The Stranger

2. Why is the “jury trial” a good vehicle for Camus in showing the absurdity of the various attempts made to interpret why Meursault has committed his crime? That is, what things matter most during a trial-- the evidence, or other factors? Explain.

from part 2 chapter 3

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When Meursault arrives it seems like a circus and, for all intents and purposes, it is. The press has built up the story to such proportions that spectators are interested because of that. Furthermore, as we will learn, Meursault's case is one of interest because he has denied the social codes and human faculties which society feels bounded by. They push in to see the man who will not play the game. He does not even realize first that the crowd are for him because to him, his behavior seems perfectly normal. Meursault pictures the image of a streetcar because he subconsciously realizes that he is under judgment from these people who do not even know him but to whom his fate has been given. The claustrophobic atmosphere of the courtroom, symbolizing the narrow-minded, judgmental atmosphere, makes Meursault dizzy for good reason.