The Trial of Meursault

On page 63, Meursault goes on trial for murdering the Arab man. But during the trial and the period before it, little, to no investigation of the crime itself is done. Meursault is asked to provide details of what happened and he says everything, including confessing to killing the Arab man. What people take the most interest in is Meursault’s character, especially his reaction to his mother’s death.

The trial then begins to become an investigation of Meursault himself, instead of a trial of his actions. The lawyer is puzzled by his lack of concern over his mother’s death. The lawyer becomes so frustrated with the situation that he waves a cross at Meursault screaming to him that he must repent. Meursault has no reaction to this and simply agrees with the lawyer, as to not have to listen to his speech about God.

After this confrontation with the Meursault, the lawyer and judge both accept that their efforts to change Meursault are futile and simply acknowledge that: “I have never seen a soul as hardened as your’s”. The judge also refers to Meursault as Monsieur Antichrist showing that they have lost all hope for him and perceive him as evil.

One thought on “The Trial of Meursault

  1. Ann Marie H.

    I also found this scene interesting and in particular how the crowd and jurors reacted. The fact that the jurors and the judge were more interested in how he reacted in his mother’s death rather than the murder that he committed is intriguing. I think that it definitely shows the absurdity of Meursault and how others finally view him.


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