We experience the everyday life of Meursault through his eyes and narration. Basically, Meursault doesn’t really care for his mother (or her death), he loves to have casual sex on the beach with an ex-coworker, and he hangs out with a greaseball guy named Raymond.
The nightmare starts when Meursault shoots and kills an Arab at the beach. The nightmare continues for a year in prison, while Meursault awaits trial. The nightmare springs to life when following trial, Meursault is sentenced to death by guillotine. Just call it Act II: The Nightmare.
We’re with Meursault when, at the crack of dawn, not far from his execution day, he experiences a kind of transcendence, or enlightenment. Rejecting society and embracing himself, he emerges triumphant from this ordeal.