The Stranger Questions and Answers
by Albert Camus

The Stranger book cover
Start Your Free Trial

What is the importance/symbolism of the sun and the heat in The Stranger?

Expert Answers info

Bruce Bergman eNotes educator | Certified Educator

briefcaseCollege Professor

calendarEducator since 2011

write3,640 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, Social Sciences, and Business

When evaluating the significance of the sun in Camus' The Stranger, we might focus on the connection between the day of the funeral (when Mersault's mother is buried) and the day that Mersault commits the murder. 

On each of these days the sun is mentioned as being very hot, oppressive, and even painful. 

We might conjecture that when Mersault encounters the extreme heat/sun on the beach he is (consciously or unconsciously) reminded of his mother's death and burial. The latter sections of the novel offer ample suggestion that Mersault is affected by his experiences (like his mother's death and his affection for Marie) even though he denies that these experiences are influencing him.

The espoused emotional and intellectual neutrality of Mersault's narration of his own psyche is brought into question by contrasting examples of deeply felt emotion and keenly observed, very human turmoil.

The second part of the novel deals with Mersault's denial of an inner life and the ramifications of...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 538 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now

Further Reading:

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

wordprof eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2011

write1,654 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Science

Further Reading:

check Approved by eNotes Editorial