Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Important Quotes [PART 1]

THE OUTSIDER by Albert Camus
Important Quotes Explained: PART 1

Chapter 1

Quote: “Mother died today. Or maybe yesterday, I don’t know.” (pg 9)

Context: The day of Meursault’s mother’s death.

Explanation:This quote is the first sentence of the novel. This sudden opening to Meursault’s character tells the reader that it is very important to understand how Meursault is like. The main thing that is shown in this quote is that Meursault isn’t an ordinary character. He isn’t close to his mother and he lacks emotion to the fact that his mother has just died. When he says, “I don’t know”, to when his mother has died shows that he doesn’t care about the situation and that he just wants to get over what happened in the past.

Quote: “She said, ‘If we go slowly, you risk getting sun-stroke. But if you go too fast, you perspire and then in the church you catch a chill.’ She was right. There was no way out.” (Pg.22)

Context: When the nurse spoke to Meursault during the funeral procession.

Explanation:If you take what the nurse says literary, she is talking about how the hot weather during the funeral procession, but when Meursault says, ‘There was no way out”, reveals another meaning to what the nurse said. The hot sun is used to symbolize life and what the nurse said made Meursault think that life will always end by death and there is no way around that. This thought made Meursault think that you can have a slow or fast life but either way you will die in the end. This may suggest that Meursault thinks that there is no point in life.

Chapter 2

Quote: “It didn’t mean anything. In any case, you’re always partly to blame.” (Pg. 24)

· Context: Mersault says this when him and Marie Cordona are speaking about his mother, and he is about to say it wasn’t his fault but stopped himself

· Explanation: Rather than believing that the death was his own fault, he just believes that any death is always partly someone’s fault. This expresses his lack of sadness or guilt for his mother’s death, and the same indifference in his personality overall.

Quote: “I didn’t have lunch at Celeste’s as usual because I knew they’d ask me questions and I don’t like that” (Pg.25)

· Context: Mersault is trying to decide what to do on his free Sunday.

· Explanation: It seems that Mersault dislikes expressing emotions because this quote shows that Mersault tries to avoid ‘questions’ on his Mother’s death or anything that would make him have to talk about his feelings.

· Also, this quote is an example of Mersault always trying to justify his actions with a logical explanation, with the repetition of ‘because’. He does this many times in the book, for example:

o “I cooked myself some eggs and ate them out of the pan, without any bread because I’d run out and I didn’t feel like going down to buy some” (Pg.25)

o “I turned my chair around like the tobacconist’s because I found it more comfortable that way.”(Pg.26)

“I realized that I’d managed to get through another Sunday, that mother was now buried, that I was going to go back to work and that, after all, nothing had changed.” (Pg.28)

· Context: Mersault looks back at his Sunday as he comes back inside from his balcony and is about to go to bed.

· Explanation: This is a very strong quote, especially when he says, ‘nothing had changed’, even though his mother was now dead. This normality even though his mother died is very concerning to the reader – we wonder what kind of person he is or problem he has that would make him say this. It again emphasizes his lack of emotion and grief for his mother.

Chapter 3

Quote: “I told him that I hadn’t thought about it but it was interesting.” (Page 35)

· Context: After Raymond told him the different ideas of how he wanted to punish his mistress, he asks Meursault of his opinion.

· Explanation: The way Meursault replies to Raymond when he asks his opinion of how to punish Raymond’s mistress shows his indifference again to the problems of others. It also shows the peculiarity of Meursault’s character, because he has no strong reaction to what he has just been told and he finds it interesting. An ordinary person would not find different ways to punish someone interesting. Meursault’s reply also helps to demonstrate his bluntness and honesty.

Quote: “I wrote the letter. I did it rather haphazardly, but I did my best to please Raymond because I had no reason not to please him.” (Page 36)

· Context: Raymond asks Meursault to write a letter to his mistress for him, and he replies that he doesn’t mind doing it for him.

· Explanation: The fact that he doesn’t mind writing this letter for Raymond when he knows the reason for it which is to persuade Raymond’s mistress to return only so he can punish her by spitting in her face after going to bed with her, shows how he merely observes and does not interfere. He also replies quickly that he doesn’t mind writing the letter shows how he can be a pushover. Also his reason for wanting to please Raymond was not necessarily based on friendship or to gain anything, it was based on logic like most of his decisions. He doesn’t over think things he just does it, without emotionally involving himself in the situation.

CChapter 4

Quote: “I really fancied her because she was wearing a pretty red and white striped dress and leather sandals.” (pg 37)

Context: When Meursault met Marie on Saturday before going to the beach with her.

Explanation:The fact that Meursault likes Marie because of how she looks shows that Meursault lacks emotion and does things through logic and nature. Throughout the book he mentions that he fancies her through observations such as what she’s wearing, when she smiles, and her breasts. His relationship with Marie to him is completely sexual and lacks emotion, showing that he can have the same relationship with a woman as long as she looks good. He doesn’t really care about ones personality.

