The Meursault Investigation

by

Kamel Daoud

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The Officer Character Analysis

An Algerian army officer who questions Harun about murdering Joseph but never punishes him. The officer is extremely devoted to the cause of Algerian liberation, and he’s both disappointed in and suspicious of Harun’s decision not to join the army as most other young men have. He explains that Harun has only been arrested for killing a Frenchman outside the context of the war effort, rather than under the auspices of the army, a distinction which Harun views as specious and absurd.

The Officer Quotes in The Meursault Investigation

The The Meursault Investigation quotes below are all either spoken by The Officer or refer to The Officer. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Colonialism and its Aftermath Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Other Press edition of The Meursault Investigation published in 2015.
Chapter 11 Quotes

He started stammering, declaring that killing and making war were not the same thing, that we weren’t murderers but liberators, that nobody had given me orders to kill that Frenchman, and that I should have done it before.

Related Characters: Harun (speaker), Joseph / The Frenchman , The Officer
Page Number: 109
Explanation and Analysis:
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The Officer Character Timeline in The Meursault Investigation

The timeline below shows where the character The Officer appears in The Meursault Investigation. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 11
Colonialism and its Aftermath Theme Icon
...interested in getting to the bottom of his case. Eventually, Harun is taken to an officer of the new Army of National Liberation, who asks about Harun personal details and whether... (full context)
Justice and Retribution Theme Icon
The officer smiles and says that he’s not asking for the truth. He even laughs at the... (full context)
Justice and Retribution Theme Icon
...sweeping the courtyard and doing chores. In the afternoon, Harun is again taken to the officer. This time the officer shouts at him, demanding to know why he didn’t fight for... (full context)
Justice and Retribution Theme Icon
Harun asks him to explain, and the officer shakily says that “killing and making war were not the same thing,” and that the... (full context)
Justice and Retribution Theme Icon
...war if he killed Joseph on July 5 at two o’clock in the morning. The officer slaps him in the face. Afterwards, both men stare at each other for a long... (full context)
Justice and Retribution Theme Icon
The officer asks if Musa was really killed by a Frenchman, and Harun says that he was.... (full context)