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Free Study Guide-The Stranger by Albert Camus-Free Online Chapter Summary
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PART I

Chapter 2

Summary

One Saturday Mersault decides to go for a swim and meets Marie Cardona, who used to work as a typist in his office. After they swim together, Mersault asks Marie out for a movie in the evening. They decide to go and see a comedy starring Fernandel. During the evening, Mersault tells Marie about his mother's death.

After the movie, Mersault and Marie return to his place. After making love, Marie stays over for the night, but she leaves on Sunday morning before Mersault wakes. When Mersault finally gets out of bed, he tries to relax, but finds that he is restless and bored. He walks around his apartment, reads an old newspaper, smokes, and gazes out on the neighborhood. He also realizes that nothing has really changed in his life after his motherís death. His Sunday routine is the same as always, and at the end of the day, he is glad to have gotten through it. He sees his life as meaningless, just as he saw his motherís death as meaningless.


Notes

Since Mersault is a bachelor with no responsibilities, he is used to spending his weekends in a leisurely manner. In this chapter, set on the Saturday and Sunday after the funeral, he follows the same pattern, with no thought or grief for his mother. On Saturday morning, he decides to go for a swim and meets Marie Cardona, who used to work in his office. In the evening, they go to a movie, which is a comedy. Mersault then asks Marie back to his place, where they have sex. After she spends the night, Marie leaves on Sunday morning, and Mersault tries to relax, but he finds he is restless and bored. When he finally thinks about his motherís death, he seems unemotional and states that nothing has really changed in his life since she passed away.

Mersault appears to lack emotional ties or sensitivity towards human relationships. He has no feelings of sadness or loss over his motherís death, which occurred earlier in the week. Even though he should be in a period of mourning, he behaves as if nothing has happened.

After her funeral on Friday, he decides to go for a swim on Saturday. When he meets Marie, he asks her to a movie and then brings her back to his place to spend the night; but his relationship with Marie means nothing to him. Because of Mersaultís lack of emotion, there will be an underlying current of alienation, hopelessness, and uncertainty throughout the novel.

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