Study Guide

Raymond Sintes in The Stranger

By Albert Camus

Raymond Sintes

Raymond is a sketchy sleazeball: think of the worst fedora'd pick up artist you've met, add a dash of alcoholism, a nasty wife-beating streak, and a hefty portion of racism. Then triple whatever monster you've imagined: that's our Raymond. Nobody loves this Raymond.

Chauvinistic, with greasy hair and flashy clothing, Raymond comes and goes in the life of a pimp (or so the rumors "allege"). Does a guy like him cover his bedroom with pictures of pin-up girls? You bet. Can we reasonably expect him to be a violent pig as well? Only the scars on his ex-girlfriends will tell. Totally macho, Raymond tries to compensate for his insecurities (which he doesn't hide very well, at least not from Meursault) by being tough and violent. 

When his mistress betrays him with another man, he seeks to get her back by spitting in her face during sex. When questioned by the cop as to why he hit a woman, he postures to appear nonchalant. When his mouth is slashed by the Arab at the beach, he feels more humiliated than anything else. 

Raymond is a dirty rat. Although he is possibly the second or third most important character in the book, he is not a close friend of Meursault's. He associates with Meursault only because of proximity, and because Meursault's intelligence is of benefit. 

The one twinkle of goodness we eventually find in Raymond is when he blurts out that Meursault is innocent on the witness stand. But this is too little too late for our protagonist. Perhaps, if Raymond really cared, he shouldn't have handed that gun to Meursault. Or had a gun at all. Or hit his girlfriend.