Study Help Essay Questions


1. Meursault is a Frenchman living in Algeria; of what importance is this fact?

2. Describe the wake and the funeral of Meursault's mother, detailing Meursault's reactions and impressions.

3. The sun is a complex symbol in this novel. Describe the dual role that it plays, noting particularly the role in the climactic murder.

4. Discuss Camus' literary style in The Stranger.

5. How does Camus employ cause-and-effect in this novel?

6. In terms of Camus' philosophy of the Absurd, of what significance is the prison?

7. Why does Meursault place such a high value on the sea? What does it mean to him?

8. How would you have defended Meursault?

9. Compare the judicial character of the examining magistrate and the spiritual character of the priest.

10. Relate Meursault's interest in the robot-woman to his scrapbooks. How does his interest in her help us understand more about him?

11. What role does hope play in the second half of the novel?

12. What is Meursault's idea of an afterlife?

13. Evaluate the justice that was accorded Meursault during his trial and his sentencing.

14. Which played the greater role — emotion or reason — during Meursault's trial? In what way was each employed?

15. Explain Meursault's passivity during his interrogation and imprisonment.

16. Describe Meursault's moment of genuine revolt.

17. Do you think that Meursault is capable of love?

18. Meursault is often characterized as a man who makes no choices. Yet Meursault makes a single very important choice. What is it?

19. Contrast Meursault's view of society with society's expectations of Meursault.

20. How does The Myth of Sisyphus explore and expand the significance of The Stranger?

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