Notes to prepare for an essay on the character of Salamano 2

On returning home Meursault meets old Salamano, who is one of Meursault’s neighbours on the landing of his apartment block. He is cursing and dragging his dog, which he has been seen with for the last eight years. It is a mangy old dog, which looks somewhat disgusting (Page 44)
L'épagneul a une maladie de peau, le rouge, je crois, qui lui fait perdre presque tous ses poils et qui le couvre de plaques et de croûtes brunes
 Master and dog are the same in appearance
We are told that Salamano also has des taches rougeâtres sur le visage et le poil jaune et rare.
The dog has even copied the way his round shouldered master carries himself :
Le chien lui a pris de son patron une sorte d'allure voutée, le museau en avant et le cou tendu
Yet even though they seem to be the same breed, each detests the other, Page 44.
Meursault describes the absurd ritual of the twice daily walks:
The dog pulling its master- being beaten and insulted- then cowering in fright it is pulled by its master, until it forgets and drags him again to get beaten once more.  Then they stand staring at each other, the dog in fright the man in hate. He does not give the dog time to urinate, dragging it along with a trail of drops behind.

If the dog does it in the flat it is beaten again.

Celeste has said it’s too bad about the dog but Meursault (as always) reserves his judgement.
Page 44 - Il y a huit ans que cela dure. Celeste dit toujours que c'est malheureux, mais au fond. personne ne peut savoir

Once Meursault asked him what the dog had done wrong.  Meursault replied that he was always here.

Page 49-50
Meursault and Raymond drink and smoke and Meursault has difficulty in standing up.
Returning to his room, he hears Salamano's dog wining.
That Sunday Marie stayed for lunch. They hear Salamano on the stairs cursing his dog and Marie laughs at the story. Her gaiety makes Meursault fancy her again - but when she asks him if he loves her he said it didn't mean anything but he thought he didn't. She looked sad.Page 52

55? Meursault and Raymond find Salamano in distress because his dog had run away while he was out walking it through the fair.  When they suggest he goes to the dog pound, Salamano explodes at the idea of having to pay to get him back. But later he knocks on Meursault's door for re-assurance that they'll give him his dog back at the pound.

56 That night Meursault hears him crying through the partition wall. -For some reason Meursault thinks of his mum.

Page 56 - Et au bizarre petit bruit qui a traversé la cloison, j'ai compris qu'il pleurait, Je ne sais pas pourquoi j'ai pensé à maman.
N.B. This is this an oblique reference to the  feeling of pain and emptiness which Meursault felt after the death of his mother.  He tells us the physical effect- he did not sleep and lost his appetite, but does not express his feelings.
Salamano comes to his room to tell him that the dog had not been found.  Meursault suggests getting another one but he says he was used to that one (Habit)

Salamano talks about his life. As a young man he had wanted to go on the stage, but in the end he had gone on the railways - which had given him security.
He had married late and hadn't been happy with his wife - but had got used to her, missing her when she had gone.

Page 61 - Il n'avait pas été heureux avec sa femme, mais dans l'ensemble, it s'était bien habitué à elle. Quand elle était morte, il s'était senti tres seul.

NB the similarity between Salamano’s relationship with his wife and with his dog:
It seems that the dog could not exist without its master and the man was lonely without someone to shout at.

They were used to each other and shared life’s daily routine.  But seeing too much of each other were irritated by the close contact.

NB The contradictory feelings of Raymond Sintès towards his Algerian mistress mirrored those of Salamano and his dog.  He wants to keep her but when she is in his house he subjects her to cruel abuse

Salamano tells that he had got the dog after his wife’s death, when it was such a little pup that he had to feed it with a bottle. However, as a dog’s life span is so short, they had finished by growing old together. Meursault kindly pays the dog a compliment, saying that it came from a good breed.  Salamano says he tried to cure its skin disease but the real problem was old age.
Page 62 - Mais selon lui, sa vraie maladie, c'était la vieillesse, et la vieillesse ne se guérit pas

When Meursault says He's sorry about the dog, Salamano recalls how Meursault's mother had liked the dog. He knows Meursault had loved her even though the people locally had a low opinion of him for putting her in the home. Meursault says he couldn't afford the nursing she required and they had no longer anything to say to each other.

Salamano shows that he appreciates the consideration that Meursault had shown him. He sheepishly shakes Meursault’s hand. Salamano hopes the dogs don’t bark in the night or he will think it is his.

100 The president of the court calls the witnesses. Thomas Perez - Raymond - Masson - Salamano – Marie- Céleste
Salamano a true friend to Meursault
107 After this the testimony of Masson,and old Salamano is in Meursault's favour but falls on deaf ears.
Salamano understands Meursault’s treatment of his mother
132 What is the point of putting values on different things, since in the end each aspect equally is the life we are privileged to have.
So why waste time asking:
(1) Why a man accused of murder was executed for not weeping at his mother's funeral.
Page 132 - Qu'importait si, accusé de meurtre, it était executé pour n'avoir pas pleuré à l'enterrement de sa mère?
(2) Salamano's dog was valued as much as his wife.