The scene with the chaplain

The scene with the chaplain

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  • The prison
  • Talking to the Chaplain
  • Your heart is blind. I shall pray for you. 
  • Catharsis
  • Meursault spends the last few days of his life within the prison, with nothing to look forward to. He complains about the precision and accuracy of the guillotine. He questions the arrogant certainty of the judges who announced his verdict. He believes that it is absurd in the manner of how the sentence was passed down, who the people were who passed the sentence. In simple terms, Meursault mocked the confidence in which people who thought they "knew the answers" had. 
  • Peace
  • Much to Meursault's dismay, the chaplain comes and visit him anyway. Meursault wants to spend his last few moments in peace. Interestingly, Meursault rejects the Chaplain three times, taken from a biblical viewpoint, it is similar to how Jesus is tempted three times by the devil in the desert, yet rejects the devil. It is also funny how Meursault was called Monsieur. Antichrist, yet is himself rejecting temptation to change his own views. 
  • Night sky and the stars
  • I felt ready to live it all again too. As if that blind rage had washed me clean, rid me of hope; for the first time, in that night alive with signs and stars, I opened myself to the gentle indifference of the world. 
  • After being lectured by the chaplain, Meursault becomes furious and grabs him.  He is able to release all of his repressed emotions. Meursault reflects upon his life and finds that he has lived an absurd life by living as real as he can be. He reflects that the Chaplain who thinks of himself as holy cannot even deal with the pressure of existence by placing his faith into a higher being of existence. In Camus's terms, he is committing "Philosophical Suicide", in that the chaplain attempts to altogether avoid the question of the absurdism in the universe by introducing an irrational being to explain an irrational universe itself. 
  • The guillotine
  • This is Meursault's final reflection on his own life. He has realized that the absurdity of the events in his life, the death of his mother, meeting Marie, killing an Arab. He was never in control of his own path, or more specifically, he has never been in control of deeper psychological influences.  He has understand that everyone's eventual death from the future sends a type of influence to the person they currently are, and that influence is stronger the longer one lives. 
  • Throughout the whole absurd life I'd lived, a dark wind has been rising toward me from somewhere deep in the future, across years that were still to come, and as it passed, this wind leveled whatever was offered to me at the time, in years no more real than the ones I was living.
  • With this realization in mind. Meursault wakes up to the fragrance of the night sky. He is ready to live his life again, in what short time he is given, this time unfettered by the chains of life and death, just like his maman. He is finally free from the absurdity of the fear of death and its chokehold on him through his last days. 
  • Meursault is in control of his attitude towards his fate and life. He only hopes that a large hateful crowd will come during his execution. The guillotine just like Sisyphus's personally made rock will fall down one day, and just like Meursault, everyone else will one day need to face their death one day. Courage is the march from life towards that absurd fate consigned to every man called death. 
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