Exposed to the Sun

In The Stranger, the sun and weather is a common occurrence in Camus’ writing. In the context of Maman’s funeral, “The sun was beginning to bear down on the earth and it was getting hotter by the minute… I was surprised at how fast the sun was climbing in the sky… The glare from the sky was unbearable,” (15, 16). Usually, the sun is used with a positive connotation, representing happiness, a bright future, etc. The uncommon use of a negative connotation for the sun in the second chapter correlates with the funeral occurring.

The climax of Part One of The Stranger occurs when Mersault is on the beach. And guess what? The sun is brought up again, “By now the sun was overpowering. It shattered into little pieces on the sand and water,” (55). The sun seems to be brought up in Mersault’s internal monologue when something bad is about to happen. It’s introduced at Maman’s funeral, and then mentioned again as the breaking point before Mersault shoots the Arab man at the beach.

From both contexts, I think the sun acts as a perpetrator to the negative occurrences and sets off Mersault in spiraling mood swings and thought processes.

One thought on “Exposed to the Sun

  1. IAN K

    I think this is really important due to the fact that the Sun is almost a motivator for his crime. The sun is so bothersome to him that the entire time he talks about the “heat” of the situation, he is also talking about the heat of the sun. But I do think the sun’s meaning also has some deeper meaning. When he shoots the Arab man he says “I shook off the sweat and sun”, showing that the sun may be just was a metaphor for some sort of inner demon. – Ian Kelley

    Liked by 1 person

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