The Stranger Quotes

Quotes or quotations are phrases, sentences, lines and paragraphs occurring in a story or a literary piece. These quotes express universal truths or describe common situations. Many quotations from Albert Camus’s The Stranger are often cited and referenced for various situations. Analysis of some of the famous quotes from The Stranger is below.

Quotes in The Stranger

Quote #1

“Maman died today. Or yesterday maybe, I don’t know. I got a telegram from the home: ‘Mother deceased. Funeral tomorrow.’”

Part -1, Chapter -1

The protagonist, Meursault, speaks these lines when Maman is his mother dies. However, he does not know the exact time of her death. His uncertainty shows how insignificant this event is for him that he does not seem to care whether she died today or yesterday. This also shows the meaninglessness of life for him.

Quote #2

“It occurred to me that anyway one more Sunday was over, that Maman was buried now, that I was going back to work, and that, really, nothing had changed.”

Part -1, Chapter -2

Here Meursault is just counting the time that another Sunday is over after his mother is buried. It seems that there is no change in his routine; he is to work regardless. The death of his mother has not impacted his life in any way.

Quote #3 

“I did it just as it came to me, but I tried my best to please Raymond because I didn’t have any reason not to please him. Then I read it out loud.”

Part -1, Chapter -3

Spoken by Meursault, these lines occur in the third chapter. Meursault here is speaking of when he writes the name of the women, and then thinks that his goal is to please Raymond, his friend. It just occurred to him and he wrote that name. He then read the name aloud, again without any reason. It shows that doesn’t feel like Raymond and wonders at the meaninglessness in his life.

Quote #4

“They were staring at us in silence, but in that way of theirs, as if we were nothing but stones or dead trees.”

Part -1, Chapter -6

Meursault thinks that Arabs are constantly looking at his and companions. He thinks they are staring at him/them in the same way they would look at dead trees or stones. He means that the Arabs are “other” people who see them as being different.

Quote #5

“It seemed to me as if the sky split open from one end to the other to rain down fire.”

Part -1, Chapter -6

The above line explains Meursault’s personality. According to him, attachments with things and people contradict the existence of the moral framework of society. The lines occur when the Arab is about to attack Meursault. He is already exhausted due to heat and is drunk. In this state, he shoots the Arab in defense.

Quote #6

“My reflection seemed to remain serious even though I was trying to smile at it. I moved the plate around in front of me.”

Part -2, Chapter -2

Meursault is now in prison. He reflects on himself and sees his serious expression. He moves the plate to see his own reaction. The quote represents his self-reflection about his physical existence as well as his feelings about how he reacts to being in prison.

Quote #7

“I felt this painful duty made easier, lighter, clearer by the certain knowledge of a sacred imperative and by the horror I feel when I look into a man’s face and all I see is a monster.”

Part -2, Chapter -4

The prosecutor is presenting the case against Meursault and painting a picture of him as a monster because he doesn’t show any remorse or guilt. He is expressing his moral opinion about Meursault’s behavior and feels it is his duty to inform the judge that when he looks at Meursault, he sees a monster.

Quote #8

“I was forced to admit, however, that from the moment it had been passed its consequences became as real and so serious as the wall against which I pressed the length of my body.”

Part -2, Chapter -5

Meursault speaks these lines when he is certain that he is going to face the death penalty. It seems to him a real sensation, whereas his earlier sensations were abstract. He thinks that it seems to him as real as the wall against which he is now bracing himself.

Quote #9

“I opened myself to the gentle indifference of the world.”

Part -2, Chapter -5

As Meursault is now hopeless about his life, he thinks that the world is indifferent to him. Now, nobody shows any emotion or concern for his existence or his death. He also does not care about the world and believes his life to be meaninglessness.

Quote #10

“To feel less alone, I had only to wish that there be a large crowd of spectators the day of my execution and that they greet me with cries of hate.”

Part -2, Chapter -5

Meursault wishes to not feel lonely at the moment of his death. He wants people to gather on the day of his execution and then hurl insults at him. It shows his indifference to the world what it thinks or not thinks, but disproves a need for human connection.