The Theme of The Stranger In the novel The Stranger by Albert Camus Meursault has to deal with his own problems as well as others problems. He goes to his mother’s funeral and when he returns a few of his friends present him with their own problems as ask him for help. Almost every character in this book faces a problem or multiple problems sometime during the story. The main theme of this book is that problems will always exist in everyone’s life. Just deal with what you have to deal with and move on.
Meursault has the problem of facing his mother’s death and the problem of killing a man, Raymond has the problem with his girlfriend and her brother, and Salamano has the problem with his dog. Also Marie Cardona has to deal with Meursaults actions and what he has done to her. The two problems that Meursault has to deal with his mother’s death and the man that he killed, which sends him to jail for life. In the beginning of the book, Meursault’s mom dies and he attends her funeral. Most people are devastated from their mother’s death for weeks or months after the funeral.
Meursault is not like most ordinary people because he gets over the death of his mom very quickly. Maursault thinks “It occurred to me that anyway one more Sunday was over that Maman was buried now, that I was going back to work, and that, really, nothing had changed” (24). This shows that he moves on with life as if it had never happened. Also he shot the brother of Raymond’s girlfriend because he stabbed Raymond and they always fought. He was sentenced to jail and then ordered to be beheaded.
While Meursault was in jail, he thought about everything he had done and he wished he could just be happy and free. He eventually learns to make the best of what he has, which is the best thing to do with problems. Even though Meursault goes through the toughest times of his life, he gets over his problems and goes on with life. Raymond, who is known as a pimp, has problems with his girlfriend because he suspects that she is cheating on him. “He [Raymond] asked if I thought she was cheating on him, and it seemed to me she was” Maursault says (32).
He beats her up all the time do teach her not to mess with him. As much as he hates the woman, he still wants to be with her, but he wants to punish her as much as he can. One day he beats her and she calls the cops and Raymond gets in trouble by the police for beating her. Also her brother and Raymond get in a fight because of what Raymond does. Raymond gets stabbed by his girfriend’s brother and that leads to way bigger problems such as Meursault shooting her brother. Raymond was about to shoot the brother but Meursault stopped him and later went back and shot and killed him.
Raymond’s problem plays a huge part in the book because it causes other problems and it supports the theme very well. Another problem one of Meursaults friend, Salamano, has is his dog. His dog is always running away and causing him problems. He hates his dog so much that he beats it, kind of like how Raymond beats his girlfriend. The dog obviously isn’t taken care of because it is described as having scabs all over its body and it is very skinny. Also it runs away from Salamano and that is a good sign that it is beaten and not taken care of because dogs who don’t receive enough attention tend to run away a lot.
Salamano is always cursing at the poor little dog and Meursault says hit the dog for doing anything wrong. If Salamano want so mean to his dog, it would most likely not cause him so many problems. When the dog does run away, Salamano is very sad and feels bad for abusing his dog so much and he decided to not be as mean as he was to the dog. The dog causes Salamano many problems but he learns his lesson and ends up just dealing with his dog like he should. When Meursault comes back from his mother’s funeral, he runs into an old lady friend names Marie Cordona.
She doesn’t cause too big of problems, but she still does cause some problems and she has problems as well. One of her larger problems is Meursault. They have a one night stand when they get together at first and Marie wants more than that. “She asked me if I loved her. I told her it didn’t mean anything but that I didn’t think so. ” Meursault says (35). Marie loves Meursault but he does not lover her back. She wants him to love her more than anything in the world. All she wants is to be with him.
When Meursault goes to prison for killing the Arabian man, she must be devastated because that means she can’t be with him no matter what. This would be a huge problem for anyone who has ever loved someone because she has no chance to ever be with him. Every person who plays a somewhat important role in the story of The Stranger has a problem sometime in the book. Meursault has two main problems and a few minor problems. His major problems are that his mother died and he kills a man so he goes to prison and ends up on death row.
Raymond believes that his girlfriend is cheating on him so he beats her up all the time. Salamano has a problem with his dog because it always runs away and gives him more problems than anything. Marie wants to be with Meursault extremely bad but she can’t because he is going to be killed and is in prison. All of them have one thing in common, they get over their problems instead of do nothing about them, which is the theme. For anyone who has problems, this book’s theme can help you figure out what to do and how you can handle your problems.