Tone is very important to The Stranger. Albert Camus uses several examples of irony and ironic twists. For example, Meursault got involved in a fight that had nothing to do with his life. He started out by writing a letter for his neighbor, Raymond. Raymond wanted to get his ex-girlfriend back in order to punish her for what happened in the past. Meursault ended up fighting the brother to the woman, who happened to be Arab. The final outcome was Meursault had to kill the Arab man even through the writing made the readers think Raymond was going to kill the brother. Meursault’s voice comes across as lacking typical emotions. The subjective tone of the author makes the reader feel sympathetic, unsympathetic, and sympathetic once again towards Meursault situation. Then within the last few pages he has a revelation that changes the way he thinks and feels.
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There are various literary devices used in The Stranger. Symbolism is shown in both part one and part two. Colors of the ocean, the sky, and the view of everyday life symbolize different feelings. The color red is used when Meursault is angry or when he feels lust. He described Marie’s red dress when he wanted her and he described the Arab at the beach right before they fought. The color green is used when he’s happy. For example, The sky was green, I felt good. The crucifix is a symbol for god and sacrifice. The crucifix shows everything that he doesn’t believe in. He proves this by saying “He wanted to talk to me about God again, but I went up to him and made one last attempt to explain to him that I had only a little time left and I didn’t want to it on God.” The courtroom is a symbol for mankind as a whole. The jurors and judge is like society and how they judge Meursault and can change his life. He feels this when he says, It was then that I noticed a row of faces … in front of me. They were all looking at me; I realized that they were the jury. But I can’t say what distinguished one from another. I had just one impression: I was sitting across from a row of seats on a streetcar and all these anonymous passengers were looking over the new arrival to see if they could find something funny about him. Imagery is used when describing all characters, events, and settings. Albert Camus uses colors, and subtle details that paint a mental picture. He describes Old Salamano and his dog as two beings on the planet that look similar with their old yellow flaking skin. But Meursault also describes everything around him. And I can remember the look of the church, the villagers in the street, the red geraniums on the graves, Prez’s fainting fit, he crumpled up like a rag doll the tawny-red earth pattering on Mother’s coffin, the bits of white roots mixed up with it; then more people, voices, the wait outside a cafe for the bus, the rumble of the engine, and my little thrill of pleasure when we entered the first brightly lit streets of Algiers, and I pictured myself going straight to bed and sleeping twelve hours at a stretch. Meursault describes everything he can see making the readers understand the novella better. Similes and metaphors are used on practically on every page of The Stranger. A simile is used when describing Raymond. He was bleeding like a pig. Meursault states about the sun, But the heat was so intense that it was just as bad standing still in the blinding stream falling from the sky. To stay or go, it amounted to the same thing. A minute later I turned back toward the beach and started walking. The sun is a metaphor for Meursault’s uncomfortable feeling. He’s comparing the sun to society and how both make him feel uncomfortable and different and he doesn’t like it.
The Stranger by Albert Camus shows a man fighting society in his head and how he deals with it. The novella uses tone, theme, and literary devices to show this man’s life and his sceptical view of the world as he discovers that he can change , only to find out that it is too late.
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