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Knocking

08 Oct

Book 1 ends with this sentence:

And it was like knocking four quick times on the door of unhappiness.

Mersault killed the Arab.  We can’t say it was in cold blood.  There was an abundance of heat, sweat, and sunshine.  In the surreal moment, Mersault murders a man he doesn’t even know.  What has me confused is if “one life was as good as another” (Book 1, chpt. 5), why does Camus compare the slaying to “knocking… on the door of unhappiness“?

Mother’s death, girlfriend’s proposal, possible job promotion: Mersault just doesn’t care. Eh, whatever…
When his boss offers a position in Paris, Mersault declines.

“I said that people never change their lives, that in any case one life was as good as another and that I (Mersault) wasn’t dissatisfied with mine here at all.”

Back to the homicide…
gunshots = unhappiness=dissatisfaction?

Throughout the story Camus seems to say that man is destined to death so he must live in the moment and make choices without regret.

Unhappiness sounds like regret to me.

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Posted by on October 8, 2013 in The Stranger

 

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