The Stranger Questions and Answers
by Albert Camus

The Stranger book cover
Start Your Free Trial

What is the tone and mood of the writer in The Stranger?

Expert Answers info

slshcolnik eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2008

write20 answers

starTop subject is Literature

The tone of the speaker is very detached which creates a somewhat pessimistic mood for the reader. The narrator experiences no emotion; this is understood from the beginning when he has no emotional reaction to his mother's death. The narrator maintains this completely detached tone throughout the entire book, even when he...

(The entire section contains 169 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now


Further Reading:

check Approved by eNotes Editorial


sgg23 | Student

The writer of The Stranger is Albert Camus. His tone, and I do believe the tone of the narrator Mersault, could be argued to be that of acceptance and satisfaction. The Myth of Sisyphus shows Camus believes that regardless of the events in our lives, we have a choice and we must accept our choices with a conscious understanding of our situation. 

Sisyphus had as he following the stone down the hill knowing he will roll it back again says we can be happy in the middle of our often absurd lives. Taken from The Myth of Sisyphus by Camus:

"That hour like a breathing-space which returns as surely as his suffering, that is the hour of consciousness. At each of those moments . . . he is superior to his fate. He is stronger than his rock. "

In The Stranger, Mersault almost always accepts everything and everyone around him and over time becomes satisfied, if not happy- with his life and even his seemingly absurd death he is accepting with complete understanding of life, "for the first time, . . .  I opened myself to the gentle indifference of the world. Finding it so much like myself-- so like a brother, really-- I felt that I had been happy and that I was happy again" (123).

I'm uplifted by both Camus and Mersault's tone. It's not what one would call entusiastic, yet it has taken a positive attitude toward the pessimistic idea that life is meaningless and society is simply trying to make meaning for us.

blahblahblah2 | Student

the stranger is basically an attempt for albert camus to convey his exerstentialist 'theory of the absurd' through the medium of the character Mersault. The theory of the absurd essentially is based on the pointlessness of life and the universe, and consequently the language used through the narrator of the novel is extremely sparse and detached from the entire emotional dimension. It is in no way a pessimistic novel it is exterstentialist, based on a character who does not look negatively on life in an immoral manner, but pointlessly in an amoral manner. I do not know where you got the idea it was pessimistic but i hope this helped..