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). During the trial, all of the witnesses called forth by the prosecutor are from Maman's home and/or present at Maman's funeral. The irony that emerges is from the fact that none of them pertain to the actual crime that Meursault committed. However, no one in the courtroom takes notice of this fact or objects to it and therefore, makes it quite evident from the proceeding of the court that Meursault is no longer on trial for his actual crime of murder.
Perez, a friend of Meursault's mother, is called as a witness. After he noting that he was too stricken with grief to see how Meursault reacted to the death, "The prosecutor asked him if he had at least seen [Meursault] cry" (Camus 91). However, the prosecutor's question is... [continues]
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