In chapter one of the stranger Camus have used special techniques and skills to portrait Meursaultâ€™s inner character without direct reference. Camus has achieved this using different diction, sentence structure, metaphors, contrasts and other types of literature techniques. Each line is carefully done so that readers can quickly grasp the unique character of â€śthe strangerâ€ť. At the beginning of chapter one Meursault immediately reveals himself to be indifferent towards emotion and interaction with others.
Instead of grieving at the news of his motherâ€™s death he shows to be cold, harsh and detached. We can see this immediately from the first line â€śmother died today. Or maybe yesterday, I donâ€™t know. â€ť This shows that Meursaultâ€™s primary concern is which exact date did his mother died instead of any emotional feelings. The fact that he shows no emotional response makes him an stranger to the society. Also with his lack of emotion he is difficult to categorize, neither happy nor unhappy about his motherâ€™s death; he is plainly different.
Camus has also used the contrast of Meursaultâ€™s feelings towards nature and society to highlight his â€śstrangenessâ€ť. Meursault takes particular interest in the nature surrounding him whereas showing little emotion in the funeral. We can see this by the way Meursault is able to enjoy the beautiful weather and scenery just before the funeral despite the sad event. Similarly during the funeral procession Meursault feels no grief or sadness instead he finds the heat of the day unbearable.
Through this we can see that though Meursault tends to ignore the emotional, social and personal parts of situations, he shows intense care when it comes to the realm of physical and practical. Showing Meursaultâ€™s plain, coarse and practical personality, foreshadowing his honesty when explaining his crime in the court. Meursaultâ€™s emotionless thoughts and reactions for the funeral is also shown by the comical descriptions of the characters that Meursault meets. He narrates mainly in the first person and limits his account to his own thoughts and perceptions.
Therefore his description of the other characters is entirely subjective. We can see this in his description of Mr. Perez â€śa suit with trousers that cork screwed down onto his shoes and a black tie with a know that was too small for the large white collar on his shirt. â€ť Its is the picture portrait in Meursaultâ€™s mind of the character making it slightly comical. This contrasts with the emotional grief experienced by the old man, putting Meursaultâ€™s thoughts and actions as a â€śstrangerâ€ť to the atmosphere.
Also Camus has used the difference in sentence structure to emphasize Meursaultâ€™s lack of emotion. We can see that when describing social or emotional situations Meursaultâ€™s sentences or speech are short, precise and offer minimal detail. Whereas when he talks about topics such as the weather or directly related to his physical condition, his narrative expands greatly. For instance he employs metaphor, personification and other literary devices when describing the effects off the heat during the funeral. Meursaultâ€™s narration in a way reflects his attitudes toward the world around him.
Showing him to be emotional in the physical realm, rather than the inner emotions expected by the society. This lack of emotion again makes him the â€śstrangerâ€ť Camus has used different ways to portrait Meursault in chapter one using sentence structure, contrast, diction and other literary techniques. Though using no direct descriptions we can quickly portrait the personalities of the main character Meursault. He is shown to be emotionless to the surrounding events. Thus making him â€śThe strangerâ€ť contrasting with the common emotional expectations of society.