In The Stranger, what does Meusault mean when he says that normal people somtimes wish their loved ones dead? This was in Part II of the novel.

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

In Part II of The Stranger, Meursault is being very candid with his lawyer.  Meursault up until his trial and execution had lived in denial of death.  He narrates:

He went on to ask if I had felt grief on that “sad occasion.” The question struck me as an odd one; I’d have been much embarrassed if I’d had to ask anyone a thing like that.

I answered that, of recent years, I’d rather lost the habit of noting my feelings, and hardly knew what to answer. I could truthfully say I’d been quite fond of Mother—but really that didn’t mean much. All normal people, I added as on afterthought, had more or less desired the death of those they loved, at some time or another.

Here the lawyer interrupted me, looking greatly perturbed.

“You must promise me not to say anything of that sort at the trial, or to the examining magistrate.”

I promised, to satisfy him, but I explained that my physical condition at any given moment often influenced my feelings. For instance, on the day I attended...

(The entire section contains 629 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial
Approved by eNotes Editorial Team