Stranger Essay: Nadeau Lyn

Essay by EnnisarlynHigh School, 12th gradeA, May 2004

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In chapter six of The Stranger by Albert Camus, the protagonist Meursault is greatly affected by the sun. The setting for this chapter is on the beach, and the unwavering heat of the sun appears brutal and hostile even to the point where it seems to be attacking Meursault. The sun follows Meursault like an omnipotent tormentor brandishing weapons, attacking Meursault. This tormentor causes Meursault physical pain and mental anguish. Despite the harshness of the sun and the brutality of the murder, ironically Meursault is left with a desire for life and he clings to pleasant memories, which awakens his understanding for life.

Chapter six opens with Meursault waking from a night with his mistress Marie. The morning sun "hit [him] like a slap in the face," wielding its omnipotence because even in the shelter of a house, Meursault cannot escape from the authority of the sun.

As he is seemingly susceptible to the sun's beckon, Meursault continues along the beach in midday with his companions. He can feel his "forehead swelling under the sun," yet as if compelled to, Meursault remains at the beach in plain view of the sun. Apparently, he must continue as it is his nature to respond to the world around him in a perfunctory manner, which then blinds his judgment. During his slow advancement towards the Arab, Meursault is encouraged by the sun "pressing on [his] back." When he does have a moment of hesitation, the sun begins to "burn [his] cheeks." The sun, as his tormentor, causes him pain thus distracting and inciting Meursault. He cannot stop as the sun's oppression grows and his actions are inevitable. Meursault's unrelenting tormentor draws a long "flashing blade cutting at [his] forehead," and Meursault then reacts accordingly, to defend himself. To...