The Stranger Questions and Answers
by Albert Camus

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What is the significance of the setting in The Outsider, a.k.a. The Stranger?

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In The Stranger by Albert Camus, the story is set in Algeria, a French colony where the author was born. We know that it is in Algeria because in the first chapter, Mersault, the protagonist, says that the home for aged where his mother had lived was in “Marengo, some fifty miles from Algiers.” The significance of this setting is that it extends the theme of the overall story, as Meursault does not have intimate connections to the people or places around him.

Although he lives in Algeria, he is Frenc—or, as stated at his trial, a member of “the French people.” Yet, he is a stranger to the French people, just as he is a stranger to the Algerian French with whom he works and socializes. He essentially feels no need to belong. He is essentially stranger to everyone and perhaps even to himself. This also makes him a stranger without a home where he belongs.

He is indifferent to the places and people around him. In fact, when he is asked if would like to take a job in Paris, he says:

I...

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