Setting In Camus's The Stranger

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In Camus’ novel, The Stranger, translated by Matthew Ward, Camus uses the elements of setting to demonstrate the differences between the emotional status of the psychological world and the real word of a human being. Camus uses Meursault, the main character from the novel, to tell about how surroundings can manipulate a person. For example, the sun at Maman’s funeral that makes Meursault hard to think correctly. The heat that forces him to commit murder. Also, the light in the courtroom that makes him feel tired. The weather and the surroundings in the novel control Meursault’s emotions, making him angry, sleepy, tire, annoy, and happy. By the uses of setting and elements of setting, such as the sun and the heat, Camus illustrates that the surroundings is slowly taking over the inner feelings of individuals by influencing their actions and emotions. We are introduced to the novel by the death of Maman. Camus shows that the sun, as an element of setting can manage one’s behavior and actions. Camus characterizes Meursault as a careless person and did not seem sad while attending to Maman’s funeral. At the funeral, Meursault focuses on the weather and how hot he was feeling. The influence of the weather occurs, as “the sun was climbing in the sky,” making the weather hot (Camus 16). Camus describes the hot weather as “making it hard for [him] to see or think straight” (Camus 17). Camus reminds us that it is the weather that makes him feel lost and not the death of Maman.
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