Notes on the classic french translated version of The Stranger.
Chapter 1: The narrator/protagonist, Mersault’s, mother dies and he receives a day off to go visit the funeral of his mother in Marengo. The Director of the home Mersault’s mother lived, assures Mersault it was alright to send his mother to the home, and that they are going to place a religious funeral for her. When Mersault is looking at the coffin (which is closed), the director offers to open the coffin, but he refuses the offer. After a day, all of his mother’s friends arrive and Mersault is asked again if he would like to see his mother before the coffin is sealed, but again Mersault declines. Then Mersault meets one of his mothers good friends (possibly boyfriend) Thomas Perez. At the funeral, there is unbearable heat and Thomas Perez faints. After the funeral Mersault takes a bus home to Algiers.
Chapter 2: Mersault visits a beach the next day and runs into a former co-worker of his named Marie Cardona. She is beautiful, and they flirt around and swim together. They agree to go see a movie the following day, and Marie spends the night with him. The following day Marie is gone, and decides to go eat, but not at his usual place in fear of being questioned about his mother. Mersault eats on the balcony, and makes dinner and jeers that he has work the next day.
Chapter 3: Mersault goes to work, but his boss is sympathetic about his mother this time. Mersault and a co-worker named Emmanuel go to Celeste’s for lunch, where Celeste asks about his mother, but Mersault quickly changes the subject. Mersault runs into Salamano who has a dog with a skin problem and Salamano occasionally beats it and swears at it. Then his other neighbor Raymond invites Mersault to dinner and asks Mersault to be his “pal”. Raymond’s mistress cheated on Raymond so Raymond decides to beat his Arab mistress. Raymond tells Mersault to write a letter to incite the Arab back so that Raymond can beat her again.
Chapter 4: Mersault goes swimming with Marie the next day and later they have sex. Marie asks Mersault if he loves her and he says no. Marie and Mersault here Raymond beat his mistress and the police comes. Afterwards Mersault and Raymond go out, and then when they return they see Salamano is desperately searching for his dog (later Salamano cries because he lost dog).
Chapter 5: Raymond’s friend Masson invites Raymond and Mersault to his beach house. Mersault’s boss offers him a job in Paris. Marie asks Mersault if he plans to marry her, and he replies it makes no difference. Marie decides to marry Mersault, even though Mersault does not care. Mersault eats at Celeste’s for dinner that night. When Mersault returns he sees Salamano by the door complaining how he does not want a new dog.
Chapter 6: The three of them (Raymond, Mersault, and Marie) all board a bus to go to Masson’s house and they see a bunch of Arabs (one of them is Raymond’s mistress’s brother) watching them. They arrive at Masson’s wooden bungalow and go swimming on the beach. After dinner the ladies stay in the house while the three men walk, they notice Arabs following them and they break out into a fight. The three men were winning until Raymond’s adversary pulls out a knife and slashes Raymond and runs away. They return home and call the doctor. Raymond returns from the doctor and decides to go find the Arabs, so Mersault follows. They run into the Arabs but this time Raymond has a gun. Mersault convinces Raymond not to shoot and hand over the gun (while the Arabs run away). Both decide to go home, but then Mersault decides he’d rather just sit on the beach. The Arab sees Mersault and pulls out his knife and reflects the sun on Mersault’s eyes, and eventually Mersault pulls out the gun and shoots once. After some time, Mersault shoots 4 more times at the motionless dead body.
Chapter 1: Mersault is arrested and thrown into jail for killing the Arab. Then the lawyer comes to visit Mersault, and discuss the aspect of his “insensitivity” which could leave him with a worse sentence. The lawyer asks if Mersault was sad about his mother’s death, and Mersault replies he did not really feel upset. At the magistrate, they ask him if he loved his mother and he replied he loved her as much as anyone else. Then the magistrate asks why Mersault shot once and paused before shooting four more times. Then the magistrate waves a cross in front of him and asks him if he believes in God, and he replies no. The magistrate starts calling him Monsieur Antichrist.
Chapter 2: Mersault describes his cell, he is at first put into a public cell including Arabs, and then he is transported to a private cell by himself. One day Marie comes to visit him, and they are in a noisy place with a bunch of visitors. Marie says that one day Mersault will be acquitted and they will get married and go swimming. However, Mersault is more interested in the people next to him. Marie never visits again because she is no longer permitted considering she is not his wife. Mersault finds the inability to go swimming, smoke cigarettes, or have sex to be tormenting. Soon he gets accustomed and tries to waste time by sleeping as long as possible and looking at a newspaper story which read that a man from Czechoslovakia at a young age left and made a fortune. However, when the man returned to his home in a disguise (in hopes of surprising his mother and sister) his family robbed and killed him, only to kill themselves later upon discovering who he was.
Chapter 3: Mersault’s trial begins and there are a lot of people because it was given a lot of publicity. The Judge asks Mersault why he put his mother in a home. Mersault replies he did not have enough money Then the Judge asks if Mersault felt bad about it, and Mersault replies neither of them expected more. Then when the director of the home is questioned he mentions how the mother was upset about being placed in the home, and that Mersault was surprisingly calm during the funeral (recalling how Mersault did not cry or want to see his mother’s body). The caretaker then mentioned how Mersault smoked a cigarette (the lawyer points out the caretaker smoked too). Thomas Perez testifies he was too upset to recall if Mersault cried or not. Celeste testifies it is bad luck, and Marie testifies he was planning on marrying her. They discuss how Marie and Mersault saw a comedy movie two days after the funeral. Masson and Salamano both give accounts of Mersault’s kindness. Raymond mentions it was only by chance that Mersault got sucked into the dispute.
Chapter 4: The prosecutor says Mersault committed premeditated murder which can be seen through his obvious intelligence and lack of remorse. The prosecutor also says that Mersault’s lack of sadness at his mother’s death represents the immorality of society. The prosecutor state in a sense Mersault is the same as the man who killed his father so he deserves the death penalty. Mersault states he did not return to the beach in hopes of killing the Arab and that he shot because of the Sun. After his lawyers final defense, Mersault is found guilty of premeditated murder and sentenced to death by guillotine.
Chapter 5: Meursault only thinks about escaping the “debt” he owes to society. He wishes he could be a spectator not a victim of the guillotine. He wishes they would use a system in which there was a great chance of him dying but still a slight one of him living. He hates the fact that the guillotine may keep its victim alive but it’s not wished for because the victim would be in extreme pain while waiting for the second time. Every time during dawn he is grateful when he doesn’t hear footsteps because footsteps would mean its time for his execution. He often thinks of being pardoned, and he feels great joy when he thinks of such ideas. Then the Chaplain comes to try and convince Meursault to pray to god and make confessions but Meursault just gets irritated by the Chaplains incessant efforts. After many efforts by the Chaplain, Meursault enraged replies that nothing the Chaplain believes is certain only death is. He finally understands his mother but decides not to cry as it is a mockery to his mother, and he just hopes that there will be a large crowd of angry people at his execution.