Consistently making factual statements is also a testament to Meursault’s amoral nature as it manifests his psychological disentanglement from the world. Meursault would easily convince the masses he is not an outlier by shedding false tears in during his mother’s funeral. He also refuses to cave in when the judge pressures him to declare his faith in God. Like shading fake tears, an insincere confession of belief would see the adversity against him reduce drastically. However, Meursault remains honest to his personality because he does not find a rational explanation for doing what others tell him. It is a testament to his detachment from society. He psychologically wanders to a different dimension that cannot drive him to find a compromise between his virtues and those of society. Choosing to judge him as either immoral or moral would mean that he ‘belongs’ to the same dimension as those that judge him, which is inaccurate.
The conventional course of action would be to manifest false belief or to even reform in the face of trouble. However, Meursault maintains his point of view, leading the judge to declare him, “Monsieur Antichrist.” (Camus). His insistence on honesty is a testament to the fact that he exists in an alternative psychological plane, one that cannot be reconstructed using a thought process manufactured in a reality other than his own. Consequently, he is not immoral or moral; he just does not share the same concept of good or evil as those that surround him. Remaining honest in the phase of adversity underscores this fact. Meursault’s indifference to distinguish between good or evil fortifies his amoral nature. Throughout the novel, he gains an opportunity to develop a system that enables him to draw a line between the two concepts.
Upon his arrest for shooting Arab, his lawyer is particularly displeased for his lack of grief to mark his mother’s death. The course of the trial shifts midway to focus on his character. The prosecution shifts the constituents of their burden of proof to include supplying evidence of Meursault’s grotesque personality. Such immense focus on his character in the course of the trial does not seem enough to push Meursault to reconsider his view of the world. He cannot find fault with his perspective of the world, maintain a flamboyant attitude in his refusal to conform to the judge’s request. At this point of the novel, it becomes quintessential to conclude that Meursault’s is not invested in developing any comprehension of good or bad. A reconstitution of his personality even though the penal system seems in vain.
Campus declares in The Myth of Sisyphus that such absurdity is representative of components of society that humanity can only learn, but not reconstitute. (Camus). Meursault’s supports this notion with his own thinking by admitting the “the gentle indifference of the world.” It is an internal declaration that the universe does not care about anyone. In that, individuals are only parties that concern themselves with their actions. Embodying such a philosophical point of view is a testament to Meursault’s lack of desire to comprehend the distinction between good or evil, rendering him amoral. A critical component of Meursault’s amoral nature is his absurd approach to deconstructing emotions. In his narration of an exchange with Marie, Meursault’s emotional indifference is strongly evident when he says, “A minute later she asked me if I loved her.
I told her it didn’t mean anything but that I didn’t think so.” (Camus). Naturally, confession of affection attracts an almost similar response. Even for people that do not share the same emotional point of view, an aura of kindness emerges when there is the profession of love. Meursault’s response is unconventional, to say the least. The most basic component of his personality that it conveys is his disengagement from his immediate surroundings. A deeper analysis of his response is a testament to his absurd attitude when assessing emotions. One component of being able to learn the variation between good and evil is deconstructing reactions that accompany a particular action or sentiment. However, Meursault does not show potential do this, which is evidence of a person that does not have the foundational elements needed to learn the distinction between good or evil. Expectations of profound grief during a funeral are natural as such grief indicates the occurrence of something bad. Meursault’s not only failed to cry but also finds no meaning in doing it. It is similar to his response to Marie’s declaration of love.
It is wildly illogical that love does not mean anything to a person. Marie’s reluctant testament at the trial fortifies Meursault’s connotation as a monster because his perception of emotions is unacceptable to many. It also underlines his detachment to the conventional view of good and bad. Venturing outside The Stranger to test Meursault’s amoral nature is consistent with concepts from the novel. Declaration of morality or immorality occurs in a social media under the guardianship of a set of rules. The judgment of good or evil usually rests on concepts from the universal code of ethics. Without these codes, it would be virtually impossible to learn of the distinction between good and evil. People run away when they commit crimes because they are reasonably aware that their actions do not fall on the positive spectrum of the moral system.
Consequently, to be able to judge between good and evil, a person needs to have a set of rules that inform their actions. Applying this notion to Meursault, he does not have a set of rules that help him distinguish right from wrong. Suffice to say that under actual rules of ethical behavior, his psychological deployment does not support classification. Therefore, it is safe to classify such an individual as a party incapable of learning the distinction between good or evil, hence immoral. Other metrics of morality include the potential to determine the consequences of one’s actions. Meursault does not show competence in this regard. In fact, some of his actions do not have a rational basis. This is a testament to a person who does not fall under a moral dispensation, which makes it impossible to discern the distinction between good and evil.
Suffice to say that Camus construction of Meursault as a character entails considerable consultation with the practical worldview of morality, which makes it possible to perfectly paint his amoral nature. From the above, it is evident that Meursault’s honesty dismisses classifications that render him either immoral or moral. Instead, he is amoral, evident in his casual indifference towards discerning the dissimilarity between good and evil. The Stranger does a great job of capturing the peculiar nature of the main protagonist. It positions him as an individual who exists in a unique psychological plane, hence hard to comprehend through conventional thinking. His indifference to good and evil is evident during the trial and in his honesty.
Putting his character on trial despite being a murderer is an indication of his absurd nature. He also confesses that the universe does not care people and what they do, a notion that is widely inconsistent with conventional views. Therefore, Meursault does not fall inside the conventional society benchmarks of good and evil. This makes it inaccurate to group him in either of the two clusters. Instead, he is an immoral being incapable of differentiating good and evil and uninterested in learning the difference between the two. In order to be able to declare Meursault as either moral or immoral, he needed to have a conceptual foundation for his actions that fall on either side of the ethical spectrum.