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Alternate Trial Verdict: Society's Hostility, Irrationality, and Fathomlessness in Albert Camus's The Stranger

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Introduction

Alternate Trial Verdict: Society's Hostility, Irrationality, and Fathomlessness in Albert Camus's The Stranger Statement of Intent Albert Camus's The Stranger presents an Existentialist point of view of life through its protagonist, Meursault. From the start, his indifference towards life is established via his reaction to the news of his mother's death. While visiting the retirement home, it is made apparent that his physical condition overpowers his emotional state. Later, in jail, he explains to his lawyer that his "physical needs often got in the way of [his] feelings" (p. 65). This is clearly shown when he is at his mother's vigil, in which he is too weary to do much else except sit and eventually fall asleep. Not only that, but he never once feels or shows grief for his deceased mother. It is for this that society sentences him to death at the trial, not the fact that he has murdered an Arab. I shall write a pastiche that takes place during the defending lawyer's speech, revealing how Meursault's sentencing could have differed. This allows me to explore Meursault's character and style and some of the central themes in the novel. ...read more.

Middle

This pastiche can actually serve as an alternate ending that implies a substitute, positive revelation for Meursault in dealing with the absurdity of life. Alternate Final Moments of the Trial As I watched my lawyer give his speech, I noticed that it was lacking. He did not have the same ability as the prosecutor. He went on and on. He tried to rebuke all of the points the prosecutor had made. I looked out the window. The sun was at its peak. It caused the room to be filled with heat. All around the courtroom people fanned themselves. I was too tired to continue listening to my lawyer. I remember hearing the scratches of the reporters' pens. Maybe they'll mention something in an article about how my lawyer didn't let me say anything. Or maybe about how Maman's funeral had nothing to do with the murder. I didn't understand why that was all that the prosecutor referred to, but I knew that it was the most focused upon in the trial. I heard the fans in the courtroom. They were on and loud. ...read more.

Conclusion

I turned to see her smiling. I didn't want to disappoint her, so I returned it. My lawyer and his associates talked with each other about how fortunate I was. They each patted me on the shoulder and smiled, telling me that I should thank my lawyer. I didn't think they were right. He didn't seem to do a good job to me, but I did it anyway because they repeated it so often. The prosecuting lawyer came up to us. He congratulated my lawyer on a job well done. Then he came up to me. He said, "It's all because you finally admitted that you felt remorse for your mother's death," before leaving. I realized then that I actually did say something about feeling so grieved that I held it in. I don't know why I said it, but I remember that it was very hot at the time. It was a lie, though, because I have never felt remorse for anything. I don't know why, but my lie made everyone happy. I think I need to do what's necessary so that people don't think I am against society. At least now, after I serve my time in prison, I can return to the life that I had before all of this happened, with the simple and lasting joys. ...read more.

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