Friday, November 19, 2010

Albert Camus's "the stranger"

In the passage where Raymond is beating up his girlfriend in his room, Albert Camus suggests that people and, life in general, can change from a moment to another: he also suggest that love can, sometimes be pain. And that a relationship can be a prison to a soul.
Raymond was peacefully talking to the woman in his room, when Mersault “heard a woman’s voice in Raymond’s room”(35). Albert Camus exposes the lunatic face of life when Raymond was “talking” to the woman but suddenly, Mersault heard “a woman shrill voice and then Raymond saying, “you used me, you used me. I’ll teach you to use me.” (35) That’s a quick transition from a peaceful discussion between a couple to “terrifying” “thuds.” (35) This is an example showing that if two people can, in a few minutes, move from a discussion, evolve to thuds and finally to a fight. The whole world can also in a few minutes, disappear because we’re all men, and men that have fragile emotions.
            The situation went from discussing to fighting in a matter of seconds. Shouldn’t  we see life and all its surroundings as a clock that changes every seconds? If Raymond that loves his woman can easily move from a simple discussion to a fight; Camus tells that a man can move from eating to killing in seconds even worst, employing eating as a synonym of killing.
Camus continues in the next few lines to describe how “the woman was shrieking and Raymond was still hitting her.” (36) Camus describes Raymond to be a brute, in these lines. He’s still beating up his woman while “[she] was still shrieking” (36) to symbolize a soul confined into a prison. To symbolize Raymond confined into his emotional jail beating up his woman and couldn’t remember how he used to love that woman that he’s now hitting to death. Blinded by his  emotions and also fortified by them, he was knocking on her like he would do on an object. Camus makes us think about the meaning of love, He makes us question ourselves about our definition of love: shouldn’t love have a positive feed back? Shouldn’t love be positive at all?”
Camus clearly tells us that not everybody have the same beliefs. Each person sees life and all its elements in a different way and each person also treats them differently. This should awareness for our youths heading to this territory.
Camus continues showing us the faces of life when he comes up with the policeman asking Raymond questions after he literally “hit [the woman].” (36) “the cop slapped him.”(36) And just “the look on Raymond’s face changed, but he didn’t say anything.” (36) Camus, transports the image of Raymond from beating her woman to being slapped himself and not do anything about it. He illustrates a good example of the proverb “mountain beyond mountains” telling not to always believe what we first see and that we shall sometime use the eyes of the spirit and again wait for new events to judge the person. Camus first presents Raymond as a sadist but he was just taking advantage of the weak woman. Camus suggests that life is a journey that what you do to your fellow will be also done to you one day. What we can also interpret as what goes around comes around.
In this same part of the passage Camus is also liberating some more sides of Mersault. He emphasizes the carelessness, the lack of feeling of Mersault through his sentence: “[Marie] asked me to go find a policemen, I told her I didn’t like cops.”(36)  While the woman was getting knocked on. Mersault shows that he would let a person die just to satisfy one of his caprices. That justifies him killing the Arab now.
Camus’s work takes us to think about life. He also takes us to be aware of what we see. Most of the time, things are curtained and can only be discovered with patience.

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