Most of the interactive orals that we were presented with, focused more on the aspect of Meursault being either a sociopath or autistic. None of them focused on any of the write topics, however they could be used to help develop points that need to be made about how the world around Meursault impacted him throughout the novel. Everything we know about Meursault stays the same throughout the whole book, he doesn’t show change. He views society differently and comprehends everything around him in a way that no one else does, and he has completely detached himself from his own emotions and other human emotions. When he was arrested and put in court for killing an Arab, the jury uses this against him. On page 102 Meursault said, “He stated that that I had no place in society whose most fundamental rules I ignored.” He doesn’t hang around with everyone he sees, and keeps himself isolated from the common crowd. He does take advantage of people, especially woman, when he sees fit. If he’s getting satisfied, then that’s all that counts. He is a stranger from the rest of society.
Now that we covered who Meursault is, it would be easier in explaining how nature impacted his actions. The main factor of nature that caused him to go down this rabbit hole, was the sun. The sun casts a big blinding light on Meursault that impacted him into doing something that he did not want to do. Camus created an environment that was very intense, and uses the sun to accomplish his goal. The sun was a metaphor on the inner emotions of Meursault, making him spill everything out and kill the Arab. This was a fine example of how nature was able to make Meursault do something he didn’t intent on doing. The sun always played a major role, when it came to messing with Meursault. On the day of his Mother’s funeral, all Meursault could care about was how the sun was annoying him. “But today with the sun bearing down, making the whole landscape shimmer with heat, it was inhuman and oppressive.” (pg. 15). The best way of accomplishing his goal, Camus made the sun appear to have the qualities a devious human would have. It was given the qualities of being able to put Meursault down or act as a human obstacle. Meursault, a character known for not showing emotion, starts to show his inner emotion every time the sun “oppresses him.” Also towards the middle of the book, Meursault wanted to get away from the sun, hide in some shade. “I was thinking of the cool spring behind the rock…. To escape the sun and the strain, and to find shade at last.” (pg. 57). This was a big foreSHADOWING (lol get it, shadow and Sun.) on what Meursault was about to do. As the he gets closer to the suns powerful rays, the feelings inside of him also get more and more strong. On page 59 it said, “It was this burning, which made me move forward.” He wanted to escape the sun, but couldn’t, which each step he took, it was nature making him remember that he cares, even though he may not show it. Before Meursault goes ahead to kill the Arab, on page 56 there was another example of foreshadowing, “The sun glinted off Raymond’s gun as he handed it to me.” This was a another metaphor of what was going to happen, then sun already getting ready to do its job of putting Meursault down. Both the sun and gun were important items when the Arab was murdered, without the sun the Arab wouldn’t have died and without the gun, Meursault would not have been able to kill the Arab.
Camus was very successful in being able to foreshadow his events and was able to create a tense environment during the whole charade with the Arab. While Meursault was staring the Arab down, the Arab shows him his knife, and in the book is stated, “The light shot of the steel and it was like a long flashing blade cutting at my forehead.” (pg. 59). Camus does a great job of personifying the role the sun plays at this point in the book. This part also does a great job of portraying how the sun was able to push Meursault to show his inner emotions, and the sun wasn’t the only part of nature playing a role in this, also on page 59 is reads, “The sea carried up a thick, fiery breath. It seemed to me as if the sky split open from one end from the other to rain down fire.” (pg. 59). Not only is the sun influencing or forcing its own moral authority over Meursault, so is the ocean. Camus gives the ocean such details as thick and fiery to give us some sort of imagery. Another quote that is also very important on how nature impacts Meursault is all the way in the start of the book. On page 17 is reads, “If you go slowly, you risk getting a sun stroke. But if you go fast, you work up a sweat and then catch a chill inside the church.” The advice that he received was also another foreshadowing of the fact that Meursault would never be able to escape the sun, never be able to escape his true inner feelings, or what was bothering him. During the trail, one quote that really stuck out, was on page 82. Even before Meursault went into trial, he knew that he wouldn’t be able to escape his fate, or that there was always going to be something against him. The quote reads, “I knew as soon as the weather turned hot that something new was in store for me.” This was beautiful foreshadowing on Camus’s part, and how he was able to conclude the war Meursault had on the weather, that nothing would end up turning in his favor.
However nature is not always bad to Meursault. One example of nature that treats Meursault well, is the water. Water not only helps Meursault relax or calm down, it also gives him good memories. On page 58 is reads, “I wanted to hear the murmur of its water again, to escape the Sun.” even on page 78 Marie visits Meursault in prison, and tells him that once he gets out they will go swimming again. Meursault believed that he was a free man, and wanted to walk down the beach and swim in the water. It is also evident that water is something that he needs, in order to be satisfied and calm. He loves to wash his hands, it doesn’t specify if he used soap or not, but he uses water, and he needs that repetition in order to gain pleasure. So not only does nature torture him, it also gives him pleasure. Another aspect of nature that seemed to effect Meursault is the sand. On page 60 it reads, “It was like a red hot blade gnawing at my eyelashes and gouging out of my stinging eyes.” The red color of the sand seemed to irritate him, and set him of his mood.
To tie up some final points, Meursault’s downfall is to not be blamed on nature, but rather him not being able to set free his inner emotions. However Camus uses nature as a personification of his inner emotions, and those being the only key things in letting him express himself, and that to the sun was used as the main factor. “It was the same sun as on the day of my mother’s funeral, and again it was my forehead that was hurting me most and all the veins were throbbing at once beneath the skin… I took a step, just one step forward.” (pg. 59) The sun was always in his life, it was something he couldn’t escape. On page 99 Meursault makes a realization, “That it was because of the sun.” Ultimately human nature was no match against real nature, and that nature was used as the main motif to influence Meursault’s actions, and in the end, be the reason for his demise.