the sun motif, The Stranger

Topics: Sun, The Stranger, Life Pages: 3 (1140 words) Published: February 23, 2014

The Sun Motif
The sun, warm and beautiful, is a necessity of all life force on earth. In contrast to the sun warmth and beauty, Albert Camus uses the sun as the motivation of the main character Meursault’s actions in The Stranger. The sun is a complex symbol which has several meanings in the novel. From the day of Maman’s funeral to the day of his death, the sun keeps repeating again and again throughout the novel, and it is a distraction to the main character Meursault. The sun is a symbol of feelings and emotions, which Meursault cannot deal with. The sun is the main driving force behind MeursauIt’s actions. It also represents the inescapable fact of life, which is death. The sun also shows the society oppressing down on Meursault. In the novel, the sun first appears to be a problem for Meursault during his mother’s funeral. Meursault takes notice of the overbearing heat from the hot sun and said the sun is “inhuman and oppressive”. He is unable to concentrate on the funeral or think about his mother's death because he is so miserable in the hot sun and intense heat. All he can think about is escaping from the sun in order to end his misery. On the road to bury his mother, the nurse said “ ‘if you go slowly, you risk getting sunstroke. But if you go too fast, you work up a sweat and then catch a chill inside the church.’ She was right. There was no way out” (Camus 17). The nurse’s words describe the human condition: man is born into a life that can only end in death. Death, like the sun, is unavoidable. It is just a matter of dying at a young age and old age; Death is an inescapable fact of life. Another way you could look at this quote is that the church represents the spiritual world and the sun represents the physical world (society). You can stick with society by walking slowly in the sun or you can step out of the society quickly by walking fast, which gets you out of the sun sooner. Either way, you must face death and go to the spiritual world...

Cited: Camus, Albert. The Stranger. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, Inc. 1988. Print.
Knox, Rebecca. "Rebeccaknox’s Blog." Rebeccaknoxs Blog. N.p., 16 Feb. 2009. Web. 15 Dec. 2013.
Morrison, Andrew. "Andrewmorrison’s Blog." Andrewmorrisons Blog. N.p., 16 Feb. 2009. Web. 15 Dec. 2013.
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