Friday, January 21, 2011

The Stranger

One thing I didn't ever completely get a grasp on in Camus' The Stranger was Mersault's relationship with the sun. The sun is plays a major role in this novel and even “causes” Mersault to kill an Arab stranger cold blood. Although there are many angles that one could examine this prominent motif, to me it seems that the sun represents the pressure to live. At Maman’s funeral, Mersault freaks out because it keeps beating down on him the whole day. At a funeral full of death, the pressure to fully live seems elevated, because it makes him realize that he may not have much time either. Also, when he is in prison, he dreads the sunrise because he knows that his days are numbered, so he should make the most of them. But he only wants to live to live, not to live to die, and the sun is just a constant reminder of what he has to do every day. When he kills the Arab, I think it is a representation of him killing the smothering pressure to live life “to the fullest”.

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