by Albert Camus
The Stranger Man and the Natural World Quotes
How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Part.Chapter.Paragraph). We used Matthew Ward's translation, published by Vintage International published in 1989.
All around me there was still the same glowing countryside flooded with sunlight. The glare from the sky was unbearable. At one point, we went over a section of the road that had just been repaved. The tar had burst open in the sun. […] I felt a little lost between the blue and white of the sky and the monotony of the colors around me – the sticky black of the tar, the dull black of all the clothes, and the shiny black of the hearse. All of it – the sun, the smell of leather and horse dung from the hearse, the smell of varnish and incense, and my fatigue after a night without sleep – was making it hard for me to see or think straight. […] I could feel the blood pounding in my temples. (1.1.26)
Meursault claims that the weather clouds his senses and his judgment. Major foreshadowing.
She said, "If you go slowly, you risk getting sunstroke. But if you go too fast, you work up a sweat and then catch a chill inside the church." She was right. There was no way out. (1.1.27)
The nurse speaks of both the weather and human condition. The sun’s heat is inescapable, just as death is inescapable. There was no way out except through acceptance. It's pretty interesting that Meursault isn't the only one to tie important human responses to the weather.
I had the whole sky in my eyes and it was blue and gold. On the back of my neck I could feel Marie’s heart beating softly. We lay on the float for a long time, half asleep. When the sun got too hot, she dove off and I followed. I caught up with her, put my arm around her waist, and we swam together. She laughed the whole time. (1.2.2)
Compare this scene on the beach, in the sun, to the scene with the Arab that we see later. Why is it that the sun makes Meursault happy here, and later has such a drastically different effect? Could it be that his whole weather-defense is bunk?