Motifs in the stranger. The Stranger: Themes 2022-10-17
Motifs in the stranger Rating:
In Albert Camus's novel The Stranger, several motifs are used to develop the themes of the work and to provide insight into the character of Meursault, the protagonist. One significant motif is the motif of light and heat. Throughout the novel, Meursault is frequently described as being in the presence of intense heat or bright light, which serves to highlight his detachment from the world around him and his lack of emotional connection to others.
For example, Meursault's mother dies on a hot, sunny day, and he remains emotionally detached from the event, showing little concern or sadness. Later, when he is on trial for the murder of an Arab man, he is described as being "like a man in a furnace" due to the heat of the courtroom and the pressure of the trial. This motif of heat and light suggests that Meursault is unable to fully engage with his own emotions and experiences, and that he is isolated from the world around him.
Another significant motif in The Stranger is the motif of water. Water appears several times in the novel and is often associated with moments of introspection or contemplation for Meursault. For instance, after his mother's funeral, Meursault goes to the beach and reflects on his own mortality while watching the waves. The water serves as a metaphor for the vast and unknowable nature of life, and Meursault's contemplation of it suggests that he is beginning to grapple with deeper philosophical questions.
Additionally, the motif of water is also used to contrast Meursault's emotional detachment with the emotional depth of others. For example, after the murder of the Arab man, Meursault is described as feeling "refreshed" by the water of a fountain, while the victim's mother is described as crying "tearless sobs" over the loss of her son. This contrast between Meursault's lack of emotional response and the deep grief of others serves to further highlight his detachment from the world around him.
Overall, the motifs of light and heat, and water in The Stranger serve to underscore the themes of detachment and isolation in the novel, and to provide insight into the character of Meursault. They help to illustrate his lack of emotional connection to others and his struggles to find meaning and purpose in a world that seems indifferent to him.
The Stranger: Motifs
Mantoli was murdered during a time of great heat. There was no way out of the prison for Meursault. This quote suggests that the tension that existed previously during the confrontation with the group of Arabs was still present and that in a way nothing had changed. This defiance causes Meursault to be branded a threat to social order. Neither the external world in which Meursault lives nor the internal world of his thoughts and attitudes possesses any rational order.
That changes at the end of the novel. Lastly, the heat and the sun represent the physical world and how the society looks at Meursault. The Stranger, as suggested by the title, is a novel revolving around the protagonist, Meursault, who is a stranger to the French-Algerian society as he challenges its values. The sun symbolized his emotions and inner-self. On the beach when the sun is burning down on Meursault, he goes into the ocean immediately cooling him off and getting rid of his violent thoughts.
At this time Raymond thinks Meursault to be his good friend and takes him to his friend Masson's beach house, where the two major violent acts that lead to Meursault's ultimate metamorphosis takes place. The symbol of heat was building up through the whole novel finally, inflicting violence in chapter six. The next quote written by Camus in Part two, Chapter five, demonstrates his view of existentialism. Time through motif The passage of time is suggested by many details in the novel, like Roderick's experience of time in warfare, when he did not know whether he would survive or not meaning he wondered how much time he might have left. In the end when all of her family are leaving for the new house, she took the plant instead of leaving it behind because she knows that with a better living condition the plant will thrive and blossom more just as how her family will too in the new house.
Throughout his walk down the beach, we could feel the sense of anger building up as he became hotter the longer he was on his walk. This opening scene in Chapter one proves the existentialism views of Camus portrayed through the narrator, Meursault. He views the world as random and is indifferent to it. These symbols dominate Meursaults consciousness controlling him through torment from the inescapable presence the sun and heat governs, causing him to act in ways deemed iniquitous to society. In this moment, and indeed, in her whole life, cookies symbolize care and altruism, and they are Ana's way of making sure she's improving people's lives.
Watching and Observation Throughout the novel there are instances of characters watching Meursault, or of his watching them. Though he offers terse, plain descriptions when glossing over emotional or social situations, his descriptions become vivid and ornate when he discusses topics such as nature and the weather. It strives, rather, to give the sensation of fragmentation, the incoherence of the world of a world 139. These notes were contributed by members of the GradeSaver community. In class, we had explored the idea of absurdism and had gone over examples in the story of it. Part C: Foil Character In literature, foil characters are used to bring out the distinctive qualities of another character by contrasting with them.
Stranger than Fiction Symbols, Allegory and Motifs
She never gave up on the plant and puts great hope and care towards it. Our eyes never lie. The enragement Meursault has on that day came back to him. PTSD and trauma All the characters in this novel suffer from stress related to their past traumas. Just like the sun does to Mersault throughout the course of chapter 6, society smothers and suffers those who refuse to conform. The sun shows up for the final time at the end of the novel. In part one, chapter six, Camus states: And this time, without getting up, the Arab drew his knife and held it up to me in the sun.
It is just a matter of dying at a young age and old age; Death is an inescapable fact of life. He designed a different character to society and showed us how he lived. The sun is in a way a representation of the constraints society places upon Mersault. Readers can see that the weather is a dangerous aspect of the setting for Meursault. The murder scene itself is rich in solar imagery and the sun is depicted as the cause of the murder. Decay and Death The different characters in The Stranger hold widely varying attitudes toward decay and death.
Weather And Motifs In The Stranger, By Albert Camus
The oppressive heat moves Meursault toward the cool spring and eventually to the Arab. The Novel Allegory The plot of the film—that Harold's life is also a novel, with a beginning, middle, and end—is itself an allegory for life and existence. He shakes off society like he shakes off the sun, eventually coming to the realization that life means nothing, and this realization ultimately frees him. Every character that revolves around Meursault seems to be in direct contrast to him. Work Cited Camus, Albert. Most importantly, the sun symbolizes an absurdist philosophy in which everyone is at the mercy of an absurd world.
His ideas on absurdism are shown many times in part one of The Stranger. Maybe it was yesterday 3. Camus exemplifies this in part two, chapter five: If something is going to happen to me, I want to be there. As Meursault is walking on the beach, the blinding sun, in combination with the heat, lures him to the cool spring and then to the Arab. He fails to justify his claims because the court cannot trust the absurdity of the argument.
What are the motifs in The Stranger by Albert Camus?
You can stick with society by walking slowly in the sun or you can step out of the society quickly by walking fast, which gets you out of the sun sooner. Benvolio states that 'the day is hot', probably referring to both the weather and their tempers. This imagery communicated directly to the reader by Meursault enhances the entire novel by allowing it to be more convincing in human terms. For instance, they are all damaged by Susan's suicide, but also Caroline and Roderick have their own pasts with traumas. Meursault gradually moves toward this realization throughout the novel, but he does not fully grasp it until after his argument with the chaplain in the final chapter. It also represents the inescapable fact of life, which is death.