The would greet him with hate on the day of his execution. "I Stranger, the sun tends to blind Meursault, and had only to wish that there be a large crowd of spectators encourages him to shoot the Arab four more times. the day od my execution and that they greet me with cries Additionally, Meursault see this "light" during his of hate. He understands that his death will cause no change Maman's funeral as well as the beach. It is another aspect and that he sill soon be forgotten. As human beings we like of the physical features of nature which he admires. to believe that we are one of a kind and that others care 2) Salamano and the Dog's relationship: Although it is about us. Meursault wishes for the people to greet him with demonstrated how Salamano is always beating the dog, it the strong emotion of hate, rather than with indifference, is later presented that their relationship is a unique. It Perhaps his life will cause no change in the world but he contrasts Meursault and his Maman's relationship because will be at least be remembered by others if by nothing else Camus portrays the idea that this is what their relationship than by hatred. The only way for a person to become truly should be like. Even though they cannot stand each other, immortal is to always be remembered, as long as one is Salamano and the dog have become use to one another remembered one is not completely gone from this world. and cannot live without each other. Despite how much Salamano curses the dog, he misses it once is disappears. Old AP Questions 1979,1982,1986,2004 Possible Themes 1. Simplicity: In the beginning Meursault does not take much out of his life and basically act as if he is living just to live. He only attended the funeral because it was the right thing to do. Then afterwards he would just go back to work. Beside work he would go down to the beach and hang out with Marie. His daily routine consists of work, eat, sleep, and hanging out. There’s really nothing more to his life. He has freedom to do whatever he wants in society; however his free will is taken away and changes his simple life after shooting the Arab. 2. Irrationality: As said, Meursault lives an ordinary life. However events start occurring to him without a certain reason thus making his life look illogical. First his mother pass away, and it seems like a natural death. However after returning from the funeral, he suddenly met Marie again. Not only was Meursault experiencing unexpected event happening to him, but witness oddly situations around him. An oddly situation was Salamano losing his dog and they have been together for such a long time that it seem unreasonable for the dog to be lost. Then unexpectedly Meursault become friends with Raymond, thus leading him to be involved in the tensions with the Arab men. Base on how Meursault was living his life before, no one would have taught he had the courage to shot a man and not just once but also four times afterwards. Thus everything started happening irrationally. Camus is trying to say life is unexpected, anything can happen. Meursault claims it was the sun’s heat that made him step forward to the Arab, however he was conscious to know what he was doing so he put himself in prison and later execution. Camus conveys the message that life can be simple and plain however it can change instantly by one single action. 3. Physical Appearance: Throughout the novel, the audience can witness that Meursault takes more interest in the environment and people around him versus the purpose of what he is doing. During the funeral, Meursault took great notice of how slow and tired Mr. Perez was and how the sun was brightly shinning. However normally, people would be in grief and upset because it’s the last time they will be able to see the decease. Also Camus write about Meursault as being in love more with Marie’s physical appearance rather than her personality. Meursault takes great interest in Marie’s breast and her smile, however he does not mention much about her actions and inner characteristics. The sun is a major object that is often observed by Meursault. He talks about it during the walk at the funeral, the sun at the beach, and the sun at the shooting. One common characteristic Meursault always mention about the sun is the powerful heat it is giving off, which maybe stands for how once the sun is hitting him, his life is slowly changing without him knowing. One major scene that the reader can see how much Meursault observe the physical world is when he first enters the court room and sees all his friends and the reporters. He took more notice in one reporter and the robotic woman more than his court case. Thus, Camus writes Meursault’s character as more of an observant and physical appearance base character than a character that cares about the emotions.
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