The Meaning of the Sun in the Stranger

In the novel, The Stranger, there is the repeated usage of weather, more specifically, the sun and its heat. The sun symbolizes Meursault’s inner conflicts and overall battles. This makes sense because the sun’s appearance is during times of uncomfort and distress, for example, his mother’s funeral.

When we were first introduced to the story we took a questionaire that asked us “If you do not cry at your moms funeral, is there something wrong with you?” I said yes.

During the funeral for his mom Mersault had an overwhelming response to the heat but no response to his mothers death. Mersault desribed the sun as, “All around me there was still the same glowing countryside flooded with sunlight. The glare from the sky was unearable” (16). Mersualt repeats how the sun is bothersome.

Is there something wrong with Mersault for not crying at his mother’s funeral? I’m not sure yet. I think this is how Mersult shows his feelings. Instead of expressing outward expression the things around him feel more intense and he cannot focus. This happens later on in the novel when he kills Arab the man. He is experiencing something uncomfortable, so the sun becomes intense again.

The sun is negative in Mersault’s life whether you think he has feelings or not. It symbolizes his feelings but mybe later on in the novel it can show us when something bad will happen again.

2 thoughts on “The Meaning of the Sun in the Stranger


    It is certainly intersting; does the sun iritate him naturally or does the sun only irritate him during stressful situations. Also, i would say there is nothing wrong with not crying at your mothers funeral; I do think someone needs to be sad tho if they loved them.



    I agree and find your point of the sun fascinating. I wonder if the sun is prevalent to him in important situations as some sort of a subconscious coping mechanism or distraction. I agree with your point that when he feels the irritation of the sun it is somewhat foreshadowing that something bad will happen, and I believe that if we were to read about when he gets executed, one of the last things he would think about would be how hot the sun is.


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