The Outsider: Written Commentary
The Outsider by Albert Camus, published in 1942 and translated from the French by Joseph Laredo is a novel which addresses society and its absurdity. The protagonist, an Algerian named Meursault, is displayed as a seemingly emotionless man who tries to counter society's boundaries. In Passage B, Meursault murders a defenseless Arab on the beach. The passage is distinctive because it represents the turning point of Meursault's life, the change of balance from happiness to unhappiness. Camus makes it stand out to the reader by using a lot of figurative language, such as metaphors and similes, personification and alliteration. Camus succeeds in making this passage stand out and even manages to portray his theory of existentialism by making absurd decisions for Meursault.
The first paragraph of the passage is very important in setting the scene for the following events. Camus begins with various examples of imagery such as "dazzling red glare", "drunken haze", "white shell" and "broken glass".
These aid the reader in picturing the scene of the upcoming crime which will determine Meursault's fate. Camus also uses a lot of personification such as "stifled sea gasp[ing] for breath", "heat [Ã¢ÂÂ¦] pushing full against me" and "blast of its [heat] hot breath". Using this type of figurative language, Camus creates a feeling of animate surroundings which he will use later as an influence on Meursault's actions. These personifications are based on the sun and its heat, and the calm yet wild sea. The last sentence of this paragraph is very short and direct, which is why it comes out as a concluding sentence and ends the description of the scene. It also creates a sense of timelessness which is mirrored later on in the passage.
The second paragraph...