Part 1, Chapter 1: Questions and Answers

Study Questions
1. Where does Meursault live?

2. How does Meursault react when he learns of his mother’s death?

3. What happens when Meursault asks his employer for time off to attend his mother’s funeral?

4. Who is Celeste?

5. What happens to Meursault on the bus to the nursing home?

6. How does Meursault feel when he talks to the warden?

7. What do Meursault and the doorkeeper do during the all-night vigil?

8. Who is Thomas Perez?

9. Does Meursault cry at his mother’s funeral?

10. What does Meursault react to during the funeral?

Answers
1. Meursault, the narrator of the story, lives in Algiers, a hot, sun-drenched city in North Africa.

2. Meursault does not show any real emotion when he receives a telegram informing him of his mother’s death; he only expresses a passing interest in the details.

3. The employer is somewhat irritated that Meursault will be away from the office. Meursault feels guilty at first, then annoyed that his employer is not more sympathetic.

4. Celeste is Meursault’s friend and the owner of Meursault’s favorite restaurant.

5. Meursault is bothered by the glaring sun on the road. He falls asleep during the ride.

6. Meursault feels uneasy and gets the impression that the warden blames him for putting his mother in the nursing home.

7. Meursault and the doorkeeper chat and drink cafe au lait. Meursault has a difficult time staying awake.

8. Thomas Perez is an old man who was Meursault’s mother’s “special friend.” He cries and faints at the funeral.

9. No, Meursault does not cry or show any sadness, but he is anxious for the event to be over.

10. Meursault remains primarily concerned with his physical surroundings. He studies Perez’s face, notices the heat and various odors around him, and observes the other graves in the cemetery and the color of the flowers.