Part 1, Chapter 5 Notes from The Stranger

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The Stranger Part 1, Chapter 5

Raymond calls Meursault at work to invite him and Marie to a party at a friend's home. He warns Meursault that an Arab followed him home the other day, that he is probably the brother of his ex-mistress, and that many Arabs may be waiting for him outside the building. Meursault feels uncomfortable on the phone at work and worries that he will get in trouble for using professional time for personal use. His boss calls him into his office, but not want to speak with him about his use of the phone. He discusses Meursault's ambition (or lack thereof) and possible future with the company. He claims that Meursault is a complete disaster when it comes to business and has no ambition with his work. Meursault simply returns to his desk and continues to work after the discussion.

"I would rather not have upset him, but I couldn't see any reason to change my life. Looking back on it, I wasn't unhappy. When I was a student, I had lots of ambitions like that. But when I had to give up my studies I learned very quickly that none of it really mattered." Part 1, Chapter 5, pg. 41

Topic Tracking: Detachment 6

Marie visits and asks Meursault once again if he loves her. She wants to marry him and inquires as to his detached emotions. He continually tells her that feelings and marriage do not matter. If she wants to get married, he would marry her. He would marry any woman who is in her shoes and sees nothing special about Marie. He tells her about his business proposition to go to Paris and she gets excited about such an opportunity and change.

The two dine at Celeste's, where Meursault takes notice of a strange woman at a nearby table. He watches her add up her tip meticulously and then read through a long magazine page by page. She leaves in a hurry and drives away extremely fast. Soon after her departure, Meursault forgets about her.

Topic Tracking: Observation 3

Back at home on his bed, Salamano complains about his missing dog. He dispels his life's miseries onto Meursault, including his late marriage, military involvement, solidarity, and frustration with not being able to keep his ill canine at home with him. He claims that the only illness his dogs suffers from is old age, adding that there is no cure for that. Salamano also tells Meursault that everyone thinks poorly of him because he put his mother in a home instead of taking care of her. Meursault never comprehended such a problem, for he always knew she was old and could not care for herself. Furthermore, he knew Maman would be surrounded by peers in the home. In his eyes, it seemed the best thing to do for her.

Salamono realizes at this point that he is truly alone, reaches his hand out to Meursault, and goes to bed. Meursault hopes the dog doesn't bark too loud all night keeping him awake.

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