The Outsider – Oral Report Essay
The Outsider – Oral Report
Mersault’s final and most significant revelation occurs at a point in his life where his execution is imminent. This revelation comes in the form of acceptance and understanding. At this point in the novel, he is thinking of his mother, experiencing the natural world around him, and coming to terms with his fate and resigns to it, as he has done during all other struggles he has had to face, trivial as they may have been by comparison. But this time rather than accepting it out of indifference, he accepts it by becoming a part of it.
Whilst awaiting his execution, Meursault “for the first time in a very long time” thinks of his mother. Here, he comes to understand that “no one at all had any right to cry over her”, because she died at a point where she was ready to live her life again – and Meursault feels the same. Rather than feeling unmoved by his mother’s death and indeed her existence, he empathises and finds salvation in being able to relate his final days with hers. This shows how he has moved from being an outsider to feeling connected to his place in the system of humanity.
Meursault is strongly affected by the natural world around him, but in the last few passages of the novel he finds union and peace with nature. Throughout the novel, Meursault is constantly being affected by the blinding heat of the sun, or the bitter salt of the ocean burning his lips. However, he chooses to react to it physically rather than experience it. When he describes the natural world outside during the last hours of his life, he finds it soothing and peaceful, rather than irritating.
He is a part of it, he likes it and he feels it. This shows that he has embraced the natural world and become a part of another system of the universe, much the same as he relates to his mother’s cycle of life. Rather than remaining emotionally disconnected and only physically hindered, he finds nature soothing and chooses to become a part of it. Meursault’s final wish was for there to be a crowd of spectators at his execution and that they would greet him with cries of hatred.
The fact that this thought makes him feel “less lonely” supports Meursault’s strive to experience things honestly, without compromising his reason. He recognizes his role in society and feels comforted by being a part of it. He desires an honest reaction from the spectators in order to feel less alone, which shows the comfort he has found in accepting the truth of the final stage of his existence. The final few paragraphs of the novel show the final stage in Meursaults acceptance of everything around him, through which he finds a way of understanding and connecting with the cycle of life.
University/College: University of California
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Date: 29 September 2017