She said, “If you go slowly, you risk getting sunstroke. But if you go too fast, you work up a sweat and then catch a chill inside the church.” She was right. There was no way out.
The nurse speaks these words to Meursault during the long, hot funeral procession in Part One, Chapter 1. On a literal level, the nurse’s words describe the dilemma the weather presents: the heat’s influence is inescapable. But Meursault’s comment, “There was no way out,” broadens the implications of the nurse’s words. As Meursault eventually realizes, the nurse’s words describe the human condition: man is born into a life that can only end in death. Death, like the harsh effects of the sun, is unavoidable. This idea is central to Camus’s philosophy in The Stranger, which posits death as the one central, inescapable fact of life.