There has been much discussion on one of the most famous scenes in The Stranger. Yes, the one where Mersault decides that it's a good idea to shoot a guy five times in broad daylight. For reference:
"Beneath a veil of brine and tears my eyes were blinded; I was conscious only of the cymbals of the sun clashing on my skull . . . The trigger gave, and the smooth underbelly of the butt jogged my palm . . . I fired four shots more into the inert body . . . And each successive shot was another loud, fateful rap on the door of my undoing."
What was Mersault's true motivation? So goes the question. My theory is simple -- bitch be crazy. Here are some of the ways in which his mind might have snapped:
Mersault: Damn, it's hot outside.
Vendor: Some ice cream, sir?
Mersault: KILL THE ARAB.
SONG INTERPRETATION FAIL
Mersault: It's getting hot in here... so I take out my gun...
The Arab: I -- am -- getting so hot -- he's gonna blow my head ooooff!
Mersault: Sun! Sun! Whatever could it mean? Hmm. Carefree Happiness or Fateful Rap On The Door Of My Undoing?
English Student: Well, I think happiness --
Mersault: You're right. Too easy. Bam! Bam bam bam bam! Now watch my life go down the toilet.
DICK CHENEY FAIL
Mersault: The sun. It was bright orange. The color... compelled me... to shoot...
Judge: This is such a joke.
Mersault: But soft! What light through yonder seaside aches? It is the East, and I have a gun.
The Arab: I really think you're more of a Hamlet.
SEX APPEAL FAIL
Mersault: Marie seems to like my peculiarities. If I shoot this guy five times and blame it on the heat --
Marie: OH BABY.
Mersault: It's sexy time.
Philosophy Student: So you believe in passive indifference to the world around you?
Philosophy Student: HOW IS SHOOTING THAT GUY FIVE TIMES PASSIVE INDIFFERENCE?
Judge: But why? Why five times?
Mersault: Monsieur, I am French. Overkeel is our specialty, ees eet not?
Judge: ...Can't argue with that.
Oh, Mersault. Such a charming young man.
(Small note: The Arab really is referred to as "The Arab." I'd give him a nicer name, but I think it would interfere with Camus' wah-wah-the-universe-sux-and-none-of-us-matter existentialist shtick. And, you know. I'd hate to disrespect literature.)