This reminds me of "The Stranger". For anyone who's read it, possible duality between Meursault and Raymond?Originally Posted by UDP IIWhat I am concerned about is the ESFj trusting this person too much. She's shown remarkably bad judgment in the past, and alpha naivete about things. And now she seems to consult him for all heavy thinking. She's asking him how to write letters now..... it's justkind of distorbing.
The SparkNotes analysis of Raymond is particularly uncanny.
Originally Posted by The StrangerShe was wearing a pair of my pajamas with the sleeves rolled up. When she laughed I wanted her again. A minute later she asked me if I loved her. I told her it didn't mean anything but that I didn't think so. She looked sad. But as we were fixing lunch, and for no apparent reason, she laughed in such a way that I kissed her.Originally Posted by The StrangerAs if that blind rage had washed me clean, rid me of hope; for the first time, in that night alive with signs and stars, I opened myself to the gentle indifference of the world. Finding it so much like myself—so like a brother, really—I felt that I had been happy and that I was happy again. For everything to be consummated, for me to feel less alone, I had only to wish that there be a large crowd of spectators the day of my execution and that they greet me with cries of hate.Originally Posted by The StrangerI said that people never change their lives, that in any case one life was as good as another and that I wasn’t dissatisfied with mine here at all.Originally Posted by The StrangerThe scorching blade slashed at my eyelashes and stabbed at my stinging eyes. That's when everything began to reel. The sea carried up a thick, fiery breath. It seemed to me as if the sky split open from one end to the other to rain down fire. My whole being tensed and I squeezed my hand around the revolver. The trigger gave; I felt the smooth underside of the butt; and there, in that noise, sharp and deafening at the same time, is where I tall started. I shook off the sweat and sun.
I knew that I had shattered the harmony of the day, the exceptional silence of a beach where I'd been happy. Then I fired four more times at the motionless body where the bullets lodged without leaving a trace. And it was like knocking four quick times on the door of unhappiness.Originally Posted by The StrangerAnd the more I thought about it, the more I dug out my memory things I had overlooked or forgotten. I realized then that a man who had lived only one day could easily live for a hundred years in prison. He would have enough memories to keep him from being bored. In a way, it was an advantage.Originally Posted by SparkNotesMeursault is psychologically detached from the world around him. Events that would be very significant for most people, such as a marriage proposal or a parent’s death, do not matter to him, at least not on a sentimental level. He simply does not care that his mother is dead, or that Marie loves him.
Meursault is also honest, which means that he does not think of hiding his lack of feeling by shedding false tears over his mother’s death. In displaying his indifference, Meursault implicitly challenges society’s accepted moral standards, which dictate that one should grieve over death. Because Meursault does not grieve, society sees him as an outsider, a threat, even a monster. At his trial, the fact that he had no reaction to his mother’s death damages his reputation far more than his taking of another person’s life.
Meursault is neither moral nor immoral. Rather, he is amoral—he simply does not make the distinction between good and bad in his own mind. When Raymond asks him to write a letter that will help Raymond torment his mistress, Meursault indifferently agrees because he “didn’t have any reason not to.” He does not place any value judgment on his act, and writes the letter mainly because he has the time and the ability to do so.
At the novel’s outset, Meursault’s indifference seems to apply solely to his understanding of himself. Aside from his atheism, Meursault makes few assumptions about the nature of the world around him. However, his thinking begins to broaden once he is sentenced to death. After his encounter with the chaplain, Meursault concludes that the universe is, like him, totally indifferent to human life. He decides that people’s lives have no grand meaning or importance, and that their actions, their comings and goings, have no effect on the world. This realization is the culmination of all the events of the novel. When Meursault accepts “the gentle indifference of the world,” he finds peace with himself and with the society around him, and his development as a character is complete.
Originally Posted by WikipediaUsually classed as an existential novel, The Stranger is indeed based on Camus' theory of the absurd. Many readers mistakenly believe that Meursault lives by the ideas of the existentialists. In the first half of the novel, however, Meursault is clearly an unreflecting, unapologetic individual. He is moved only by sensory experiences (the funeral procession, swimming at the beach, sexual intercourse with Marie, etc). Camus is reinforcing his basic thesis that there is no Truth, only (relative) truths—and, in particular, that truths in science (empiricism/rationality) and religion are ultimately meaningless. Of course, Meursault himself isn't directly aware of any of this -- his awareness of the absurd is subconscious at best; it 'colors' his actions. But Camus' basic point remains: the only real things are those that we experience physically. Thus, Meursault kills the Arab because of his response to the glaring sun, which beats down upon him as he moves toward his 'adversary' on the beach. The death of the Arab isn't particularly meaningful in itself: it's merely something else that 'happens' to Meursault. The significance of this episode is that it forces Meursault to reflect upon his life (and its meaning) as he contemplates his impending execution. Only by being tried and sentenced to death is Meursault forced to acknowledge his own mortality and the responsibility he has for his own life.
Another theme is that we make our own destiny, and we, not God, are responsible for our actions and their consequences (non-determinism).
Truth is another motif of the book. Meursault, despite being judged by many of his contemporaries as immoral or amoral, believes passionately in truth and justice. He betrays this belief through his unyielding candor; he never displays emotions that he does not feel. Neither does he participate in social conventions he finds dishonest. Although grief is considered the socially acceptable or "normal" response, Meursault does not exhibit grief at his mother's funeral. This belief in the incorruptibility of truth takes on a naïve dimension when he goes through the trial process; he questions the need for a lawyer, claiming that the truth should speak for itself. Much of the second half of the book involves this theme of the imperfection of justice. It is Meursault's belief in truth that proves his undoing—a public official compiling the details of the case tells Meursault he will be saved if he repents and turns to Christianity, but Meursault is truthful to his atheism and refuses to pretend he has found religion. More generally, Meursault's love of truth overrides his self-preservation instinct; he feels that he must be punished for his actions, and refuses to try evading justice.
As previously mentioned, a main theme is the absurd, and it is a theme that at times throughout the book seems to override the 'responsibility' aspect of the powerful ending. The ending seems to reflect that Meursault is in fact satisfied with his ending, to the extent that one can be satisfied with death, while also of course being terrified, whereas the erstwhile sensory observations, which were mostly stand-alone and, if they did impact him, did so in terms of something physical (ie. "I became tired"), become very relevant to his self and being. It seems that, in facing death, he's found the first true feeling and revelation and happiness. But even that revelation was in the "gentle indifference of the world". A central contributor to this theme was that of the pause after he shot the Arab for the first time. In one key moment, while being interviewed by the magistrate, he mentions how it did not matter that he waited and then shot four more times. Speaking objectively, in terms of tangible results, there was no difference: the Arab died at one shot, and four more shots meant four more pieces of lead in a then entirely effete human carcass to Meursault but, as he would claim, to the world in general. This is seen also in his reflection on the absurdity of humanity creating a justice system to impose such meaningful actions as "death" upon a human: "The fact that the [death] sentence had been read at eight o'clock at night and not at five o'clock... the fact that it had been handed down in the name of some vague notion called the French (or German, or Chinese) people--all of it seemed to detract from the seriousness of the decision".
Marie: Alpha SF
It seems like most of my English class reading is written by and about INTxs (Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Mishima, John Gardner, etc.).