by Albert Camus
The Stranger Religion 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.
For the third time I’ve refused to see the chaplain. I don’t have anything to say to him; I don’t feel like talking, and I’ll be seeing him soon enough as it is. All I care about right now is escaping the machinery of justice, seeing if there’s any way out of the inevitable. (2.5.1)
Meursault has outwardly declined the chaplain’s efforts three times. Though he accepts death to be inevitable, he doesn't want to give up hope for life and freedom—yet.
"Why have you refused to see me?" he asked. I said that I didn’t believe in God. He wanted to know if I was sure and I said that I didn’t see any reason to ask myself that question: it seemed unimportant. (2.5.13)
Meursault’s fight with the chaplain is one-sided: the chaplain is adamant about their opposition, but Meursault doesn’t really care.
"Then God can help you," he said. "Every man I have known in your position has turned to Him." I acknowledged that that was their right. It also meant that they must have had the time for it. As for me, I didn’t want anybody’s help, and I just didn’t have the time to interest myself in what didn’t interest me. (2.5.14)
Because he's totally uninterested in relying on any external authority or source for meaning, Meursault lays bare his atheism for the chaplain to see.