The Stranger

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The effects of free will

STRANG-VGKXLE

All of the following quotations from the novel suggest that Meursault's free will allows him to meet the woRLd on his own terms EXCEPT

A

"We put the cover on, but I'm supposed to unscrew the casket so you can see her." [The caretaker] was moving toward the casket when I stopped him. He said, "You don't want to?" I answered, "No." He was quiet, and I was embarrassed because I felt I shouldn't have said that. He looked at me and then asked, "Why not?" but without criticizing, as if he just wanted to know. I said, "I don't know."

B

"[A]s we entered the village the nurse spoke to me. She had a remarkable voice which didn't go with her face at all, a melodious, quavering voice.She said, "If you go slowly, you risk getting sunstroke. But if you go too fast, you work up a sweat and then catch a chill inside the church." She was right. There was no way out.

C

"Then [my boss] asked me if I wasn't interested in a change of life. I said that people never change their lives, that in any case one life was as good as another and that I wasn't dissatisfied with mine here at all. He looked upset and told me that I never gave him a straight answer, that I had no ambition, and that that was disastrous in business. So I went back to work. I would rather not have upset him, but I couldn't see any reason to change my life."

D

"He asked if I had felt any sadness that day. The question caught me by surprise and it seemed to me that I would have been very embarrassed if I'd had to ask it. Nevertheless I answered that I had pretty much lost the habit of analyzing myself and that it was hard for me to tell him what he wanted to know. I probably did love Maman, but that didn't mean anything…I explained to him…that my nature was such that my physical needs often got in the way of my feelings."

E

"…I could spend hours just enumerating the things that were in my room. And the more I thought about it, the more I dug out of my memory things I had overlooked or forgotten. I realized then that a man who had lived only one day could easily live for a hundred years in prison. He would have enough memories to keep him from being bored."