The Stranger
The Stranger
by Albert Camus
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Laughing and Swimming

Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory

Laughing and swimming are the two actions that remind us that, in fact, Meursault actually is human after all. Meursault is strangely attracted to laughter, as we all are in some way, we suppose. He finds Raymond instantly friendly – once the man laughs. His heart melts and he wants Marie – yes, in that way – each time she laughs. For Meursault perhaps, laughter symbolizes innocence, simplicity, and nonchalance. (Yes, everything good.) What is true of laughter is also true for swimming. Meursault loves to swim. Marie adores swimming. The two meet while they were swimming, and Meursault essentially makes his first move while in the water. Carefree, wholehearted goodness? You bet.

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