English Essay - Alienation The first two chapters of the outsider give us some insight into the main character M and how is successfully alienated from society We are immediately struck by M's response to his mother's death by his apparent lack of emotion as shown through "mother died today, maybe yesterday, I don't know." The death of his mother seams to be less important than the social expectations associated with her death as seen in M's conversation with the warden about whether to have an open or closed coffin, "I was to unscrew the coffin... I answered no... I felt embarrassed because I shouldn't have said that." The social expectation in this situation is that he would want to see his mother before she was buried, however I feel these social and ritual expectations do not make sense, because no amount of watching the deceased will bring them back to life, and some cases for a person to see a dead family member will cause more trauma The conflict shown in this chapter is between his apparent lack of emotion, and his what is deemed to be an acceptable emotional response to a death by society. The writer Camus uses a number of contrasts throughout chapters one and two that show the reader the views of an alienated individual, such examples of this include "The whole landscape flooded in sunshine and shimmering in the heat, it was inhospitable and depressing, " and "I had managed to get through another Sunday, nothing had changed", both of these examples show the M is an outsider, in the first he describes a terrible place that he does not like, with no mention of houses or people on the landscape, in the second he describes his Sunday, in which he got through it, meaning he did nothing, and that was not unusual, through these contrasts the writer has successfully shown M to be deeply alienated.
Our lives are to an extent governed by the need to show some emotion, at a funeral, whilst in M's case this emotional response was deemed to be crying, or seeing his mother one last time before she was buried. However in today's society things have changed, today the accepted response can vary from reading a poem, to playing the deceased 's favorite song. Because M did not show any emotion he felt judged, and to back this up he has to keep saying to himself and others "It wasn't my fault." This said I do not see him as a danger to society as a whole, only a danger to those who don't understand his lack of emotion, like for those that as him to shoot them, he would be a danger to, because having no emotion, he does not think about the bad outcomes, rather they wanted me to shoot them.