What were Meursault's feelings towards his mother when she was alive?

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The whole question of Meursault's relationship with his mother is central to him as a person. Why is he so distant, so uninterested, and so vague? The mother is the life force—what connects us to our origins but also our feelings. If Meursault had expressed distance from his father, that would represent a different set of problems. After all, distant fathers aren't so unusual in the lives of many children.

From the very first line of The Stranger, Meursault is obviously disinterested in his mother's life. He is going to her funeral but can't remember, exactly, when she died. He doesn't celebrate her life or even speak of her as a person. He neglects to report on his own childhood except in the ways it was typical.

At his mother's funeral, he notes that her friends "came in, there were about ten in all. They floated into the blinding light without a sound." He comments that he could see them but not hear them. They start crying, and all he can wish for is that they would stop. The...

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