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World Lit Crime and Punishment

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Introduction

"[D]ealing with a monster, a man without morals," An analysis of morality in The Stranger, and Chronicle of a Death Foretold In The Stranger and Chronicle of a Death Foretold, emphasis on the symbolic nature of the protagonists serves to accentuate the fundamental theme of morality as both Camus, and Garcia Marquez explore "[M]an's precarious place in a mass society whose workings he does not control nor even understand..." (Feuerlicht 2). The court in which the trial takes place functions as a social institution's tool to impose rational order on an otherwise irrational world. It is clear throughout the course of the proceedings, that Meursault is no longer tried for his real crime of killing another man, but rather for his moral character regarding subjective matters. As the trial progresses, the prosecutor exploits "Maman's" death to condemn Meursault. The insensitivity portrayed to the jury concerning his actions during the day of and following the burial of "Maman", while true; are unrelated to the crime, however, it is these actions that eventually condemn him: "Gentlemen of the jury, the day after his mother's death...[he] was out swimming, starting up a dubious liaison, and going to the movies...I have nothing further to say" (Camus 94). ...read more.

Middle

The efforts of the witnesses for the defense are futile in the sense that they, similar to Meursault, can give little reasoning to his conduct. They can only attribute his actions to bad luck and chance, both of which provide no concrete facts to aid him as, "The prosecutor retorted that chance already had a lot of misdeeds on its conscience in this case" (Camus 95).To make matters worse, the defense witnesses are revealed as bad in moral fiber. Raymond, Meursault's "pal", was questioned on, "[h]ow he made his living, and when Raymond replied "warehouse guard,"...the prosecutor informed the jury that [Raymond] practiced the profession of a procurer," therefore effectively preventing the defense from offering any redeeming testimonies on Meursault's behalf. As Meursault is unfairly tried, the jury is ignorant of the unfairness present in its proceedings. Fixated on the prosecutor's allegation that Meursault is on trial for his emotional inaptness, they forget the crime of the murder of an Arab of which he was initially put on trial. "Normally, this would be far from viable in a court of law, but here it makes sense to the crowd" (Feuerlicht 5). ...read more.

Conclusion

The inevitability of Nasar's murder becomes the most overwhelming aspect of the narrator's investigation. Numerous forces, some explicable, some inexplicable, seem to be at work in ensuring Santiago's demise. The cult of machismo, seen in the rowdy drinking, the prevalence of weapons, the unruly and volatile conduct, even the repressed anger of women who are victimized by the culture in which they live, all combine to ensure the murder of Santiago based on his moral character as opposed to the actual crime in which 27 years later, it still remains a mystery if he was the "perpetrator" or not. In the end, "[O]ne man is dead, and hundreds have murdered him." And indeed, everyone who knew of the twins' intentions and did nothing to stop them therefore shares responsibility for the crime. While it is never known if Santiago was truly guilty or innocent of his crime, both he and Meursault can be viewed as sacrificial victims, who are unwillingly and unknowingly sacrificed to preserve and uphold the morals of the societal mass governed by morals. Camus and Garcia Marquez, through their use of the symbolic nature of the main characters, reveals that morals are but empty ideals of which humanity relies upon to impose order and rationality on an otherwise irrational universe. ?? ?? ?? ?? 1 ...read more.

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