Explain the significance of the “sun” in “The Outsider” and “One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich”

These two novels have a alone different scenario and atmosphere and hence the Sun is implicated besides otherwise. Denisovich portrays the Sun as a captive ‘s necessity by allowing visible radiation, heat and time-telling abilities. Uniquely Camus symbolizes the Sun with emotions and feelings that Meursault could non digest or understand. The Sun is insidiously harmful to Meursault ‘s concentration as it distracts him from mundane life.

Meursault ‘s attitude towards her female parent ‘s burial was unexpected to be instead apathetic. He wonders and relishes the physical facets of the twenty-four hours and events of the funeral in item ; “it was traveling to be a beautiful day.” [ 1 ] Meursault overall was more concerned about the physical uncomfortableness of the “heat” and “glare” [ 2 ] from the Sun than her female parent ‘s decease when he referred the environment as a “sun-drenched countryside” [ 3 ] .

During Meursault ‘s female parent ‘s funeral, a nurse tells him he will acquire sunstroke if he walks excessively easy, but will work up a perspiration and catch a iciness in church if he walks excessively rapidly. Meursault agrees, believing, “There was no manner out” [ 4 ] . Literally speech production, the nurse is stating the heat of the Sun ‘s influence is inevitable and Meursault absurdist ‘s position concurs: “There was no manner out” [ 5 ] of life and decease is expected. The intension implicates the physical lifecycle of an absurdist ; adult male is born into a life that can merely necessarily stop by decease. Meursault relates to the fact the agony from the heat is ineluctable, merely like decease. This opening event is merely one out of many events where the Sun is a accelerator to the many approaching events that affects the cause of his life.

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Despite Meursault being apathetic during his female parent ‘s burial, he finds the heat about intolerable by mentioning the conditions to the physical environment as a “sun-drenched countryside” [ 6 ] . The status to him was so “unbearable” [ 7 ] , that he utilizes metaphor and personification to depict the effects of the motive. Meursault mentions the Sun stresses the dull negative “monotonous colors” [ 8 ] , represented by the “sticky black tar” and “shiny black hearse” [ 9 ] . Meursault suggests the Sun has conquered the beautiful scenery he was basking while it aggravates the ambiance ; doing the odor of “horse droppings from the hearse” . [ 10 ]

Apart from the Sun ‘s annoyance, the Sun has positive properties for Meursault ; like it relaxes Meursault ‘s concern and the cheery conditions creates chance for Marie and Meursault to be together [ 11 ] . Meursault relishes the Sun at one point when he met Marie by the pool because the Sun creates prospect for Meursault to indulge adult female ( Marie ) . Finally “When the Sun got excessively hot, she ( Marie ) dived off ( into the H2O ) ” [ 12 ] which occupies Meursault ‘s ideas of female parent ‘s decease to Marie. When Meursault, Marie and Raymond go to the beach, Meursault could merely react the physical Acts of the Apostless and environment, but nil about the joyous emotion he shared with Marie. Alternatively of noticing their compassion and relation, Meursault described “the H2O was warm and 4 O’clock Sun was n’t excessively hot” [ 13 ] . He so moves on depicting his physical indulgence of Marie ‘s “shape of her house breast” , yet demoing no remark about his emotions.

When Meursault accompanies Raymond back to the beach house, the Sun ‘s strength causes Meursault to go weariness by holding a “headache” [ 14 ] which affects his physical indulgence by doing Meursault ‘s “cigarette tasted bitter” [ 15 ] . The “bright forenoon sunlight hit me ( Meursault ) like a smack in the face” [ 16 ] shows the possible danger of the Sun by assailing Meursault physically than psychologically this clip. The fact that the “morning sunshine” [ 17 ] instantly irritates him from the start of the twenty-four hours may bode an event to happen ( the shot of the Arab ) as it acts as an portent. However it ‘s instead dry that the sunlight creates a negative energy towards Meursault, whereas Marie was “jumping in joy” [ 18 ] and stating “what a beautiful twenty-four hours it was” . The contrasting effects of the Sun shows how Meursault is considered to be an “outsider” compared to others and he gives a parallel feeling about the Sun merely like being an enemy. When the “us three” Marie, Masson and Meursault went to the beach, “the Sun was get downing to acquire hot underfoot” [ 19 ] foreshadows a self-generated sinister act to happen subsequently. Meursault obviously identifies the Sun ‘s menacing and raging properties “…sun skining off the last few beds of H2O which trickled down into my mouth” [ 20 ] .

