What do the relationships in The Stranger say about Camus's view of relationships?

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In Albert Camus’s novel The Stranger, Meursault’s relationships mirror the author’s absurdist view of human existence. Albert Camus models the philosophy of absurdism through his protagonist's relationship with his mother and Marie.

Before exploring Meursault’s relationships, it is important to understand Camus’s absurdist outlook on the world. For Camus and, by extension, Meursault, human existence is absurd because humanity craves purpose in a cold, empty, and meaningless universe. Camus believed that only by embracing the absurdity of the human condition can people forge their own purpose and enjoy the life they have.

With this background in mind, Meursault provides an intriguing case-study for how Camus believed an absurdist hero could function in relationships. The jarring opening lines of the novel (the exact translation from French varies) seem shocking because they describe with extreme detachment the end of a normally close relationship between mother and son:

Maman died...

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