Quote: “A minute later she asked me if I loved her. I told her that it didn’t mean anything but that I didn’t think so.” (pg 38)

Context: The morning after Meursault and Marie made love when they came back from the beach.

Explanation:This quote shows how Meursault lacks a great deal of emotion. He believes that there is meaning to love. When Meursault says, “It didn’t mean anything”, tell the reader that he doesn’t understand love. In fact Meursault doesn’t comprehend any emotion because he doesn’t feel them.

Quote: “Marie said it was terrible and I didn’t say anything. She asked me to go and fetch a policeman, but I told her that I didn’t like policemen.” (pg 38)

Context: After Meursault and Marie heard the woman screaming and yelling while Raymond was hitting her.

Explanation: The contrast between Marie and Meursaults reaction to the screaming of the woman shows how Meursault is very different from the others in the society. How Meursault doesn’t react much shows how he doesn’t feel any negative emotions in the situation. When Marie refuses to get the police, it tells the reader that Meursault wants to avoid any trouble and he doesn’t want to get involved to complicate his life.

Chapter 5

Quote: “I wanted to hang up straight away because I know my boss doesn’t like people ringing s up from town.” (Pg.43)

· Context: Raymond phones Mersault in the office, and invites him and Marie to his chalet outside Algiers. He also mentions that he had been followed by a group of Arabs and asks Mersault to warn him if he sees any Arab near his house.

· Explanation: The quote shows that Mersault is a hard worker when it comes to work, and works diligently to please his boss. It extends to his overall personality of wanting to please people and do a thorough job, whatever he did. When Raymond asks him on this phone call to warn him if an Arab is near his house, Mersault says yes without questioning anything. This demonstrates his ‘people pleaser’ personality where he can’t say no.

Quote: “I said yes but I really didn’t mind. He then asked me if I wasn’t interested in changing my life. I replied that you could never change your life, that in any case one life was a good as another and that I wasn’t at all dissatisfied wit mine here.” (Pg.44)

Context: The boss announced to Mersault that he wanted to give him a promotion, to work in Paris. He says, ‘You’re a young man, and I imagine that sort of life must appeal to you”

Explanation: This shows that Mersault is different from an average young man, in the fact that he lacks ambition and, in this example, ‘doesn’t mind’ in an exciting life in Paris. This quote also shows that he likes his simple life the way it is, but with his ‘anything goes’ personality he doesn’t mind going. In addition, he says that even with small changes life is always the same. He also thinks that ‘one life is as good as another’, and believes in the equality of life. This quote is also significant as it is one of the rare times he talks about the future.

Quote: “That evening, Marie came round for me and asked me if I wanted to marry her. I said I didn’t mind and we could if she wanted to. She then wanted to know if I loved her. I replied as I had dome once already, that it didn’t mean anything but that I probably didn’t” (Pg.44)

Context: basically explained in the quote J

Explanation: The fact that he answers this important question so honestly and bluntly shows his lack of emotion. It also shows that he doesn’t understand what love is, or any kind of emotion for that matter. It again shows that he is not a normal person. He doesn’t think marriage is a serious matter and thinks it’s just ‘another thing to do’. It expresses his personality in terms ignorance, detachment, and honesty.

Chapter 6

Quote: “He hasn’t said anything to you yet. It’d be unfair to shoot just like that.” (Page 57)

· Context: When Raymond and Meursault see the Arabs again after the first fight, Raymond is ready to shoot the Arabs but Meursault convinces Raymond not to shoot until provoked, as it would be unfair.

· Explanation: This quote demonstrates the logical thinking of Meursault once again. Another example of Meursault’s logical thinking is when he tell Raymond, “if the other one intervenes, or if he draws his knife, I’ll let him have it”. This shows how Meursault is rational in his thinking, but at the same time indifferent to the situation. He doesn’t care if he might have to shoot another person or not, if it happens, it happens.

Quote: “It annoyed me to have to explain things to them” (Page 56)

· Context: After the men get into a fight with the Arabs , Raymond needs to be taken to the doctor and Meursault has to stay and explain to the women what has happened, but he doesn’t want to.

· Explanation: After an important event has happened, Meursault doesn’t want to explain it to the women, and is annoyed at the fact that he has to. This shows again how he never involves himself emotionally to situations. Not necessarily showing that he a cold person but detached, even with his own mother.

Quote: “I’d realized that I’d destroyed the balance of the day and the perfect silence of this beach where I’d been happy” (Page 60)

· Context: Meursault has just shot and killed the Arab.

· Explanation: This is a very strange reflection to have after just killing someone. He does not regret it or panic, but is disappointed that he has just ruined the mood of the day. He does not understand the significance of what he has just done. This shows an important attribute of Meursault, as it demonstrates that he lacks emotion and the importance of life. Emotions, family, friends and even himself do not matter to him.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Copyright © 2009 ib world literature. All rights reserved. Theme by Laptop Geek. | Bloggerized by FalconHive.