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In the story The Stranger Meursault is a character who does not see a distinction between companionship with the other characters or friendship with the other characters. While Meursault is willing to spend time with someone if it benefits him he would prefer not to spend time with them if he cannot benefit or if he has to extend more energy than makes the benefit worthwhile. An illustration of this is with Marie on the night prior to his execution had a conversation with Marie about marriage to whom Meurault replied he would marry her if she wanted him too but it would make no difference to him and in fact he would have accepted a marriage proposal from any woman whom he had similar feelings for as her. In the end Marie was willing to be both a friend and a companion, however Meursault was only willing to accept this offer as it did not take any effort on his part to make her happy. The point being illustrated by the author with this story is that the world is an indifferent place (as illustrated by Meursault) however it is also important to try to find meaning in a chaotic world (as illustrated by Marie).
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