A Hot Spot And A Cold Situation

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 12th grade October 2001

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A Hot Spot and a Cold Situation Temperature is often used as a device to emphasize larger themes and to enhance character development. In both One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich and The Stranger, temperature is used throughout the story to not only add effect to their characters' environment, but also to show the advancement of the characters. The author's of One Day and The Stranger both use extreme temperature to relate their stories. One Day, a story about a man named Ivan Denisovich who is an escaped prisoner of war but is accused of being a spy for the Germans, is put in a forced labor camp in the middle of Russia and must survive the bitter cold everyday of his sentence. The cold, however, instead of weakening him makes him stronger both mentally and physically. Shukhov does not let the cold break down his personal sanity, but rather uses it as a motivation to work harder and faster.

The Stranger, however, is a story about a man who is so self-centered and cold hearted that he does not even show or have emotions about his own mother dying or for anything else for that matter. Camus must use heat to be evidence for Meursault's inner feelings. Meursault is so emotionless that he is going to get married not because he is in love, but because it "doesn't really matter." He has no conscience or self-pity, only anger at those who make no sense. He also does not have any type of religion or faith; he is almost like a person without a soul. Solzhenitsyn and Camus use temperature to aid characterization and reflect their characters' motivations.

The use of temperature defines the characters' personality, which aids in character development. The extreme heat that is...

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