One of the most intriguing aspects of The Stranger, is the amount of discomfort the story exudes. Simply put, it is not a happy story. While Meursault seems to be relatively secure in his outlook on life, an outlook that is inherently strange, he also is in a constant state of discomfort in one way or another. Throughout the entire story he is, in a way, targeted by the sky and its heat. The differing sensations from how hot it was or what color the sky was seems to play a huge role in his decision making. Even at his happiest, like when he is at the beach with Marie, the color of the sky sticks out to him, representing his emotional state, “I had the whole sky in my eyes and it was blue and gold” (20). Somehow, the sky seems to be the reason he attacks the Arab man in the first place, “The sun was the same as it had been the day I’d buried Maman, and like then, my forehead especially was hurting me, all the veins in it throbbing under the skin. It was this burning, which I couldn’t stand anymore, that made me move forward” (59).
Meursault feels some sense of comfort being around women like Marie, however he gets uncomfortable when she shows any emotion, he doesn’t know how to respond. He feels comfortable around his friends, such as Raymond, but he gets uncomfortable with making his own, conscious, decisions. So, while Meursault seems content in his lifestyle and personality, he also expresses discomfort in so many situations (even unknowingly) that it makes it hard to agree with many of the decisions he makes.