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Symbolism in the Stranger

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Examine Comus' use of symbolism in part one of The Stranger. In your answer, you must discuss the connection between the symbolism and the character of Mersault. In the chapter one of the novel, we can all see several uses of symbolism to portray the character Mersault. Because the narrator of the book itself is Mersault himself, who feels very little emotion or none at all. Because Mersault barely discuss about his emotions and feelings. Camus' use of symbolism creates connection to the character of Mersault. Mersault has been discovered to be annoyed by heat, light and the sun. He finds these unbearable and a hindrance to him. ...read more.


Mersault himself doesn't quite know why exactly he did the shooting of the Arab who was the brother of the Mistress, but he blames the light. 'Overpowering' heat and the light also acts as a warning. Mersault's attitude also displays that he is an outcast of society. Besides the fact that he does not have emotions or feelings at all, he doesn't quite fit into the society because he himself prefers being a social outcast. On page 25, Mersault mentions about a hand towel in his office. Mersault liked washing hands during lunchtime since on that time, the hand towel is quite dry and it has to last all day. Mersault dislikes wiping hands on a soaked towel. This symbolizes that he puts himself away from everyone else. ...read more.


He says, 'it didn't matter.' This attitude towards such event is greatly different from others. Others may be disgusted and horrified by this incident and react to it, but to Mersault its nothing. Mersault just sits there and just listens to Raymond. Not all that would cause Mersault to do something, he just listens. When Salamano's dog went missing, Mersault again feels nothing change he didn't care anyway. Even after witnessing and overhearing Salamano weeping next door, Mersault seems to be not interested. Mersault lacks emotional feelings, which is not accepted by society. The use of symbolism that this novel contains tells a lot about the void character of Mersault. The readers should be able to read between the lines in order to fully understand what these symbols are, and how that tells about Mersault's characteristics. ...read more.

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