He sees the Arab and feels his emotions get more confused: ‘the heat was beginning to scorch my cheeks. It was the same sort of heat as at my mother’s funeral and I had the same disagreeable sensations. ’13 Meursault compares this day with the day he buried his mother; on that hot day the sun made him feel sleepy and uncomfortable. The heat and light from the sun on the day he kills the Arab gets very intense that the sun blinds him and he feels distraught: ‘I couldn’t stand it any longer, and took another step forward.
I knew it was a fool thing to do; I wouldn’t get out of the sun by moving on a yard or so. But I took that step, just one step, forward. And then the Arab drew his knife and held it up toward me, athwart the sunlight ’14 Someplace within Meursualt’s inner self it appears that he is trying to resist this temptation, trying to back away from its influence, but the force to go forward is too strong: ‘Every nerve in my body was a steel spring, and my grip closed on the revolver.
’15 He shoots the Arab and knows everything is going to change: ‘I knew I’d shattered the balance of the day, the spacious calm of this beach on which I had been so happy. ’16 He could not stop himself because the heat of the moment was too strong to control, so it makes sense, from Meursault’s point of view, that it was the sun’s fault that he killed the man. On the other hand, in the novel Like Water for Chocolate heat is a positive force as the main ingredient to stimulate the love and passion that each character feels.
Tita is shown to be intrigued by the sensation of heat. The heat rather than being simple and easy to understand to some people is unbearable for Tita to control: ‘She had been walking to the table carrying a tray of egg-yolk candies when she first felt his hot gaze burning her skin. She turned her head, and her eyes met Pedro’s . . . the heat that invaded her body was so real she was afraid she would start to bubble. . . ,’17 however, Tita is unable to express her emotion freely due to her mother, Mama Elena De la Garza’s strict rules on how ‘.
. . [being] the youngest daughter means you have to take care of me until the day I die. ’18 Gertrudis, Tita’s eldest sister, experiences the same heat as her younger sister. Apparently, Tita’s cooking arouses Gertrudis’ feelings to such an extent that she undergoes an experience of intense desire: ‘On her the food seemed to act as an aphrodisiac; she began to feel an intense heat pulsing through her limbs. An itch in the center of her body kept her from sitting properly in her chair.
She began to sweat, imagining herself on horseback with her arms clasped around one of Pancho Villa’s men . . . ’19Gertrudis tries to find a solution to stifle the intense heat she is experiencing but the agony of the heat is impossible to control. She tries to: ‘. . . [imagine] the refreshing shower ahead of her,’ as a way to strain the heat: ‘but unfortunately she was never able to enjoy it, because the drops that fell from the shower never made it to her body: they evaporated before they reached her. ‘ 20
Heat is used as a literary effect in both novels Like Water for Chocolate and The Outsider. Camus and Esquivel both seem to share the same idea to integrate heat into their novels, and the main difference is how they connect heat to the characters’ emotional states. Camus uses heat to emphasize the negative side of Meursault’s emotional state, whereas Esquivel connects heat directly with passion and love. Not only did the authors use heat as a literary effect, they also assimilated heat through a subtle approach by using the symbolism of heat to reveal the characters’ feelings.
Works Cited Camus, Albert. The Outsider, translated by Stuart Gilbert. (New York: Random House, Inc. , 1942) Esquierl, Laura. Like Water for Chocolate, translated by Carol Christiansen. (New York: Anchor Books Inc. , 1992) 1 Albert Camus, The Outsider p. 64 2 Laura Esquivel, Like Water for Chocolate p. 18 3 Albert Camus, The Outsider p. 14 4 Albert Camus, The Outsider p. 33 5 Albert Camus, The Outsider p. 33 6 Albert Camus, The Outsider p. 34 7 Albert Camus, The Outsider p. 34.
8 Albert Camus, The Outsider p.35 9 Albert Camus, The Outsider p. 34 10 Albert Camus, The Outsider p. 35 11 Albert Camus, The Outsider p. 36 12 Albert Camus, The Outsider p. 37 13 Albert Camus, The Outsider p. 38 14 Albert Camus, The Outsider p. 38 15 Albert Camus, The Outsider p. 38 16 Albert Camus, The Outsider p. 39 17 Laura Esquivel, Like Water for Chocolate p. 16 18 Laura Esquivel, Like Water for Chocolate p. 10 19 Laura Esquivel, Like Water for Chocolate p. 54 20 Laura Esquivel, Like Water for Chocolate p. 54.