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?

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.

Part 1, Chapter 2: Questions and Answers

Study Questions
1. Why does Meursault worry about his employer when he wakes up on Saturday morning?

2. Who is Marie Cardona?

3. What kind of movie does Marie want to see?

4. How does Marie react when Meursault tells her about his mother?

5. Why does Meursault decide not to eat at Celeste’s on Sunday?

6. What does Meursault do when he’s alone in his apartment?

7. Who does Meursault see from his bedroom window?

8. How does the tobacconist sit on his chair?

9. What does the football fan say to Meursault?

10. How does Meursault feel about Sundays?

1. Meursault worries that his employer will be annoyed at him for taking two days off right before the weekend, even though it was for his mother’s funeral. He’s afraid the employer will think he’s taken a four day holiday for himself.

2. Marie Cardona used to work as a typist at Meursault’s office. He meets her at the swimming pool on Saturday and they see each other again that night.

3. Marie wants to see a comedy starring the French actor Fernandel.

4. Meursault notes that Marie “shrank away a little” when he told her about his mother.

5. Meursault does not eat at Celeste’s because he doesn’t want to be bothered by people asking him questions about his mother’s death.

6. Meursault stays in bed until noon, then he rises, eats, cuts an ad out of a newspaper, and sits by his window looking down at the street scene below.

7. Meursault watches an assortment of people pass by on the street below his window.

8. The tobacconist sits astride his chair with his folded arms resting on the back. Watching from his bedroom window, Meursault sits on his chair the same way, imitating the man.

9. The football fan calls up to Meursault: “We licked them!” Meursault calls back “Good work!”

10. Meursault has never cared for Sundays. They disrupt the perfunctory routine of his day-to-day existence.

Part 1, Chapter 3: Questions and Answers

Study Questions
1. How does Meursault’s employer treat him when he returns to work on Monday?

2. Who is Emmanuel?

3. How does Celeste react when he sees Meursault?

4. How long has old Salamano had his dog and why does he abuse him?

5. Who is Raymond Sintes?

6. Why does Raymond want to get revenge on his girlfriend?

7. What does Raymond ask Meursault to do for him?

8. Does Meursault want to be Raymond’s friend?

9. What does Raymond say about Meursault’s mother?

10. What does Meursault do after he leaves Raymond’s room?

1. Meursault’s employer is in a good mood on Monday morning. He offers his sympathy to Meursault and asks how he is feeling.

2. Emmanuel is Meursault’s co-worker. At lunchtime they have an adventure running after and leaping onto a truck.

3. Celeste is sympathetic and says she hopes that Meursault isn’t “feeling too badly.” Meursault tells Celeste he is very hungry.

4. Old Salamano has lived with his dog for eight years. The old man becomes furious when the dog pulls him down the street or gets in his way.

5. Raymond Sintes is Meursault’s neighbor. He is a tough young man, reputed to be a pimp.

6. Raymond claims that he is supporting his girlfriend, but that she is cheating on him. He found a lottery ticket and bracelets in her purse, things he never bought for her. He’s convinced that some “dirty work” is going on.

7. Raymond wants Meursault to write a letter to the girlfriend for him. He wants to convince the girlfriend to come back to him so that he can beat her up and throw her out again.

8. Meursault accepts Raymond’s offer of friendship, but admits to himself that he doesn’t care “one way or the other.”

9. Raymond says he was sorry to hear that Meursault’s mother had died, but it was bound to happen at some point, anyway.

10. Meursault stands alone on the “dank, dark” landing, experiencing the smells and sounds of the hallway.

Part 1, Chapter 4: Questions and Answers

Study Questions
1. Where do Meursault and Marie go on Saturday?

2. What does Marie do when Meursault tells her about old Salamano and his dog?

3. How does Meursault feel about policemen?

4. How does Raymond greet the policeman who comes to his door?

5. Why is Raymond shaking when he talks to the policeman?

6. How does Meursault feel about being Raymond’s witness?

7. Why is old Salamano so upset?

8. How does Raymond treat Salamano?

9. When Salamano visits Meursault, what does Meursault tell him?

10. Why does Meursault think about his mother?

1. Meursault and Marie go to the beach. Later they return to Meursault’s apartment.

2. Marie laughs at Meursault’s story.

3. Meursault tells Marie that he doesn’t like policemen.

4. Raymond greets the policeman with a “sickly smile” and a cigarette hanging out of his mouth.

5. The policeman accuses Raymond of being drunk, but Raymond says he is shaking because the angry policeman is standing at his door.

6. Meursault says he has no objections, but he doesn’t know what Raymond expects him to say.

7. Old Salamano is upset because he lost his dog at the Parade Ground.

8. Raymond tries to reassure Salamano that he’ll find his dog again.

9. Meursault tells Salamano that his dog is probably at the pound and won’t be killed for at least three days.

10. After he overhears Salamano crying, Meursault, “for some reason,” thinks about his mother.

Part 1, Chapter 5: Questions and Answers

Study Questions
1. Where does Raymond want to go on Sunday with Meursault and Marie?

