by Albert Camus
The Stranger Mortality Quotes
How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Part.Chapter.Paragraph). We used Matthew Ward's translation, published by Vintage International published in 1989.
To another question [the director of the home] replied that he had been surprised by my calm the day of the funeral. He was asked what he meant by "calm." The director then looked down at the tips of his shoes and said that I hadn’t wanted to see Maman, that I hadn’t cried once, and that I had left right after the funeral without paying my last respects at her grave. (2.3.14)
Meursault is convicted not because of his crime, but because of his casual attitude toward death.
"First, in the blinding clarity of the facts, and second, in the dim light cast by the mind of this criminal soul." He reminded the court of my insensitivity; of my ignorance when asked Maman’s age; of my swim the next day – with a woman; of the Fernandel movie; and finally of my taking Marie home with me. (2.4.2)
To convince the jury to find Meursault guilty, the prosecutor paints him as more of an alien or a robot than a man—passive, detached, and emotionless.
He stated that I had no place in a society whose fundamental rules I ignored and that I could not appeal to the same human heart whose elementary response I knew nothing of. "[…] For if in the course of what has been a long career I have had occasion to call for the death penalty, never as strong as today have I felt this painful duty made easier, lighter, clearer by the certain knowledge of a sacred imperative and by the horror I feel when I look into a man’s face and all I see is a monster." (2.4.5)
It's interesting that the prosecutor calls Meursault a monster, because Meursault will later argue that there is no difference between a dog and a man (and therefore, between any living creature and any other).