The Meursault Investigation

by

Kamel Daoud

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Independence Term Analysis

In The Meursault Investigation, “Independence” refers to Algerian independence from France, achieved in 1962 at the end of a rebellion known as the War of Liberation.

Independence Quotes in The Meursault Investigation

The The Meursault Investigation quotes below are all either spoken by Independence or refer to Independence. For each quote, you can also see the other terms 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 1 Quotes

Therefore I’m going to do what was done in this country after Independence: I’m going to take the stones from the old houses the colonists left behind, remove them one by one, and build my own house, my own language. The murderer’s words and expressions are my unclaimed goods. Besides, the country’s littered with words that don’t belong to anyone anymore.

Related Characters: Harun (speaker)
Page Number: 2
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 3 Quotes

Who, me? Nostalgic for French Algeria? No! You haven’t understood a word I’ve said. I was just trying to tell you that back then, we Arabs gave the impression that we were waiting, not going around in circles like today.

Related Characters: Harun (speaker), The Interlocutor
Page Number: 31
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 11 Quotes

The gratuitousness of Musa’s death was unconscionable. And now my revenge had just been struck down to the same level of insignificance!

Related Characters: Harun (speaker), Musa, Joseph / The Frenchman
Page Number: 111
Explanation and Analysis:
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Independence Term Timeline in The Meursault Investigation

The timeline below shows where the term Independence appears in The Meursault Investigation. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1
Colonialism and its Aftermath Theme Icon
Language and Storytelling Theme Icon
...of his own language. Instead, Harun will do “what was done in this country after Independence”: he will recycle the stones from the colonists’ houses to build “my own house” and... (full context)
Colonialism and its Aftermath Theme Icon
Justice and Retribution Theme Icon
Harun finds it stunning that even after Independence, no one tried to figure out the story behind Meursault’s victim or locate his family.... (full context)
Colonialism and its Aftermath Theme Icon
In the next moment, Harun retracts this comment, saying it’s a lie. In fact, “Independence only pushed people on both sides to switch roles.” Before, Arabs were “ghosts” in their... (full context)
Colonialism and its Aftermath Theme Icon
Grief and Family Life Theme Icon
After Independence, Mama tried for years to have Musa classified as a martyr, in order to be... (full context)
Chapter 2
Colonialism and its Aftermath Theme Icon
Grief and Family Life Theme Icon
...he is frightened of the city, which “remembers neither me nor my family.” Shortly after Independence, he returned to Algiers alone, wanting to conduct his own investigation of Musa’s death. As... (full context)
Chapter 3
Grief and Family Life Theme Icon
...if she’s found a wife. Neither Harun nor his mother know how old they are—before Independence, people relied on landmark events rather than calendars to tell time. (full context)
Colonialism and its Aftermath Theme Icon
Grief and Family Life Theme Icon
...finds a job as a housekeeper and “waited, with me perched on her back, for Independence.” Her employers are a French family, Monsieur and Madame Larquais, who flee quickly after the... (full context)
Religion and Nihilism Theme Icon
...an unheard question, Harun says fiercely that he’s not nostalgic for French Algeria. However, before Independence, “we Arabs gave the impression that we were waiting, not going around in circles like... (full context)
Justice and Retribution Theme Icon
...mentions in his book. It’s possible that her grave was uprooted in the chaos after Independence, but it’s also possible that Meursault lied about his origins in order to make himself... (full context)
Chapter 6
Colonialism and its Aftermath Theme Icon
...French neighborhoods deciding which houses they would claim after their inhabitants left. They intuited that Independence would come, but didn’t anticipate the violence involved. (full context)
Chapter 8
Justice and Retribution Theme Icon
...murder will be considered part of the combat. It’s one of the first days of Independence and all is chaos, with the French trying to flee or save their possessions while... (full context)
Chapter 9
Justice and Retribution Theme Icon
...his mother, and in any case so many people have died in the lead-up to Independence that no one would consider it important. (full context)
Chapter 10
Colonialism and its Aftermath Theme Icon
Justice and Retribution Theme Icon
...while fighting continues to rage throughout the country. Now, thinking back on the events surrounding Independence, he wishes he could write a book—a sort of cookbook describing how the country was... (full context)
Chapter 13
Colonialism and its Aftermath Theme Icon
...one pays them visits, especially since Harun has disgraced himself by refusing to fight for Independence. He’s startled to hear a stranger utter Musa’s name. Mama invites the woman inside. (full context)