How does Meursault feel about telling the truth? Examine how his feelings about telling the truth are similar and different from those of the Underground Man in Notes from the Underground.
Mersault rejects totality throughout his narrative. He does not see "truth" as anything akin to a totalizing condition. "Telling the truth" indicates that there is an intrinsic value or meaning to what is considered as truth. In this is a configuration of the world that places primacy on truth. Yet, Mersault does not demonstrate traits that validate such a condition of being. He speaks of a world where this configuration is noticeably absent: “I looked up at the mass of signs and stars in the night sky and laid myself open for the first time to the benign indifference of the world.”
Mersault sees being in the world as one where "existence precedes essence." It is a condition where there is no transcendent order of consciousness. Thus, there is no more value to telling the truth than there is a lie. Mersault stresses that there is no totalizing power or moral order that needs to be sustained in actions such as telling the truth: “I had only a little time left and I...
(The entire section contains 575 words.)
check Approved by eNotes Editorial