The Stranger Passivity 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.
Maman died today. Or yesterday maybe, I don’t know. I got a telegram from the home: "Mother deceased. Funeral tomorrow. Faithfully yours." That doesn’t mean anything. Maybe it was yesterday. (1.1.1)
Not only does Meursault not know the actual date, but he’s too passive to try to find out.
When she was at home with me, Maman used to spend her time following me with her eyes, not saying a thing. For the first few days she was at the home she cried a lot. But that was because she wasn’t used to it. A few months later and she would have cried if she’d been taken out. She was used to it. (1.1.6)
After a while, one can get used to, or accept, almost anything.
She said, "If you go slowly, you risk getting sunstroke. But if you go too fast, you work up a sweat and then catch a chill inside the church." She was right. There was no way out. (1.1.27)
Meursault’s solution to this paradox is passivity. If you’re stuck between a rock and a hard place, you should… do nothing.