The reason why this quote is important goes beyond the fact that they are the opening lines of the novel. These words said by the narrator, Meursault already introduces the readers to his personality at the beginning of the story. For example, it seems like he does not feel any pain or guilt upon hearing about his mother's death. Meursault's main concern was the date of his mother's death which I thought was interesting because this implies that maybe they did not have a close relationship. In addition, when Meursault said that doesn't mean anything, I wonder if he was referring to how the day she died does not matter or her death does not matter.
Overall, I wonder what the reason is behind Meursault's emotional indifference towards his mother's death and the cause of her death. In this chapter, I noticed that Meursault is interested in nature and the weather. For example, he enjoys the beautiful scenery before the funeral, and he feels no sadness for his mother's death during the funeral, but finds the heat unbearable. In fact, when Meursault expresses his joy at the thought of being able to go to bed and sleep for twelve hours, this shows he cares more about having a good sleep than the funeral. Therefore, this further emphasizes his indifference towards emotion and interaction with others.
However, I also noticed that he uses metaphors and similes such as the blood-red earth and he crumpled like a rag doll when he talks about nature. This is different compared to his short sentences with minimal detail when describing social or emotional situations. Hence, his narrative expands greatly when he talks about topics that relate to his physical condition. When his boss offers Meursault an opportunity to advance his career in Paris, he turns down the offer without even considering it. He says, people never change their lives I wasn't dissatisfied with mine here at all I couldn't see any reason to change my life none of it really mattered. Reading this made me think of how in his perspective, the world is meaningless because he has no desire to do something to improve his life. Meursault feels like nothing has changed and is content with everything the way it is right now despite his mother's death. He only believes in this life and that each person's life is essentially equal to everyone else's when he says one life was as good as another.
Furthermore, Camus constantly shows the theme of the meaninglessness of life and the character's indifference throughout the novel. Reading this made me feel that Salamano can understand Meursault to some degree. This is because he assumed that Meursault really loved his mother despite sending her to a nursing home just as he loved his dog even though he beat it. In other words, he is saying that even though they did things they should feel guilty for their actions were out of love. This made me think that Salamano can somewhat relate to what Meursault went through even though Meursault does not show any emotional difference after his mother's death.
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