Provide a detailed explanation of Meursault's thoughts throughout the last chapter in The Stranger. What are his feelings at the end of the chapter?
If you could talk a little about his revelation and conclusion he comes to at the end of his life as well as how he feels at the end of Part II Chapter V(the last chapter) Thanks so much.
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Meursault is the same on page one of The Stranger as he is on the last: heroic in the face of death. His only revelation is a recognition of the absurd: that most people choose death instead of life.
Meursault refuses to cry over the deaths of his mother, the Arab, and himself. As an absurd hero, he loves life, hates death, and scorn the gods. To cry or repent or confess guilt in the face of death would only give victory to his tormentors: the judge, the jury, the police, and the witnesses at his execution.
Most prisoners who face execution will cry, become angry, bargain, find religion, or wallow in self-pity. Meursault faces his execution with dignity and no excuses. He realizes that his death is absurd, but since he cannot control the absurd, he has a victory over it. He lives life to its fullest, celebrating life instead of wallowing in death.
Facing death, he thinks of his mother and the two deaths that lead up to his own:
For the first time in a long time I thought about Maman. I felt as if I understood why at the end of her life she had taken a 'fiancé,' why she had played at beginning again. Even there, in that home where lives were fading out, evening was a kind of wistful respite. So close to death, Maman must have felt free then and ready to live it all again. Nobody, nobody had the right to cry over her. And I felt ready to live it all again too.
Meursault hates the culture of death. He refuses to cry over his mother's death. Why cry if she lived a good life? He refuses to confess or show guilt over murdering the Arab. Why confess if it was self-defense? And now, he refuses to be ashamed of dying for either crime. Why show contrition if one lived life to its fullest?
Meursault looks back on his life, and he knows he can die without regret. If he had the chance to live it all over again, he would do it just the same: he would not cry over Maman; he would pull the trigger; and he would laugh at the public who came out to see him die. He would go to the beach and swim with Marie, have sex with her, go to the movies with her, eat, sleep, drink, smoke and play hooky on Sunday. Meursault is completely free and full of life. Truly, he is an absurd hero who has victory over death, absurdity, fate, and the scornful gods.
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