by Albert Camus
Marie Cardona is a simple, undemanding, and guileless girl. She is employed as a typist. She enjoys swimming and watching comedies. She is young, fun-loving, and sexual. Her desires are uncomplicated – love, marriage, and delightful social outings, preferably at the beach. She dreams of someday being in Paris, though she doesn’t put much stock in such dreams. A romantic and dreamer, she is happiest when Meursault tells her he loves her. You could say she’s shallow, never bothering with any of the real philosophical questions that plague Meursault. Easy, soft, and womanly, she provides great contrast to the novel’s main character.
Marie is somewhat of a mystery. She is momentarily perturbed that Meursault is hitting on her the day after his mother died, but then she forgets about it and is all gung-ho to see the comedy. Emotionally, she gets nothing from Meursault, but seems satisfied with a relationship that is more sex than words. She even asks Meursault to marry her – after he says he doesn’t love her.
One solution to this question is that we only know her character through Meursault’s eyes. It is decidedly possible that he oversimplifies her, since she doesn’t provide much difficulty for him and he has no reason to think of her at length. After Meursault’s arrest and imprisonment, Marie fades away from the tale and soon enough disappears from Meursault’s thoughts altogether. We no longer hear about the easy and simple girl, as Meursault’s hard, dark ,and ferocious introspective inquiries take center stage.