Study Guide

The Stranger Part 1, Chapter 2

By Albert Camus

Part 1, Chapter 2

  • Upon waking up, Meursault muses over his boss's annoyance when he asked for time off. Counting the weekend, it amounts to four days off, and he very sympathetically understands his boss's point of view.
  • Meursault goes for a swim at the public beach down at the harbor.
  • He bumps, or rather, swims into Marie Cardona, a former co-worker that he liked but didn't have time for. Now Meursault tries to make a move on her as he helps her onto a float.
  • The two fall asleep together, with Meursault lying on Marie's stomach.
  • Having this broken the ice, Meursault asks her out to a movie. Marie agrees to see a Fernandel comedy.
  • They get dressed for the movies and Meursault picks her up wearing a black tie. Marie seems shocked that Meursault's mother died only yesterday, as he's all, "Hey, baby, let's go out" when he really ought to be all, "Hey I'm sad, my mom just died." But then she forgets about it.
  • The two mess around in the theatreā€¦ then take it to the bedroom at Meursault's place.
  • The next morning ("The next morning" is a clever euphemism for "After they had sex"), Marie has already left when Meursault wakes up. He dozes a bit more, smokes a few cigarettes, and finally fixes himself some eggs.
  • He then reads the paper and wastes away the rest of the beautiful afternoon on his balcony, people-watching and smoking and (probably) reflecting on the sexytimes the night before.
  • By nightfall, the street lamps turn on and tire Meursault's eyes. (What is it with this guy and lights? He seems strangely affected by them.)
  • He goes downstairs to buy bread and spaghetti, and eats his meal standing up.
  • A breeze chills him, so Meursault shuts the windows. He goes to bed thinking about his mother's burial and tomorrow's impending work, and realizes that, really, nothing has changed.