How we cite our quotes:
I couldn’t understand why they had taken [the cigarettes] away when they didn’t hurt anybody. Later on I realized that that too was part of the punishment. But by then I had gotten used to not smoking and it wasn’t a punishment anymore. (2.2.12)
It seems that it’s difficult or impossible to punish a man like Meursault. Since he can be happy anywhere, prison isn’t an issue. Since he can get used to anything, no circumstance is trouble for him. Finally, since he approaches his death in exaltation, execution isn’t exactly a drag for him either.
Then I remembered what the nurse at Maman’s funeral said. No, there was no way out, and no one can imagine what nights in prisons are like. (2.2.17)
Wait a minute – here it looks like Meursault is feeling punished. What changed to cause this shift in attitude?
I answered that Maman and I didn’t expect anything from each other anymore, or from anyone else either, and that we had both gotten used to our new lives. (2.3.11)
Meursault and his mother had both gotten used to, and accepted, their lives away from the other.