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Quotes

Quote #13

First we heard a woman’s shrill voice and then Raymond saying, "You used me, you used me. I’ll teach you to use me." There were some thuds and the woman screamed, but in such a terrifying way that the landing immediately filled with people […]. The woman was shrieking and Raymond was hitting her." (1.4.4)

Paradoxically, Raymond is at once so attached to yet removed from this woman that he abuses her for cheating on him. (He has to be attached to get emotional, but removed to bring himself to hurt her.)

Quote #14

And from the peculiar little noise coming through the partition, I realized he was crying. For some reason I thought of Maman. But I had to get up early the next morning. I wasn’t hungry, and I went to bed without any dinner. (1.4.7)

Meursault approaches a state of consciousness here – surely the following thought (about Maman) had to do with the fact that Salamano is crying over his dog, whereas Meursault couldn’t even cry over his mother. But because we’re only in Chapter Four, and it’s far too early for Meursault to have a revelation, he truncates his own thinking by going to bed.

Quote #15

That evening Marie came by to see me and asked me if I wanted to marry her. I said it didn’t make any difference to me and that we could if she wanted to. Then she wanted to know if I loved her. I answered the same way I had the last time, that it didn’t mean anything but that I probably didn’t love her. "So why marry me, then?" she said. I explained to her that it didn’t really matter and that if she wanted to, we could get married. […] Then she pointed out that marriage was a serious thing. I said, "No." (1.5.4)

With characteristic emotional indifference and detachment, Meursault answers Marie’s question with brutal honesty. However, his honesty betrays his ignorance of the range of human emotion, and perhaps even more than that, his primarily sexual interest in Marie.

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