Mortality Quotes Page 5
How we cite our quotes:
The presiding judge told me in a bizarre language that I was to have my head cut off in a public square in the name of the French people. Then it seemed to me that I suddenly knew what was on everybody's face. It was a look of consideration, I'm sure. The policemen were very gentle with me. The lawyer put his hand on my wrist. I wasn't thinking about anything anymore. But the presiding judge asked me if I had anything to say. I thought about it. I said, "No." (2.4.11)
Meursault assigns his own detached nature to those around him; his own execution having just been announced, he believes the crowd dons expressions of "consideration."
The chaplain knew the game well too, I could tell right away: his gaze never faltered. And his voice didn't falter, either, when he said, "Have you no hope at all? And do you really live with the thought that when you die, you die, and nothing remains?" "Yes," I said. (2.5.15)
The chaplain expects Meursault to be afraid of death. It’s obvious that the holy man, who "[knows] the game well," has in the past had success with this line of questioning. It seems then, that fear of death (and the potential nothingness that comes afterwards) is a typical driving force for religious belief (at least in the world of The Stranger).
[…] the way he saw it, we were all condemned to die. But I interrupted him by saying that it wasn’t the same thing and that besides, it wouldn’t be a consolation anyway. (2.5.15)
In his atheist glory, Meursault has accepted death as his – and everyone else’s – final sentence.