The Stranger Society and Class 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.
On their way out, and much to my surprise, they all shook my hand – as if that night during which we hadn’t exchanged as much as a single word had somehow brought us closer together. (1.1.18)
Meursault does not subscribe to society’s rules about closeness and relationships; he does not easily attach or identify with anyone.
I told her Maman had died. She wanted to know how long ago, so I said, "Yesterday." She gave a little start but didn’t say anything. I felt like telling her it wasn’t my fault, but I stopped myself because I remembered that I’d already said that to my boss. It didn’t mean anything. Besides, you always feel a little guilty. (1.2.2)
Meursault possesses some semblance of a societal conscience – at first.
I had dinner at Celeste’s. I’d already started eating when a strange little woman came in and asked me if she could sit at my table. Of course she could. Her gestures were jerky and she [was] meticulous […]. Then she stood up, put her jacket back on with the same robot like movements, and left. I didn’t have anything to do so I left too and followed her for a while. […] I thought about how peculiar she was but forgot about her a few minutes later. (1.5.6)
Unknowingly, Meursault identifies with this woman – who is obviously a societal outcast, much like himself.