Crime and Punishment vs. The Stranger

1438 Words 6 Pages
Throughout the novels Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky and The Stranger by Albert Camus, sun, heat, and light play a significant role in the development and understanding of the novel and the characters in it. Upon the initial reading of The Stranger, the reader may have a general acknowledgment of a relationship between the novel’s protagonist, Mersault, and the sun and heat, either proceeding or following one of the novels significant events. What is harder to understand on the first read, is the reason why this is important and what it means. On the opposite side of the field is Crime and Punishment. The imagery relating to weather and heat have an obvious connotation and importance, as they generally appear before an important …show more content…
One of the most noteworthy and climactic event in The Stranger is when Meursault meets the Arab on the beach.
“The Arab drew his knife and held it up to me in the sun. The light shot off the steel and it was like a long flashing blade cutting at my forehead. At the same instant the sweat in my eyebrows dripped down over my eyelids all at once and covered them with a warm, thick film. My eyes were blinded behind the curtain of tears and salt. All I could feel were the cymbals of sunlight crashing on my forehead and, indistinctly, the dazzling spear flying up from the knife in front of me. The scorching blade slashed at my eyelashes and stabbed at my stinging eyes. That’s when everything began to reel. The sea carried up a thick, fiery breath. It seemed to me as if the sky split open from one end to the other to rain down fire. My whole being tensed and I squeeze my hand around the revolver. The trigger gave.” (Camus 59)
The sun plays an incredibly significant role in this paragraph, for it is the instigator and beginning of the conflict. Because of this heat, Meursault’s judgment is clouded and he makes a rash decision that changes his life. The line about the sky splitting open and raining fire down upon him suggests that he subconsciously feels confusion about not grieving at his mother’s funeral. If the sun had not made an appearance that day on the beach, it can be safely concluded that Meursault would not have killed the Arab. But because it was there, it pushed
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