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Published: 11-10-2019

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An illness referred to as death: The meaning of Salamano's canine

The French novel The Stranger, written by Albert Camus and translated by Matthew Ward, describes a French-colonized Algeria in the 1940’s. Throughout the novel, central arguments and themes are being linked together by distinct scenes. In the scene that brings into focus Salamano and his dog, Camus demonstrates that routine is an illusion of control, the nearness of death leads to awareness of the choice between serenity and sorrow, and that all choices are equal.

Camus utilizes Salamano’s treatment of his dog as a symbol for routine in order to demonstrate the importance of routine—an illusion of manage. In terms of appearance, it seems that Salamano cares more about his dog right after his dog was gone than when the dog was in his company. Camus describes that Salamano’s daily routine with the dog consists of “[them standing] there on the side walk and [staring] at each other, the dog in terror, the man in hatred” and Salamano continually swears, yanks, and spits at the dog (Camus 27). Nonetheless, right after the disappearance of his dog, Salamano searches the streets once more and again seeking for his dog. This reveals Salamano’s dependence on his dog—an inseparability whose roots lie within the comfort of routine. Even although they have been with each other for eight years, they in no way change their routine. Moreover, when Camus has Meursault recommend that Salamano must get a new dog, the latter replies that he “was employed to this one particular,” just as Salamano was “used to [his wife]” (Camus 44). Camus suggests that it is not just about caring for or loving the dog, but rather in search of comfort in the routine that they had together, just as most folks do. Salamano did not have a satisfied life with either his wife or the dog, but he gets utilized to it regardless—and thus chooses to stay in this comfort zone. Camus additional illustrates that as Salamano and his dog turn out to be old collectively, they have even ended up “looking like every single other” (Camus 26). On the other hand, Salamano could have very easily prevented the escape of his dog, but the existence of a routine distracts him from the possibility of his dog escaping. Via this faulty assumption of Salamano’s, Camus suggests that routine not only provides comfort to the individual, but also tends to make the individual unconscious in the grand scheme of life. Even even though Salamano “[has] been meaning to get [his dog] a smaller sized collar for a lengthy time, [he] never believed [his dog] would take off like that” (Camus 38). Even though Salamano knew that the collar was also huge, he believed he had handle of his dog due to the fact it is element of the routine and it has by no means occurred just before. Salamano breaks the routine by stopping to watch “The King of Escape Artists” (Camus 38). Just as “The King of Escape Artists” creates the illusion that the chains can hold him, Camus blinds Salamano with the illusion that the collar can hold his dog because the dog has not escaped ahead of. By creating the illusion of manage, Camus shows how some folks can get blinded by routine.

In addition, Camus draws parallels in between the dog and Maman to show that the nearness of death leads to awareness of the selection amongst serenity and sorrow. Just as the relationship in between Meursault and his mother, the connection among Salamano and his dog is not a happy one either. In reality, the partnership between Salamano and his dog is rather miserable Salamano complains that the problem with his dog is that “he is always there,” as if the dog has turn into a burden to him (Camus 28). Camus compares this relationship with the partnership between Meursault and Maman, where Maman lived with Meursault for a lengthy time till Meursault begins to see her as a burden as properly. Meursault barely speaks to Maman and sooner or later sends her to a residence. In the end, the dog runs away and Maman dies. When Meursault hears Salamano weeping more than the loss of his dog, Meursault “thought of Maman” (Camus 39). Camus draws a parallel between the two relationships to present the choice among serenity and sorrow. While Salamano cries over missing his dog, Meursault does not react significantly to the loss of Maman. Salamano chose to be sorrowful over his loss while Meursault chose to not display feelings even at the funeral of Maman. Camus suggests that the choice among serenity and sorrow is decided by oneself and how a single perceives death of an additional, or even himself.

Conveying a further philosophical message, Camus shows the futility of decision by implying that all options are futile and equal. In the scene in which Salamano is telling Meursault about the condition of his dog, Salamano recalls how he rubbed the dog with ointment each and every day following the dog had gotten that skin illness, Salamano says that “the dog’s actual sickness was old age, and there’s no cure for old age” (Camus 45). Camus illustrates the futility of option by displaying that regardless of whether or not Salamano rubs his dog with ointment, his dog will nevertheless die as his dog can not escape the inevitable death of old age. Despite the fact that his dog seems to have attained freedom and escapes from the collar, the decision he tends to make is futile and equivalent to the other choice of staying, due to the fact regardless of whether the dog escapes or not does not affect the ultimate outcome. The dog is sick with death, and options produced in the face of death are equivalent to one particular yet another as the final outcomes are the very same: death is inevitable. Furthermore, it does not matter no matter whether Salamano appears for his dog or not it does not matter regardless of whether he gets a smaller sized collar for his dog or not it does not matter no matter whether his dog comes back or not the escape of the dog does not even matter, simply because at some point the dog will die and so will Salamano. No matter what selections folks make, every person dies regardless of anything. Camus’ implications show that all alternatives are equal and futile simply because the ultimate outcome, death, will come no matter what.

Camus cleverly and efficiently communicates central themes and arguments throughout the book with only a few sentences in a scene. Camus also connects these arguments with other philosophical ideas, notably the futility of choice. Even so, although all choices do not alter the ultimate location in one’s life, death, they are not futile or equal to 1 an additional if it adjustments the path one particular will take to reach that destination. The interaction amongst all options intertwine and forms the globe that every person lives in Every single option created affects the future, nevertheless tiny. Some choices delay the arrival of death, whilst others can have the opposite effect. But even although this topic can be argued forever, it is crucial to note Camus’ final revelation concerning the value of life. Meursault states that “Salamano’s dog was worth just as much as his wife” 1 of Camus’ final arguments is that folks can be just as sorrowful towards a dog or a wife (Camus 121). Though the life Salamano led with his dog and his wife are not happy ones, they are as equally worthy as any other life. When death strikes like “a dark wind,” one particular would understand that the routine they have been relying is just an illusion of handle however, one can still select among serenity and sorrow, even if that option is futile in that it does not keep away from the arrival of death (Camus 121).
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