The Sun ‘s negative, blinding properties reappear as the three work forces Meursault, Raymond and Masson walked together along the beach. Meursault about stops listening to them speak because the Sun ‘s weight makes him mentally fatigue ( “sleepy” ) by “beating down on my ( Meursault ) bare head” [ 21 ] . Camus ‘ enunciations to depict the malevolent Sun ; like “ intolerable ” , “ difficult to take a breath ” and “ ruddy ” [ 22 ] creates a tough scenario for Meursault, particularly before his guilty action as the Sun tries to impede his gait.

Camus is seeking to portrait the Sun as impersonal motive, by bodying the Sun as an object that can non impact anyone, except for Meursault because of his curious actions and physical sensitiveness. Before the shot of the Arab, Meursault was dazed and confused as the Sun “glinted off” [ 23 ] the knife and the battle happened “beneath the sun” [ 24 ] . Every clip if Meursault is wrongdoing ( for illustration when he felt apathetic during his female parent ‘s funeral ) , he refers his actions to the Sun and even blames it on the Sun, like during tribunal “The Sun made me” , when he justifies his slaying of the Arab.

His imprisonment enabled him to recognize the full deduction of what he said during the funeral “There is no manner out” [ 25 ] from the Sun as he can non prison interruption and his life will necessarily stop here. The Sun even associates Meursault ‘s last twenty-four hours of being on Earth “on the brink of dawn, there was shrieks of sirens” [ 26 ] as he appreciates the welcoming marks of decease ( executing ) .

In Denisovich ‘s narrative, the Sun could be seen as an point respected by captives “…you can see the Sun rise, large and red” [ 27 ] . The Sun someway created hopes and life for all captives, like optimistic and spiritual Alyosha appreciates the beauty of the Sun and “gazed at the Sun and looked happy” [ 28 ] .

The Sun provides heat for everyone, particularly in Russia where the temperature could easy drop below nothing. The Sun has some good effects like when Shukhov reports “It ‘s turned warmer… Eighteen no lower” [ 29 ] bespeaking the Sun lowered the temperature to put bricks.

The sunshine provides motive and hope for captives, “beams cutting sidelong through the Gatess, the whole edifice site” [ 30 ] makes the environment non so dull and lifeless for captives to last. Solzhenitsyn so goes on depicting how the Sun ‘s magnificent “beam” lightens up the item and attempt of what Soviet captives have striven to construct ; “panels of the prefabs ballad under snow” , “a dredge, further on a heap of bit metal” , “A web of ditches and trenches crisscrossed the site” and “The edifice of the car fix store was ready for roofing” [ 31 ] . These full substructures represent the attempts of Soviet captives, being difficult workers in a labor-intensive environment with hapless conditions.

Due to the absence of redstem storksbills and tickers for captives, the Sun besides acts as a clock to supply time-telling for the captives. Time-telling was indispensable to the captives, particularly when the yearss ends or have their repasts because the captives can non afford to be tardily for every repast in the “Hall of the mess” . Shukhov for illustration relies on the Sun to state clip like when it ‘s “dinner hour” . When the Sun rose at 6 am, the captives all have to wake up. When the Sun sets at 6pm, the captive knew it is clip for dinner. The ageless Sun rise and autumn occurs every bit much as the captive works which signifies the difficult labour of the captives, therefore doing their labor is perpetually without an terminal. Whenever the Sun falls wholly beyond the skyline, Shukhov will quickly stop his action. “Ought to complete it today. Level it off” [ 32 ] was what was said before he came to a arrest for dinner because more energy is non deserving wasted before an unappetising repast.

Buynovsky jestingly tells Shukhov that the Soviet has “decreed that the Sun is highest at one o’clock” [ 33 ] to demo how pathetic and haughty of the Soviet authorities. The control of clip and motion of Sun shows the Soviet ‘s powerful government yet instead foolish because nature, like clip could non be controlled by the custodies of homo. Buynovsky ‘s gag partly fools Shukhov which shows him being a simple and uneducated adult male.

Although the Sun so far appears to be a positive tool, Meursault personifies the Sun to take attending to every action he does in the streets. Solzhenitsyn portrays the Sun to keep its ain value as being a utile tool ; “You could n’t see the barbed wire itself except when you looked into the sun” symbolizes the Sun and the abrasiveness of world inside being a captive. However contrastingly, the Sun in “The Outsider” is merely an guiltless motive, experienced by Meursault to do injury to himself.

Word count:

– 1602 words


– Camus, Albert. The Outsider. London: Penguin Books limited company 1982

– Solzhenitsyn, Aleksandr. One twenty-four hours in the life of Ivan Denisovich. England: Penguin Books limited company 2000

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