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The Stranger

The Stranger


by Albert Camus

The Stranger Philosophical Viewpoints: The Absurd 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.

Quote #22

And I can say that at the end of the eleven months that this investigation lasted, I was almost surprised that I had ever enjoyed anything other than those rare moments when the judge would lead me to the door of his office, slap me on the shoulder, and say to me cordially, "That’s all for today, Monsieur Antichrist." I would then be handed back over to the police. (2.1.13)

The magistrate has begun to acknowledge Meursault’s nonconformity in Christian society, and Meursault has started to revel in it.

Quote #23

On the one hand it wasn’t very likely. On the other, it was perfectly natural. Anyway, I thought the traveler pretty much deserved what he got and that you should never play games. (2.2.15)

Referring to the story about the Czechoslovakian, Meursault’s reasoning lays out the basic tenet of Absurdism: Life is meaningless—so don’t rely on any logic-based "rules" to get you through it.

Quote #24

The prosecutor […] would like to know whether I had gone back to the spring by myself intending to kill the Arab. "No," I said. Well, then, why was I armed and why did I return to precisely that spot? I said it just happened that way. (2.3.12)

Meursault truly believes that his killing the Arab was incidental—due only to some absurd chain of irrational events over which he had no control.

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