How does Camus utilize secondary characters to help develop the reader’s perception of Meursault in The Stranger?
In Albert Camus' The Stranger, Meursault is a man of little emotional depth. As he sits beside his mother's casket during the vigil, concern for the death of another—even his mother—seems alien to him. His entire existence appears only superficial. Hisawakening to life, sadly, comes as he faces his death.
Camus uses secondary characters as "foils" to Meursault's emotional one-dimensional existence. At his mother's funeral, the "keeper" (or "Caretaker") is prepared to show Meursault his mother before sealing the casket. The son refuses. The older man's curiosity over Meursault's response shows the reader that his behavior is unusual. Strangely, Meursault himself cannot explain his actions.
“We put the lid on, but I was told to unscrew it when you came, so that you could see her.” While [the keeper] was going up to the coffin I told him not to trouble. “Eh? What’s that?” he exclaimed. “You don’t want me to...?”“No,” I said. He put back the screwdriver in...
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