Sun In The Stranger

Words: 1347
Pages: 6

Within Albert Camus’ 1942 novel, The Stranger, the sun is an ever present force. The Stranger’s protagonist, Meursault, is tormented by it and seems to have a dislike, if not a disdain for the sun. Meursault is even driven to kill because of how much the sun irritates him, and during his mother’s funeral, a man named Thomas Perez Death and human suffering have a connection to the sun’s rays and light as a whole. Through his novel, Camus uses the societal symbol for joy and life to create an ironic connection with pain and loss of life.
The sun is a very important motif from very early on The Stranger, to the point that the sun and its effects are mentioned indirectly on page 4. “It was probably because of all the rushing around, and on top
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On page 58, Meursault thinks about “the whole beach throbbing in the sun” (58 Camus), and how it’s affecting him “The sun was starting to burn my cheeks, and I could feel drops of sweat gathering in my eyebrows” (58 Camus). Camus’ usage of imagery in this scene clarifies how intensely the sun affects Meursault. It even has an emotional and mental influence and causes Meursault to recall his mother’s funeral when he mentions that it’s “the same as it had been the day I’d buried Maman” (58 Camus ). Eventually, the sun drives him to kill The Arab. “The scorching blaze slashed at my eyelashes and stabbed at my stinging eyes […] The trigger gave, I felt the smooth underside of the butt, and there in that noise, sharp and deafening at the same time, is where it all started. I shook off the sweat and sun” (59 Camus). This encounter illustrates that at this point in the novel, Meursault despises the sun, or simply its permanence and …show more content…
Camus’ imagery in this scene, as well as Meursault's established distaste for light and the sun, makes Meursault’s aversion have more impact, in regards to its reflection of suffering. The unrelenting presence of the sun, its negative physical effects, and the psychological effects of it on Meursault are the true reasons he hates it. This is analogous to death and the grief that follows it, and Camus’ mirror of that improves the reader’s understanding of his novel and Meursault’s struggle with the sun