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by Albert Camus

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What is an example of alienation in The Stranger by Albert Camus?

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If we define alienation as the state of being estranged or separated from a group to which one belongs, there are many examples of Meursault's alienation from the society that surrounds him. In the first chapter, he is unable to respond appropriately to the caretaker who offers to take the lid off his mother's casket and questions why Meursault doesn't want to see her one last time. When Meursault watches his mother's friends at the vigil the night before her funeral he acknowledges that he sees them across the room, but he thinks "it was hard for me to believe they really existed." He doesn't overtly grieve the way the others are and is relieved when he can finally escape. 

After his arrest and imprisonment, Meursault's alienation from his society deepens. He is put on trial for the death of the Arab, but his very character is also put on trial as his seeming indifference to his mother's death becomes an issue to the prosecutors. His indifference to his imprisonment and his lack of...

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