The Stranger

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The Stranger Characters

Meursault

A young French Algerian living in colonial Algiers and working as a shipping clerk, Meursault is passionless, disaffected, and without ambition. His primary priority is his own physical comfort. Convinced of the world's indifference to… (read full character analysis)

Raymond Sintès

Meursault's neighbor who adopts Meursault as a friend by enlisting him to help sort out a conflict with his mistress. Though exposed in court as a pimp, Raymond is cagey about his profession… (read full character analysis)

Marie Cordona

Once a typist in Meursault's office, Marie is young, beautiful, easy going, and openhearted. Her romantic feelings for Meursault seem authentic and she is genuinely discouraged when Meursault confirms he doesn't love her as… (read full character analysis)

The Prosecutor

Determined to portray Meursault as a cold-blooded, premeditating murderer and soulless monster unfit for society, the prosecutor builds his case around Meursault's insensitive attitude towards his mother, evidence that shouldn't properly be relevant. Still… (read full character analysis)

The Defense Lawyer

Meursault's lawyer who tries to defend Meursault's character, to present his crime as an accident, and to disassociate Meursault's behavior at his mother's funeral from the murder. He is exhausted by Meursault's unyielding impassiveness… (read full character analysis)
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Minor Characters
Céleste
The good-hearted proprietor of the restaurant where Meursault is a regular. Céleste does his best to testify to Meursault's good character at the trial but is not taken seriously by the court.
Madame Meursault
Meursault's mother, who dies right before the novel begins. Meursault's decision to send her to an old people's home combined with his calmness at her funeral damn him in the eyes of the jury at his murder trial.
The Funeral Director
Works at the old people's home where Madame Meursault lived and died. Testifies to Meursault's insensitivity at his mother's funeral.
The Caretaker
Works at the old people's home where Madame Meursault lived and died. Testifies to Meursault's insensitivity at his mother's funeral.
Thomas Pérez
Madame Meursault's closest friend and rumored fiancée at the old people's home.
Salamano
Meursault's neighbor and the owner of a scabby, hairless dog which he publicly berates and abuses until its loss – then he is heartbroken.
Raymond's Mistress
The Arab woman Raymond claims is his unfaithful mistress.
Masson
Raymond's friend and owner of the beach house that Meursault is visiting when he shoots the Arab.
The Arab
The man Meursault murders. Raymond's nemesis and the brother of Raymond's mistress.
The Boss
Meursault's boss who offers Meursault the opportunity to transfer to Paris and accuses Meursault of lacking all ambition when Meursault declines the offer.
The Examining Magistrate
An examining magistrate who attempts, futilely, to help Meursault by Christianizing him. After his efforts fail, he calls Meursault "Monsieur Antichrist."
The Chaplain
A priest who repeatedly tries to visit Meursault in prison and endeavors unsuccessfully to Christianize Meursault during their one visit.
The Strange Little Woman
A peculiar and meticulous woman whom Meursault once eats beside in silence at Céleste's, then follows out of curiosity. She appears at his trial.
Emmanuel
Meursault's co-worker, a dispatcher.
One Old Woman
A friend of Madame Meursault's. Her crying at the vigil irritates Meursault.
The Nurse
A nurse at the old people's home who accompanies the funeral procession and tells Meursault, "There's no way out…"
The Head Guard
The head guard at the prison who first makes Meursault realize that the point of prison is to take away a man's freedom.
A Reporter
One of the press at Meursault's trial who explains to Meursault that his trial has been blown up because of the slow press season and because of the subsequent parricide trial.
The First Policeman
A policeman who rescues Raymond's mistress from Raymond's beating and slaps Raymond.
The Presiding Judge
The presiding judge at Meursault's trial.
Monsieur Meursault
Meursault's father, known to Meursault only through a story about how he was nauseated by seeing an execution.
The Arab Nurse
A nurse at the old people's home who sits vigil over Madame Meursault.
The Funeral Director
A funeral director who directs Madame Meursault's funeral procession.
The Pallbearers
Pallbearers who carry Madame Meursault's coffin in the funeral procession. One informs the director that Meursault didn't know his mother's age.
The Priest
A priest who performs Madame Meursault's funeral.
The Parisienne
Masson's wife from Paris.