2. What does Meursault’s employer suggest during their ¬meeting?

3. How does Meursault feel about Paris?

4. What does Marie ask Meursault?

5. Does Meursault want to marry Marie?

6. With whom does Meursault eat at Celeste’s?

7. What does Meursault notice about the “robot” woman?

8. What was Salamano’s occupation?

9. According to Salamano, what do Meursault’s neighbors say about him?

10. Why did Meursault put his mother in the nursing home?

1. He wants to go to a friend’s seaside bungalow just outside Algiers.

2. The employer suggests that Meursault take a job in the new branch office in Paris.

3. Meursault has no interest in living in Paris. He thinks it is a dingy town with masses of pigeons and dark courtyards.

4. Marie asks Meursault if he loves her and if he will marry her.

5. Meursault doesn’t care. He says he doesn’t “mind” and agrees to marry Marie if it will make her happy.

6. The “little robot” woman eats at Meursault’s table in Celeste’s.

7. Meursault watches the robot woman study the menu, add up the bill, and march off down the street in a stiff, mechanical fashion.

8. Salamano worked for the railroad.

9. Meursault’s neighbors say “nasty things” about Meursault because he put his mother in the nursing home.

10. Meursault explains that he couldn’t afford to keep his mother at home. In addition, they never spoke to each other and she was “moping with no one to talk to.”

Part 1, Chapter 6: Questions and Answers

Study Questions
1. How does Meursault feel when he wakes up on Sunday morning¬?

2. Where does Meursault first see the Arabs?

3. What does Meursault think about Raymond’s outfit?

4. Who is Masson?

5. How does Meursault feel after he eats lunch?

6. Where do Meursault, Raymond, and Masson go after lunch?

7. What happens when Raymond fights with the Arab?

8. What does Raymond do when he meets the Arab again?

9. How does the sun affect Meursault when he’s walking alone on the beach?

10. What happens when Meursault confronts the Arab?

1. Meursault wakes up with a headache, feeling “under the weather.”

2. He sees them standing around in front of the tobacconist’s shop.

3. Meursault is “put off by his getup.”

4. Masson is Raymond’s friend. He owns the bungalow on the beach.

5. Meursault complains of feeling “slightly muzzy.”

6. They go for a walk on the beach and they encounter the two Arabs.

7. The Arab pulls a knife and cuts Raymond on the face and arm.

8. The second time Raymond meets the Arab, he considers shooting him, but Meursault talks him out of it.

9. Meursault experiences a “dark befuddlement” when the intense sunlight “blasts” into his face.

10. With the sun “stabbing” into his face, Meursault shoots the Arab five times and kills him.

Part 2, Chapter 1: Questions and Answers

Study Questions
1. What does Meursault think about the magistrate when he first meets him?

2. What does Meursault’s lawyer look like?

3. What charge against Meursault, besides murder, is the lawyer concerned about?

4. Is the lawyer optimistic about Meursault’s case?

5. How did Meursault feel about his mother?

6. How does the lawyer react to Meursault during their first meeting?

7. What does the typist do during Meursault’s meeting with the magistrate?

8. How does Meursault react to the magistrate when the magistrate starts talking about God?

9. How does Meursault feel sitting in the magistrate’s office?


(The entire section is 246 words.)

Part 2, Chapter 2: Questions and Answers

Study Questions
1. What does Meursault hope for when he’s first put in prison?

2. How does the Arab prisoner help out Meursault?

3. What does Meursault feel the first night he spends in jail?

4. How far apart are the prisoners kept from their visitors?

5. What does Meursault long for when he sees Marie?

6. What does Marie do when Meursault is led back out of the Visitors’ Room?

7. Why does the jailer think Meursault is different?

8. Besides women, what else are the prisoners deprived of?

9. As Meursault loses track of time, what are the two words that still have meaning for him?

10. What does Meursault use...

(The entire section is 200 words.)

Part 2, Chapter 3: Questions and Answers

Study Questions
1. During what month does Meursault’s trial begin?

2. What does the special news correspondent from Paris look like?

3. How many judges preside over Meursault’s trial?

4. What is the first thing the judge questions Meursault about?

5. What does the judge ask Meursault about his mother?

6. Following Meursault, who is the first witness called?

7. What does the doorkeeper say about Meursault?

8. Who does the defense call as its first witness?

9. What does Marie do at the conclusion of her testimony?

10. Who is the last witness?

1. The trial begins in June.


(The entire section is 182 words.)

Part 2, Chapter 4: Questions and Answers

Study Questions
1. According to Meursault, what did the prosecutor “aim at” during his closing argument?

2. How does Meursault want to explain his lack of regret to the prosecutor?

3. What does the prosecutor call “the most odious of crimes?”

4. How does the prosecutor compare Meursault’s crime to the parricide case?

5. Since Meursault has already admitted killing the Arab, what verdict does the prosecutor ask for?

6. How do some of the spectators in the courtroom react when Meursault tries to explain his reaction to the sun?

7. What word does Meursault’s lawyer use when referring to Meursault during his speech?

8. What is...

(The entire section is 216 words.)

Part 2, Chapter 5: Questions and Answers

Study Questions
1. How many times has Meursault refused to see the chaplain?

2. The guillotine reminds Meursault of what other type of device?

3. How does Meursault spend his nights in his cell?

4. What subject does Meursault wish he had read more about?

5. What does Meursault do after he refuses to see the chaplain?

6. Instead of a “divine face,” what image does Meursault try to see on the wall of his prison cell?

7. Does Meursault allow the chaplain to kiss him?

8. What happens when the chaplain touches Meursault’s shoulder?

9. When the jailers rush into Meursault’s cell, what do they do to him?


(The entire section is 208 words.)