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.
Then, I don’t know why, but something inside me snapped. I started yelling at the top of my lungs, and I insulted him and told him not to waste his prayers on me. I grabbed him by the collar of his cassock. I was pouring out on him everything that was in my heart. […] He seemed so certain about everything, didn’t he? And yet none of his certainties was worth one hair of a woman’s head. He wasn’t even sure he was alive, because he was living like a dead man. […] But I was sure about me, about everything, surer than he could ever be, sure of my life and sure of the death I had waiting for me. Yes, that was all I had. But at least I had as much of a hold on it as it had on me. (2.5.25)
Meursault combats the chaplain’s religiousness with his own brand of certainty—his certainty of his own death.
Nothing, nothing mattered, and I knew why. […] What did other people’s deaths or a mother’s love matter to me; what did his God or the lives people choose or the fate they think they elect matter to me when we’re all elected by the same fate, me and billions of privileged people like him […]? Couldn’t he see, couldn’t he see that? Everybody was privileged. There were only privileged people. The others would all be condemned one day. And he would be condemned, too. What would it matter if he were accused of murder and then executed because he didn’t cry at his mother’s funeral? Salamano’s dog was worth just as much as his wife. (2.5.25)
Meursault declares that, if everyone’s going to die, God shouldn’t matter. Those who believe in God will meet their ends just as those who don’t. Death makes life a level playing field.