Albert Camus was haunted with the notion that "our world exists in a universe which holds no place for us, where our life makes no sense." In his novel, The Stranger, Monsieur Meursault is a man rendered in such a situation. He subsists from day to pointless day, morally deprived and socially detached. Holding Meursault to his words, and recognizing the voids they reveal, the reader sees Meursault as the stranger - a foreigner in an emotional, consequential world teaming with morality and sentiment. Society endures because of its own understood, furtive laws - laws which keep conformity, habit, and social harmony perpetually present - laws which Meursault cannot fathom. Religion, ambition, love - contempt, disapproval, sorrow - are all sensations by which people life - by which people are ruled; they are all sensations by which Meursault is never governed. Meursault's rules to live by are hardly understandable to those of society. He is not ruled by emotion, he is not controlled by morals, and he is not bothered by decisions. Mersault is governed by absent fate, minimal satisfaction, and listless habit. He serves no God, no dream - no purpose. In the end, Meursault, living according to his own myriad of absurd rules, must welcome death as his only means to be in harmony with the indifferent universe.
Meursault is aware of feelings and opinions in others, but he acknowledges few emotions in himself. Particularly in situations where one expects feelings, he professes to have none. Thus, he feels little sorrow at his mother's death, little joy at Marie's love, little pleasure at the boss's offer of a promotion, little remorse for his crime. He expresses no anger and hardly any regret even at the loss of his freedom. He seems to feel no resentment toward Raymond, who drew him into the quarrel with the Arabs; nor toward his lawyer; who handles his case poorly; nor toward the court, which condemns him.