Explain how Camus' use of language and "speech" in The Stranger contributes the meaning of the work.

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In The Stranger by Albert Camus, the reader does not have to get beyond the first page to see how Camus' use of language and speech in the novel contribute to the meaning of the work. The very first sentences are:

Mother died today. Or, maybe, yesterday; I can’t be sure.

Thus, from the outset, the author’s use of language depicts the narrator / protagonist as a person extremely different from most people we encounter. He is nearly devoid of feeling, indifferent to life around him, including to his own mother. He is apart from the world emotionally, a stranger, which is the essential meaning of the work.

For instance, Mersault is extremely perfunctory regarding the death of his mother, and this is shown through his language. After apologizing to his employer for requesting time off to attend her funeral, he chides himself:

I had no reason to excuse myself; it was up to him to express his sympathy and so forth. Probably he will do so the day after tomorrow, when he sees me in black.


(The entire section contains 3 answers and 1093 words.)

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