'the Stranger' and the Absurd
My eyes were blinded behind the curtains of tears and salt. All I could feel were the cymbals of sunlight crashing on my forehead… The scorching blade slashed at my eyelashes and stabbed at my stinging eyes. That’s when everything began to reel” (pg. 59).
Meursault literally reacts blindly, not thinking of the repercussions of his actions; murder is an abstraction, apart from the purely physical realm in which he operates.
The death of the Arab isn't particularly meaningful in and of itself; he is no more a nemesis of Meursault’s than Raymond is a friend. The murder is merely one more thing that “happens” to him. The shooting, however, is a turning point in the novel, forcing Meursault to look at his life as his trial falls apart and his impending execution nears. Only by being tried and sentenced to death is Meursault forced to acknowledge his own mortality and the responsibility he has for his own life. Reflecting on his own life, Meursault seems optimistic or even cheery for the first time, stating the inspirational idea that “a man who had lived only one day could easily live for a hundred years in prison. He would have enough memories to keep him from being bored” (Pg. 79). Though most prison inmates would reflect on their lives with remorse or regret, Meursault doesn’t have the inclination to rehash his moral