In The Stranger, by Albert Camus, Meursault undergoes a mental transformation from Part 1 to Part 2. This transformation is evident in the protagonist's ability to feel and express emotion, development of meaningful memories, and rejection of traditional authority.
As the story progresses, Meursault becomes more and more emotional. In Part 1, he is rather indifferent. When he receives a telegram from the home where his mother lived saying "Mother deceased. Funeral tomorrow. Faithfully yours," he shows no signs of sorrow (3). He merely reports the incident in a factual, straightforward manner. Instead, he says that it "doesn't mean anything" (3). This statement implies that it doesn't matter to Meursault that his mother even died. His indifference towards his mother's death is further revealed when he travels to the home. Meursault tells the caretaker not to open the casket; he does not want to see his mother's body. In addition, the protagonist does not cry at the funeral. Furthermore, Meursault exhibits indifference towards Marie, a woman with whom he becomes sexually involved. When Marie asks him if he loves her, he tells her that "it [doesn't] mean anything, but that [he] probably [doesn't]" (41). Meursault does not seem to understand the concept of love. However, in Part 2, we see Meursault become more emotional. During his trial, he is overwhelmed by a "stupid urge to cry, because he [can] feel how much all [the] people [hate] him" (90). This is the first time the protagonists exhibits such strong emotion, he did not even cry upon the death of his own mother. In addition, Celeste attempts to help Meursault as much as possible through his testimony. The protagonist is so happy and grateful for this kindness that, for the "first time in [his life]," he "[wants] to kiss a man" (93). He expresses affection for his dear friend. Before his execution, upon seeing the chaplain, Meursault "[feels] a little shudder go through [himself]" (115).