Sunday, April 26, 2009

Important Quotes [PART 2]

The Outsider By Albert Camus

Important Quotes Explained (Part 2)

Chapter 1

Quote: “On my way out I was even going to shake his hand, but I remembered just in time that I’d killed a man.” (Page 64)

· Context: After the police questioned him, he was about to shake his hand but stopped himself.

· Explanation: The fact that Meursault “remembered just in time” that he had killed a man, shows how easily he could forget such an important event. It also helps to demonstrate that he is aware of what he has done, he is aware of his place in society now. Even though he feels no regret, he knows he has done something wrong. Showing his logical thinking once again.

Quote: “I probably loved mother quite a lot, but it didn’t mean anything. To a certain extent all normal people sometimes wished their loved ones were dead.”(Page 65)

· Context: When the lawyer asks Meursault if he had felt any grief on the day of his mother’s funeral, he answers that he got out of the habit of analyzing himself and he found it hard to answer the question

Explanation: Again this quote demonstrates Meursault being emotionally detached. He is not sure of what love is and he feels like it does not mean anything. Also by him saying that all normal people sometimes wished their loved ones were dead, shows how unusual a person he is. He cannot form any emotional based relationships with anyone. His relationship with Marie is more physical than anything, and his relationship with Raymond is convenient as they are both quite alike. Also by him making this statement it shows how nothing or no one means much to him, if they were gone or alive it wouldn’t affect him.

Chapter 2

Quote: “Anyway it was an idea of mother’s and she often used to repeat it, that you ended up getting used to everything.” (pg 75)

Context: When Meursault was talking about how he felt closed in inside the prison.

This quote tells the reader how Meursault easily gets use to everything. This is why Meursault gets use to prison easily and doesn’t miss his home that much. This may also be why he got use to the fact that his mother has died recently. He didn’t feel sad about the situation because his mother didn’t live with him and she wasn’t around anyways. The fact that it was his mother’s idea tells the reader that his mother had an influence on him.

Chapter 3

“I just had one impression: I was in a tram and all these anonymous passengers on the opposite seat were scrutinizing the new arrival to find his peculiarities.” (Pg.81)

  • Context: Mersault is going into the courtroom on a hot summer day, and as he sees the jury all looking at him, he has this impression (quote above). He replaces peculiarities with criminality, though he thinks they aren’t very different.
  • Explanation: This quote is showing that Mersault is beginning to become aware of the attention on him, though he doesn’t express sadness or embarrassment or guilt at this point. He is again observant to the people around him, as he has been so far in the book. However, before he would basically say his observances and leave it as that, but in this quote he is using his observations to compare it to another situation (a kind of metaphor) This shows the development of Mersault’s character throughout the book.

“I didn’t quite follow everything that happened after that, the drawing of lots by the jury, the questions put by the presiding judge to the layer, the prosecutor and the jury…” (Pg.83)

  • Context: This is during the court as Mersault’s case is being argued.
  • Explanation: This quote simply shows that Mersault has changed from the beginning of the book, because as he used to observe everything he saw, but this quote is an example of him not being observatory.

“For the first time in years, I stupidly felt like crying because I could tell how much all these people hated me” (Pg.87)

  • Context: The prosecutor is asking Mersault questions in front of the jury in the courtroom. And this happens as the Procecutor exclaimed, ‘Oh! No, that’s quite sufficient,’ in such a resounding voice and with such a triumphant glance in my direction that…(quote)’
  • Explanation: This shows his “people pleaser” personality and the fact that he knows these people hate him makes him sad. It is one of the rare times in the book where he expresses his emotions, making it very significant. The fact that he thought the cry was ‘stupid’ shows his dislike of emotion, but it showed because he could not avoid it this time.

“Yes, this was the time of day when, long ago, I used to feel happy. What always awaited me then was a night of easy, dreamless sleep…As if a familiar journey under a summer sky could as easily end in prison as in innocent sleep” (Pg.94)

  • Context: Mersault is leaving the courtroom to return back to the prison, and the few moments of freedom makes him think back on his life.
  • Explanation: In this quote Mersault realizes that he was actually happy in his life before the prison. He also realizes that it was too late to notice – because now he was in prison and no longer had the chance to be happy. It is expressing is realization of what happiness was and that one life is not always equal to another, but can actually be very different. Compared to the quote in chapter 5 (part 1), where he believes that all lives are the same, this quote is saying the opposite, and his ideas contrast. It shows his development as a character and he is beginning to gain the same human emotions that he had lacked before.

Chapter 4

Quote: “…I couldn’t help admitting that he was right. I didn’t much regret what I’d done” (Page 97)

· Context: When the prosecutor announced that Meursault had not once expressed any regret, Meursault agreed.

· Explanation: Regretting killing another person, is something almost anyone would feel if they committed such a crime, but Meursault doesn’t. This shows again how he doesn’t understand the extent of his actions. It also shows how honest he is, and how he never lies. He doesn’t care whether his honesty, will give him a harsher sentence, he speaks what he feels is the truth. This is shown by him agreeing with the prosecutor, because it is the truth. He doesn’t grasp all logic though, as he understands the crime he has committed but not why it is so regretful. As later Meursault is surprised at why the prosecutor was so furious about what he has done.

Quote: “He announced that I had no place in a society whose most fundamental rules I ignored, nor could I make an appeal to the heart when I knew nothing of the most basic human reactions.” (Page 99)

· Context: What the prosecutor concluded of Meursault, from the trial

· Explanation: This quote summarizes how other people in the novel view Meursault other than his friends. Those who don’t understand him and his ways are threatened by him. They view him as a danger to society because he is different. People view him as cold, and without a heart because he did not cry at his mother’s funeral. For that, people view him as lacking the most basic human reactions. Even to the readers, he may seem indifferent but this is because he doesn’t understand emotion very well. Some people see Meursault as a monster, while others view him to be kind and honest person.

Chapter 5

Quote: “As if this great outburst of anger had purged all my ills, killed all my hopes, I looked up at the mass of signs and starts in the night sky and laid myself open for the first time to the benign indifference of the world. And finding it so much like myself in fact so fraternal, I realized that I’d been happy, and that I was still happy For the final consummation and for me to feel less lonely, my last wish was that there should be a crowd of spectators at my execution and that they should greet me with cries of hatred.” (pg 117)

Context: Last lines of the novel, after his meeting with the chaplain.

Meursault fully accepts the impossibility of avoiding his death. He realized that he is happy with his position in society and doesn’t mind that he is a criminal. As he says, “to feel less lonely”, shows that he just wants to feel a connection with society. He accepts that the only connection he will feel with society is in the form of anger on his execution day and he doesn’t mind that.

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