The Stranger

by: Albert Camus

Important Quotations Explained

I said that people never change their lives, that in any case one life was as good as another and that I wasn’t dissatisfied with mine here at all.

This quotation is Meursault’s response in Part One, Chapter 5, to his boss’s offer of a position in Paris. Meursault’s statement shows his belief in a certain rigidity or inertia to human existence. His comment that “one life was as good as another” maintains that although details may change, one’s life remains essentially constant. The comment also implies that each person’s life is essentially equal to everyone else’s.

At this point in the novel, Meursault offers no explanation for his belief in the equality of human lives. In the novel’s final chapter, he identifies death as the force responsible for the constant and unchangeable nature of human life. A comparison of this quotation to Meursault’s ideas following his death sentence highlights Meursault’s development as a character whose understanding of the human condition deepens as a result of his experiences.