In be anything greater than an object or
In Letranger, an existentialist novel written by Albert Camus, the readerbegins to discover that women are treated abusively or poorly. The maincharacter in Letranger, Meursault, views women as lesser than men; whichultimately conveys how women were thought of in Africa for that time period. Inthe second chapter, the reader first begins to get an idea of Meursaultcharacter, 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 eventuallykisses her. Shortly after the movie, Marie comes with Meursault back to hisflat. This shows that Meursault thinks that women are merely in his life forpleasure; and no greater meaning such as love. On page 38, Marie asks ifMeursault loves her; and he simply told her that it didnt mean anything, buthe didnt think so. This emphasizes how Meursault does not believe in love,and does not like Marie for anything but a physical relationship, and possiblyand as something to do. The way in which Meursault feels about women is notuncommon for this time period, as there were much more important things in lifesuch as holding down a job and a daily routine than things such as lovingsomeone. Most men in Algiers at this time only lived their lives, and did notthink that women could be anything greater than an object or for physicalreasons.
Another example of how Meursault does not consider women as equals, butas lesser people, is when Marie asks if Meursault wanted to marry her. Meursaultresponds by saying that didnt mind and that they could if she wanted to. Shethen goes on to ask if he loves her and again he says that it didnt meananything, but he probably didnt. Marie also said that marriage is a seriousmatter, but Meursault only said No.
This shows that not only does he notthink that love is unimportant, but he also thinks that marriage doesnt meananything. If Meursault does not care about love or marriage, then it shows thathe also cares little for women, and in this case Marie. When Meursault and Marieare on the landing listening to Raymond beat one of his mistresses, Marie asksMeursault to fetch a police officer, but Meursault said that the didnt likepolicemen. This shows that Meursault didnt 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 thatthe woman was cheating on Raymond. By telling the police this, it got Raymondoff the hook, and also showed that the policemen thought that it was all rightto punish a woman if she had cheated on Raymond.
Again, this emphasises thewomens position in society. For the reasons stated above, Albert Camus conveysto the reader that women are considered lesser than men by Marsaud, and in thewhole of Africa during that time period.BibliographyCamus, Albert. LEtranger.
London, England : Penguin Books, 1982English Essays