"The sun glinted off Raymond's gun as he handed it to me. But we just stood there motionless, as if everything had closed in around us. We started at each other without blinking, and everything came to a stop there between the sea, the sand and the sun, and the double silence of the flute and the water. It was then that I realized that you could either shoot or not shoot. But all of a sudden, the Arabs, backing away, slipped behind the rock. So Raymond and I turned and headed back the way we'd come. He seemed better and talked about the bus back." (56)
This passage in Albert Camus' "The Stranger", translated by Matthew Ward, discusses some of the events that eventually lead up to Meursault's shooting of the Arab, mainly the unveiling of Raymond's gun. It begins with Raymond pulling out his gun that he intends to use, or have Meursault use to shoot the Arab.
Camus describes the gun very powerfully, saying that the two men stand around it "motionless, as if everything had closed in around (them)." This description gives the gun a power over the humans, who seemed to be in awe of this object. Camus continues with his description of their reaction by saying, "We stared at each other without blinking, and everything came to a stop there between the sea, the sand and the sun, and the double silence of the flute and the water." This description shows how the two men are now complexly enveloped in the power of the gun, drowning out the nature around them. It seems that they have quietly, without words, understood the gun's power and somewhat foresee what is about to unfold.
Meursault then says to himself, "It was then that I realized...