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After he is handed the gun by Raymond, Meursault makes these remarks.

But we just stood there motionless, as if everything had closed in around us. We stared at each other without blinking, and everything came to a stop between the sea, the sand, and the sun, and the double silence of the flute and the water. It was then I realized that you could either shoot or not shoot.

What significance does Meursault's realization have in the overall scope of the novel?


It suggests that Meursault had consciously considered the consequences of shooting the Arab.


Meursault is struggling mightily with the moral dilemma of either shooting or refraining from shooting.


It establishes Meursault's awareness of the notion that free will is an absolute and applies in this situation.


By saying "you could either shoot or not shoot" Meursault is claiming a moral equivalence between the two choices.


Meursault understands that his actions are ultimately the governed by chance.

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