"It's kinda booooooring."
Two girls, comedically in unison, whine as they leave AP Biology. Is it plasmolysis that's dulling their senses and lulling them to sleep? Is it cellular respiration? Or MICROBIAL CHEMISTRY, quite possibly the least fascinating thing to ever make its way into our bodies?
Nope. It's The Stranger.
I note their tone. Detached. Indifferent. They drop the topic rather quickly, as if they were only perfunctorily complaining about it.
Let me direct you to a passage from The Stranger:
It was only when [Raymond] announced, 'Now you're a pal, Meursault' and said it again that it struck me. He repeated his remark and I said 'Yes.' I didn't mind being his pal, and he seemed set on it (33).
Hmm. They sound rather like Meursault. I do think it's funny that everyone keeps pointing out just how tired Meursault is and how this points to his soullessness when all anyone who is applying to colleges and/or doing any degree of homework can talk about is how much they'd rather be in bed. C'mon guys he's just like us!
So now, the question everyone is writing all over their margins and reading journals: WHAT THE HECK IS GOIN' ON?!?! Oh, that's just me.
I have a couple theories as to why Meursault finds life "kinda booooring.":
1) Fear. Textual evidence: '"If you go slowly, you risk getting sunstroke. But if you go too fast, you work up a sweat and then catch a chill inside the church.' She was right. There was no way out" (17). You do, you die, you don't, you die. He is caught up in the cyclical, pointless nature of life in this world. It's petrified him. This proposes a question for me: Why do the other, peripheral characters not freeze? Or is it simply an illusion that they are not frozen? Does Camus think Salamano and Perez's emotionality obscure their path to truth?
2) Power and control. He is only interested in entertaining thoughts about people that have power over him. For example, he could speak about his boss at great length. He does, in fact. I know more about his weird desires to control his work life than I do his fiancee. I think he may also know very little about his fiancee. And, take notes, men. He also provides us with very wise wisdom about how not to hook up with a girl (the day after your mother's death) and how not to accept a proposal (by saying "we could if she wanted to.") He's got infinite power over her, having no intense or empathetic feelings whatsoever toward her. Jessica Benjamin would be ashamed of his behavior. My point is, the only thing that prevents him from living his dreadful, empty life is the power struggle. If he has no one to challenge him, then he is again faced with the problem of existence: to shoot or not to shoot.
(This fun blog site offered to post hyperlinks about the biology terms I mentioned, so if you guys are interested...Also, you can buy the book on Amazon if you want a copy! Technology!)