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Free Study Guide-The Stranger by Albert Camus-Free Online Chapter Summary
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Raymond Sintes

Raymond Sintes, the neighbor of Mersault, is violent man who makes his living as a pimp. Before the book begins, he has been involved with an Arab woman, whom he considers his girlfriend; however, he has beaten her because he found out she was cheating on him. When he tells Mersault about her, he expresses his desire to punish her further. He convinces Mersault to write her a condemning letter on Raymondís behalf. The letter causes another conflict between her and Raymond. The conflict ends in another beating, which Mersault and Marie witness. Mersault, however, agrees to testify in Raymondís behalf, saying he was provoked into the fight by the Arab girl. It is one of the few times in the book that Raymond is not honest.

By maneuvering Mersault into his affairs, Raymond brings about the downfall of his neighbor. He takes Mersault and Marie with him to the beach house of his friend, Masson. On the beach, the men encounter two Arabs, one of whom is the brother of the beaten Arab girl. A fight ensues, and Raymond is stabbed in the mouth and on the arm. After he goes to the doctor for treatment, he is determined to return to the beach and find the guilty Arab. In spite of Raymondís protests, Mersault accompanies him and prevents Raymond from shooting the Arab. When Mersault insists, Raymond even hands his gun to him for safekeeping. The action brings about Mersaultís downfall, for he uses the gun to shoot the Arab later in the day.

Raymond appears again as a witness of Mersaultís trial. He tries to explain that it was a coincidence that Mersault had his gun and used it on the Arab. He clearly says that Mersault had no argument with the Arab and did not plan to kill him. He claims that it was all circumstantial and coincidental. Unfortunately, his testimony has no impact on the jury, who is already convinced that Mersault is a hard-hearted, cold-blooded killer.

Marie Cardona

Marie is a young and charming girl who believes in enjoying life. She knows Mersault, for she once worked as a typist in his office. When Mersault encounters her while swimming on the day after his motherís funeral, the two of them are attracted to each other. Mersault invites her to go to a movie the same night. After the movie, they return to Mersaultís apartment and make love.

Although Mersault does not love Marie, he enjoys her company and delights in having sex with her. To him, she is pure sensuality, always described in lightness and brightness. Marie quickly falls in love with Mersault. After spending several nights with him, she asks him if he loves her. He does not lie and says that love means nothing to him, for it is too vague an emotion. In spite of his words, Marie says that she would like to marry Mersault. Amazingly, he does not object and says he will marry her if she insists.

Marie proves that she is a cautious and concerned person. When she hears the screams of the Arab girl and witnesses the fight, she wants Mersault to immediately call the police. When she sees the Arab men at the bus station, she convinces Mersault and Raymond to immediately board the bus. When she sees that Raymond has been stabbed by the Arab, she weeps and becomes afraid for Mersaultís welfare.

After Mersault murders the Arab and is imprisoned, Marie stands by his side. She visits him once and tries to cheer him. She says that she is hopeful he will be freed so that they can be married. She then writes him a letter explaining that the guards will not allow her to come to visit again since she is not Mersaultís wife.

During the trial, Marie tries to help Mersaultís cause. Unfortunately, her testimony proves to be a disaster, like the testimony of the other defense witnesses, for the Prosecutor twists her words. He makes Marie seem like a tramp and reminds the jury that she has sex with Mersault on the day after his motherís funeral.

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