Raymond Sintes, another neighbor, invites Meursault to dinner. Raymond is widely believed to be a pimp, but when anyone asks about his occupation he replies that he is a “warehouse guard.” Over dinner, Raymond requests Meursault’s advice about something, and then asks Meursault whether he would like to be “pals.” Meursault offers no objection, so Raymond launches into his story.
Raymond tells Meursault that when he suspected that his mistress was cheating on him, he beat her, and she left him. This altercation led Raymond into a fight with his mistress’s brother, an Arab. Raymond is still attracted to his mistress, but wants to punish her for her infidelity. His idea is to write a letter to incite her guilt and make her return to him. He plans to sleep with her, and “right at the last minute,” spit in her face. Raymond then asks Meursault to write the letter, and Meursault responds that he would not mind doing it. Raymond is pleased with Meursault’s effort, so he tells Meursault that they are now “pals.” In his narrative, Meursault reflects that he “didn’t mind” being pals with Raymond. As Meursault returns to his room, he hears Salamano’s dog crying softly.
Analysis: Chapters 2–3
Meursault appears heartless for failing to express grief or even to care about his mother’s death. Yet to condemn and dismiss him risks missing much of the meaning of the