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Realization

15 Oct

Book 2
chapter 3

Witnesses answer the prosecutor’s questions.  The director of Maman’s home testifies, followed by the caretaker:

He said I hadn’t wanted to see Maman, that I had smoked and slept some, and that I had had some coffee.  It was then I felt a stirring go through the room and for the first time I realized that I was guilty.

Really, Mersault?
The first time you realized you were guilty?
Not when you shot a man once… and then fired the gun four more times?
Not when you were arrested?
Not when you sat in jail.
Not when the judge called you Monsieur Antichrist?

You realized you were guilty for the first time when the Caretaker tattled that you didn’t want to see your dead mother and the crowd reacted to your callousness.
That is when you realized you were guilty.

Notice the verb choice.  He realizes he was guilty.  He doesn’t say that he feels guilty.
Does Mersault ever feel remorse?

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3 Comments

Posted by on October 15, 2013 in The Stranger

 

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3 responses to “Realization

  1. Christina Joy

    October 15, 2013 at 1:47 pm

    I don’t think Mersault ever feels, period. I think if we put him through some of today’s psychological testing he’d be diagnosed with some sort of disorder on the autism spectrum that makes him incapable of real personal connections and emotions.

     
  2. Jean @ Howling Frog

    October 15, 2013 at 4:38 pm

    I’d agree. He doesn’t *feel* much of anything. He has bodily appetites but that is pretty much it.

     
  3. An Experiment with the Well-Educated Mind

    October 15, 2013 at 6:53 pm

    Without knowing anything about the plot or character, my first thoughts were that he was a little mentally slow or challenged (to be P.C.).

     

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