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Commentary "The Outsider" Albert Camus Passage On Page 106 107

1797 words - 7 pages

The Outsider: Written CommentaryPassage BThe Outsider by Albert Camus, published in 1942 and translated from the French by Joseph Laredo is a novel which addresses society and its absurdity. The protagonist, an Algerian named Meursault, is displayed as a seemingly emotionless man who tries to counter society's boundaries. In Passage B, Meursault murders a defenseless Arab on the beach. The passage is distinctive because it represents the turning point of Meursault's life, the change of balance from happiness to unhappiness. Camus makes it stand out to the reader by using a lot of figurative language, such as metaphors and similes, personification and alliteration. Camus succeeds in making this passage stand out and even manages to portray his theory of existentialism by making absurd decisions for Meursault.The first paragraph of the passage is very important in setting the scene for the following events. Camus begins with various examples of imagery such as "dazzling red glare", "drunken haze", "white shell" and "broken glass". These aid the reader in picturing the scene of the upcoming crime which will determine Meursault's fate. Camus also uses a lot of personification such as "stifled sea gasp[ing] for breath", "heat […] pushing full against me" and "blast of its [heat] hot breath". Using this type of figurative language, Camus creates a feeling of animate surroundings which he will use later as an influence on Meursault's actions. These personifications are based on the sun and its heat, and the calm yet wild sea. The last sentence of this paragraph is very short and direct, which is why it comes out as a concluding sentence and ends the description of the scene. It also creates a sense of timelessness which is mirrored later on in the passage.The second paragraph is one of the shortest and mainly portrays Meursault's want to escape the situation, meanwhile foreshadowing the negative future. Camus describes Meursault looking at a "small, dark lump of rock" that is "surrounded by a blinding halo of light and spray." This rock is used as a symbol for escape, Meursault's escape from the sun and the heat. This symbol is intensified by the image of the blinding halo of light and by Meursault's thoughts following his description of the rock. He goes on to say: "I wanted to hear the murmur of its water again, to escape from the sun…" Camus uses onomatopoeia to make Meursault's thoughts more genuine and appealing to the reader. Finally, the entire paragraph is contrasted with the last sentence. The calmness of Meursault's thoughts is destroyed, and he and the reader are brought back to reality when he notices the return of the Arab.The third paragraph of the passage is another short one and was put there mainly to create a contrast between Meursault and the Arab. Camus does not use overwhelming figurative language; he simply nudges the reader on by using extremely short sentences such as "He was alone" and "I was a bit surprised". He...

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