The Outsider by Albert Camus
The book is about Meursault, who is executed for a murder. But the reason for his punishment is not the crime.
I am intrigued by the protagonist’s character and portrayal. He is SIMPLE. He really translates his thoughts into actions. They are independent of people’s opinions and biases.
The book begins “Mother died today. Or maybe yesterday, I don’t know. I has a telegram from the home: ‘Mother passed away. Funeral tomorrow. Yours sincerely.’ That doesn’t mean anything. It may have been yesterday.”
His interaction and observation with his mother’s inmates is an interesting read. His demeanor gave the inmates a sense of him being different and incompatible. Instead of despair or hard feelings, he just observes. Nor is there a drive in him, to act in a manner to feel accommodated among the strangers who were close to his mother.
He will not pretend. Emotions discomfort him. Its easier for him not to answer.
He is more engrossed in narrating the daily activities, sunshine, his physical comforts and discomforts.
Now, circumstances lead him to shoot an Arab, who also had the intention to harm Meursault.
The trial has begun for him. He honestly states all the events. But the court of law does not like his honesty, it wants to be manipulated. He is unable to fake because he knows he is not a criminal.
The court wants him to weep, plead but cannot accept him being unable to express emotions and accept the person he is. But, he does not want to deny his feelings or thoughts.
An excerpt from the book “What did it matter if he was accused of murder and then executed for not crying at his mother’s funeral?”
Rather than dissecting the events that led to the unlawful activity. The court judges him on being an atheist, irrational for his emotions. He is condemned.
Society expects us to behave in a certain way. I don’t know who had set this expectation or who are the one’s to set this tradition.
Neither do they know.
Yet everyone expects a certain behavior?
Meursault was ready to live again, after his execution.
He had a peaceful death because he was sure of himself even if he could not explain it to them.