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In the novel The Outsider, by Albert Camus and in the novel The Lost Honor of Katherina Blum, by Heinrich Bőll, the main characters in both novels are wrongfully interrogated because they are judged based on their characters and not the crimes

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Introduction

"There are no truths, only interpretations." - Nietzsche In the novel The Outsider, by Albert Camus and in the novel The Lost Honor of Katherina Blum, by Heinrich Boll, the main characters in both novels are wrongfully interrogated because they are judged based on their characters and not the "crimes" they committed. By showing this injustice, the two authors show the readers that society is very judgmental. In The Outsider, the main character Meursault is convicted and tried for allegedly killing a man. Meursault is "appointed" (63) a lawyer who does not attend the interrogation "due to unforeseen circumstances". It seems as though the lawyer did not come on purpose because, as the interrogation occurs in the book, the issues of law and religion are mixed together and the interrogation becomes about the fact that Meursault does not believe in god. The interrogation starts with the examining magistrate asking Meursault about his personality. The examining magistrate tries to clear up facts that "puzzle" (66) him about the crime by trying to understand Meursault's personality. When he does not understand why Meursault would "fire at a dead body" (67), he bring religion and God into the interrogation. The church and the judicial systems are separate from one another and the two are not to be mixed in a democratic society. ...read more.

Middle

Arresting her and locking her up is completely unjustified because the police have no real "evidence" (78) and no bases for an arrest, only suspicions. But like Meursault, Katharina does cooperate without complaining. The interrogation in the presence of two public prosecutors and other witnesses is unnecessary because it was already being recorded. This is over exaggerated by the police, by making sure many authority figures are there. This could be their way of portraying a fair trial or by portraying Katherina as a dangerous criminal. During the interrogation itself, many very personal questions are asked that are irrelevant to the "crime". This included very finely detailed background information on her "father" (22), "mother" (22) and "brother" (23). Throughout the book, Katharina is judged by many aspects of her past like the fact that "her father was communist in disguise" (37). This part of the interrogation takes from "11:00 am to 12:30 pm" and "1:30 pm to 5:45 pm", so nearly six hours. This is a long time for such a simple interrogation of her "crime". The police could have gotten the same information in about an hour, but they "prolonged" (29) the interrogation to make themselves look good in the press. The prosecutors also asked her questions about the day she met Gotten when they already knew all the information because she was "under police observation" (17). ...read more.

Conclusion

The author shows that the suspected criminal's life is "destroy[ed]" (41) for "every detail" (28) of their personality is put to the test rather than their innocence. Many unrelated "articles" (45) belonging to Katharina are "confiscated" (45) like "three bunches of keys" (52). Most of the evidence taken is not at all related to the crime for they do not prove anything. This also shows that, in different parts of society like the press and the police, some people try to make themselves look good by making other look bad. Many accusations and assumptions are made to explain evidence that they "refuse" (36) to understand due to the fact that one lives life differently, like working too hard or may have a "gentlemen visitor" (31) so they try to single one out and destroy one's life. In both novels The Outsider by Albert Camus and The Lost Honor of Katherina Blum by Heinrich Boll, the main characters are unfairly interrogated because they are judged by their way of life rather than the alleged crime. Both authors portray this to tell the readers that society, represented by the law, is unfair and judgmental. Many times fact and fiction are confused and the wrong people are punished. "Nothing is true; everything is permitted." -Nietzsche ***Please note that the quotes used are from the corresponding books each paragraph talks about*** ...read more.

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