L\'Etranger By Albert Camus

In Líetranger, an existentialist novel written by Albert Camus, the reader
begins to discover that women are treated abusively or poorly. The main
character in Líetranger, Meursault, views women as lesser than men; which
ultimately conveys how women were thought of in Africa for that time period. In
the second chapter, the reader first begins to get an idea of Meursault
character, and his feelings towards women. After swimming with Marie Cordona,
who once worked as a typist at Meursault office, he invites her to the cinema.

This is very inappropriate, as his mother had died only a few days earlier.

During the film, Meursault proceeds to fondle Maries breasts, and eventually
kisses her. Shortly after the movie, Marie comes with Meursault back to his
flat. This shows that Meursault thinks that women are merely in his life for
pleasure; and no greater meaning such as love. On page 38, Marie asks if

Meursault loves her; and he simply told her that it didnít mean anything, but
he didnít think so. This emphasizes how Meursault does not believe in love,
and does not like Marie for anything but a physical relationship, and possibly
and as something to do. The way in which Meursault feels about women is not
uncommon for this time period, as there were much more important things in life
such as holding down a job and a daily routine than things such as loving
someone. Most men in Algiers at this time only lived their lives, and did not
think that women could be anything greater than an object or for physical
reasons. Another example of how Meursault does not consider women as equals, but
as lesser people, is when Marie asks if Meursault wanted to marry her. Meursault
responds by saying that didnít mind and that they could if she wanted to. She
then goes on to ask if he loves her and again he says that it didnít mean
anything, but he probably didnít. Marie also said that marriage is a serious
matter, but Meursault only said ĎNoí. This shows that not only does he not
think that love is unimportant, but he also thinks that marriage doesnít mean
anything. If Meursault does not care about love or marriage, then it shows that
he also cares little for women, and in this case Marie. When Meursault and Marie
are on the landing listening to Raymond beat one of his mistresses, Marie asks

Meursault to fetch a police officer, but Meursault said that the didnít like
policemen. This shows that Meursault didnít care that a woman was being hurt,
because he would not even consider getting a policeman to stop the fight. Also,
when Raymond asks Meursault to act as a witness, Meursault agrees to say that
the woman was cheating on Raymond. By telling the police this, it got Raymond
off the hook, and also showed that the policemen thought that it was all right
to punish a woman if she had cheated on Raymond. Again, this emphasises the
womens position in society. For the reasons stated above, Albert Camus conveys
to the reader that women are considered lesser than men by Marsaud, and in the
whole of Africa during that time period.


Camus, Albert. LíEtranger. London, England : Penguin Books, 1982