The Stranger Within

Cover of "The Outsider (Penguin Modern Cl...
Cover of The Outsider (Penguin Modern Classics)

(This is the same assignment as my previous post, but this is for English A1. The book which this text is based on is The Stranger by Albert Camus. I chose to write a descriptive passage from the perspective of Raymond. The first passage is a scene, were Raymond tells Meursault about his problem with his unfaithful lover, written in with the thoughts of Raymond himself. The second passage is stream of consciousness during Meursault’s execution.)

Passage One:

I just met Meursault in the stairs again. He is an interesting fella, walking around in this little town, silent and mysterious. I have to actually really drag his attention to me to make myself look interesting enough. He is a really smart guy too. That’s why I asked him in for some sausage and wine at my place. I needed his brain for a little favor. He wouldn’t mind.

My hand started to hurt again. As I wrapped it with some bandage I found, he asked what I’d done to it. “I’d been in a fight with some guy who was trying to start trouble,” I tried to say casually. Somehow, he was quite good at leading the conversation the right way. I told him the story of the guy who got his lesson, and tried to slip in some hints toward him, saying I needed his help about something. I don’t even know why I try. These social codes weren’t his strongest point. It had to be asked straight out. Not that he would mind, he never cared for those sorts of things. As I finished my story I continued to the real thing. “As a matter of fact, Meursault, I could actually need your advice on this whole business. You know, because you’re a man, and you know about things, you could help me out! And then we’d be pals, of course.” I assumed he was at least a little normal, not too much of a freak. He had gotten Marie but she wasn’t a beauty queen. I had stopped talking a while ago, but it was still silent. I asked if he actually wanted to be pals. He seemed to be thinking. That was a good sign. He was considering it. “It is fine with me,” he said shortly after. I had him.

The only matter now was how to make him do it correctly. Meursault isn’t the man to question too much, just enough to get the little picture he needed. I liked that about him. Nothing complicated. He followed directions, but wasn’t easy to guide. Other people would have fled when I started talking about how I punished my cheating woman. Meursault, on the other hand, listened until I was finished. Nervous and soar after all the talking, I asked for his opinion on the whole thing. He said something that told me he wasn’t very interested. I had to keep this going. He couldn’t tell if she was cheating on me, or what to do, but did agree that she needed to be punished. Good, now that I had made him come to that conclusion it was simple to ask him. I told him about my brilliant idea and the complications with it. I needed his mind quickly. I couldn’t in a million years write the way that would punish her enough. He was silent after I requested the favor. “Would there be any problems if you did it right now?” I asked, and got a short “no” in reply. He wrote quickly, with nice handwriting. To check that it was OK, he read it out loud for me. He looked at me for a long while. It got very awkward, and I realized he was done. He had to read it again. I was still gone, but I was sure it worked. He wouldn’t have tried to fool me anyway. I told him good night, sure that we were pals.

Passage Two:

Meursault had killed that Arab. That’s odd. I thought he was rational. Maybe he’s faulty. The trial failed him. He shouldn’t have shot that Arab. He’s in prison now. I wonder how it’s like in there. Maybe he’ll like it. It can’t be much difference. He wouldn’t care either. He never cares. He shouldn’t have shot that Arab. He’s odd. Did he enjoy it? Maybe he is that type of man, a born killer. But why would he care? Nothing pisses him off. I’ve never seen him angry. Did the Arab make him angry? He shouldn’t have killed him. Meursault’s going to die. The trial failed him. Execution in public, of all things. He looks odd up there. I can barely see him. He doesn’t mind being up there. Why was he with that Arab? Right, that thing. He shouldn’t have killed him. Everyone’s shouting, I can’t hear what the man is saying. Meursault found me. He looks odd up there. Like he doesn’t fit in. He doesn’t mind thought. Why is he looking at me that way? He doesn’t belong. The other man stopped talking. Something’s going to happen. Right, the execution. Meursault wouldn’t mind. It’s not like he wanted to live. Well, it’s not like he tried to die. Or maybe that’s why he killed that Arab? He was looking for someone to kill. I was his pal, though. He couldn’t kill me. What’s that sound? Oh, the blade wasn’t sharp enough. Too bad. He’s dead now, isn’t he? It’s just hanging there, slowly ripping off. He was a good man. He cared. I’m sure he had his reasons for killing that Arab. It probably was for the best. He looked at me as the head fell into the basket. He looked odd up there. Without a head. Everyone else has got heads. He doesn’t belong. I’m sure he’s somewhere nice. I was a good man, Meursault.

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