The Stranger Summary

By: Kendra MCcarthy

If someone blamed the sun for the murder of a person would you believe them? Meursault is a character who is out of touch with his emotions.  In the beginning his mother dies and he appears unaffected.  Later when his friend is threatened by an Arab man Meursault ends up killing him.  In court he’s found guilty of premeditated murder due to his emotionless about everything that’s happened. At the end of the book he’s laying on his bed in a cell on death row. In the novel “The Stranger” by Albert Camus the main character, Meursault, is very affected by the physical world, mostly water and the sun and how he’s affected by Marie even though he’s completely out of touch with his emotions.

Meursault tends to enjoy life when he’s in the water.  We can see this because he spends many days at the beach with Marie.  He even goes to the beach the day after his mother’s funeral. “…Then Marie came up and hugged me in the water, and pressed her mouth to mine. Her tongue cooled my lips, and we let the waves roll us about for a minute or two before swimming back to the beach.”  This quote depicts a relaxing moment in the water with his lover, Marie. Who he spends most of his free time with. “The water was cold and I felt all the better for it. We swam a long way out, Marie and I, side by side, and it was pleasant feeling how our movements matched, hers and mine, and how we were both in the same mood, enjoying every moment.”  The water makes him calm and happy.  Though it has that effect on most people he seems to only feel that way while at the beach.

The sun, however, tends to have the opposite effect on Meursault. Many people dislike extreme heat but Mersault seems more affected by the sun than just the heat. “Our having kept the blind down in my room, the glare of the morning sun hit me in the eyes like a clenched fist. “The water takes his mind off of everything but the water the sun does as well, just in a negative way. “I was conscious only of the cymbals of the sun clashing on my skull, and, less distinctly, of the keen blade of light flashing up from the knife, scarring my eyelashes, and gouging into my
Eyeballs.” In this quote you can clearly see how negatively affected by the sun he is, and how he can’t focus on anything else.

Lastly Meursault is affected by Marie.  “Marie came that evening and asked me if I’d marry her. I said I didn’t mind; if she was keen on it, we’d get married.”  Even though he is clearly out of touch with his emotions he still cares about what she wants.  “I informed him that I’d been staring at those walls for months; there was nobody, nothing in the world, I knew better than I knew them. And once upon a time, perhaps, I used to try to see a face. But it was a sun-gold face, lit up with desire — Marie’s face. I had no luck; I’d never seen it, and now I’d given up trying. Indeed, I’d never seen anything “taking form,” as he called it, against those gray walls.”  While he is in prison he missed Marie and could see her in the stones of his cell.

In conclusion, Meursault is very disconnected from his emotions, his physical self and the rest of the world; however, the sun, the water, and Marie have a big part in how the physical world affects Meursault. In the end, no one believes that Meursault committed murder due to a momentary lapse of reason caused by the sun. He ends up on death row with many regrets and wishing he could have lived life differently.