Shadeless Foreshadowing: The Sun

The Stranger, a novel by Albert Camus, writes about the life of Meursault from his own perspective. The book is written in first person, giving readers a direct path into the eyes and thoughts of Meursault. It is very interesting to find what Meursault notes. Oftentimes, Meursault will disregard typically emotional events, like the loss of his mother or animal abuse. However, he always seems to note the weather and the sun. This is no coincidence in the writing.

It appears as though the warm colors of the sun indicate moments of suffering or a bad turn of events. When Meursault takes notice of the damped mood of people walking home and the crying of children, Camus makes note that “The sky changed again. Above the rooftops the sky had taken a reddish glow…” (23). Warm, normally calming colors seem to be negative in Meursault’s life. Even more blatantly obvious is the color of the sky during his encounter with the Arabs on the beach. Just prior to the release of the bullet from Meursault’s gun, the novel states that “There was the same dazzling red glare” that was overhead during their first encounter with the Arabs (57). The sun clearly demonstrates insight into the coming of events in the book. As we continue to read The Stranger, it is keen to make note of how the weather plays a role in Meursault’s life.

4 thoughts on “Shadeless Foreshadowing: The Sun


    I’ve been trying to figure out what the significance of the sun is throughout the book. It seemed to me like it was some sort of bad omen, and certainly a lot of the times when the sun is described it’s causing pain to Meursault, but I never noticed the contrast between how a sun motif is normally used and how it’s used here (and in general having it laid out plainly was very helpful). I’m going to filter your points into my understanding of this motif going forward, so thanks for that!



    I find this especially interesting, given that the sun is usually associated with happiness and hope, not misfortune and tragedy. This continues to represent how Meursault consistently acts outside of societal norms and expectations. Who can blame him though? I often find an overbearing sun much more frustrating than a strong downpour.



    Abby, I too noted that despite Meursault’s seemingly lack of emotions, I found his notations of the weather to be revealing of his character. “It was going to be a beautiful day…I’d enjoy going for a walk if it hadn’t been for Maman (Camus 12).” When he wakes up on his mother’s funeral day, he noted how he would have enjoyed going for a walk if it wasn’t for his mother. I find it interesting how the weather shapes his thoughts greatly. He does not wake up saying he feels a sullen pain or dread for his mother’s death, instead he notes the nice early morning weather and the inconvenience the funeral impedes on his day.



    I agree that it is key to be paying attention to how Meursault observes nature around him throughout the rest of the book. While we’re unsure of what Meursault’s view of nature really means, so far we have seen it used to show his emotions and foreshadow future events. I’m curious if Meursault’s view will continue to trend negatively, and as to whether there is a deeper meaning of his view on nature, but my guess would definitely be that there is.


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