Camus’ symbolism in ‘The Stranger’
Symbolism is a crucial aspect of Albert Camus’ ‘The Stranger’. Camus uses it to communicate his existential outlook. The story is largely based on symbols such as the sun or the sea. The first-person narration of the story also contributes to the use of symbolism.
Mersault considers the sun a symbol of his life. He sees it as a sign that bad things will happen again. He also sees it as his emotions since he cannot feel positive. Intense heat is also represented by the sun.
The court in ‘The Stranger’ also represents society as a whole. The court serves as a way for society to resolve disputes. The judge acts as the “moral umpire” for society. While the jury is representative of all members, the judge represents them. The entire trial represents society’s efforts to find meaning in a world without order. The verdict is a rejection Meursault’s conformist ways.
The crucifix is used as a symbol of religion and social order throughout ‘The Stranger’. Meursault is frequently asked whether he believes God. At one point, an examining magistrate holds a cross in Meursault’s face and urges him to turn around. Meursault, however, is not convinced of the existence of God and rejects organized religion.
The crucifix is also the symbol of death and resurrection. The funeral is where the first chapter of the novel takes place. Despite the grief of his victims, Meursault cannot express emotion. This feeling of lack of emotion follows him until he is tried for murder. Though Meursault is aware of his actions, he is still unable to feel anything for the man who died.
The sun appears as a metaphor throughout the novel. Meursault’s actions are driven by the sun. The sun is not the sole reason for Meursault’s actions but rather the meaning of his life and consciousness. It is an integral part of the novel and acts as a symbol of Meursault’s feelings.
The sun also symbolizes its destructive effect on human lives. Mersault’s journal entries show that the sun can often cause despair. It can be a source of depression and gloom, but it can also offer solace when faced with a harsh environment.
Throughout the novel, the sea plays an important role. It is a symbol that represents death and its consequences, which has an important role in the story. Camus does not refer specifically to the sea in his novel, but it is an important theme.
The sea is also a symbol of miscommunication, which can lead to conflict. In the novel, the sea also represents the sun, which represents heat. The ocean is a reflection of the sun’s heat, as the sun heats the earth. Meursault goes on vacation with his girlfriend and gets attacked by two Arabs. They are both devastated by the incident.
The courtroom represents society’s attempt to justify the actions of individual citizens. For example, a jury may sit in judgement on behalf of the community while a judge attempts to justify a crime. But Camus does not believe that society can be fully explained, so he uses the courtroom as a metaphor for society.