Wednesday, December 2, 2015
Albert Camus's "The Stranger" (2/3) - Lucas Wharton
+ Salamano and his dog +
Aforementioned, The Stranger is split into two parts that are broken by Meursault's ultimately, ambiguous decision to shoot a Muslim man on the beaches of Algiers. Before that, however, the narrative follows a him in his day-to-day intermingling with the side-characters. There is a specific relationships that I take particular notice to (having read Camus's, Myth of Sisyphus) help highlight the absurdity of our freedom, and what things in life give us meaning that we prefer to death. The depressingly, humorous character, that really hints to these ideas, is the old man, Salamano, and his hairless, scab-covered dog that live in his building. They go for a walk everyday and seem to really rely on each other; but the way Salamano talks to the dog would make you think otherwise. He routinely calls him, "Flighty bastard!" as he yanks him along to their next destination. One day, the dog goes missing and the man comes across as angry about the dog but his concern is shown behind his tough venir. Meursault asks him why he wouldn't just go out and get another dog, and Salamano answers, "because I've gotten used to this one." Even though the man has gotten old, run out on his luck and has a hideous dog he still prefers that life with dog than living, and dying, alone without him. It's the rock that the old man pushes up the mountain everyday. The dog may seem to give him grief but in actuality the dog is the only thing that still brings him happiness.