It is by all appearances completely without motivation. Nevertheless, society demands a rational explanation. Meursault is arrested and brought to trial. During the trial, it becomes apparent that various members of the courtroom feel a need to explain the senseless, unmotivated killing. It refuses to convict him of the murder without imposing a rational explanation onto the event, which allows for a moral condemnation of the killing.
To begin with, Meursault follows the phrase “existence precedes essence.” Meursault does not follow cultural norms and is defined through his actions. He does not determine himself through a title like his job and believes that “none of it really [matters]” (Camus 41). He does not believe in God and thinks that questions about deities and the universe “[seem] unimportant” (Camus 41). Meursault’s experiences also align themselves with this existential idea. Not only does he not cry at his mother’s funeral, which is important in society, but he kills the Arab for no particular reason.
He has been questioning himself and whether he is a coward, because all he has done is talk, not having taken any action. Now that Hamlet knows the murderous sin Claudius has committed, Hamlet feels no guilt in avenging his father’s death. The plot takes a turn, as Hamlet becomes more of a man of action than a philosopher. In the prayer scene, Hamlet misses his best opportunity to kill Claudius and avenge his father’s death. With no guards around, Claudius is alone and he is unaware that Hamlet is lurking in the shadows.
Society believes Meursault as an emotionless killer or a stranger to society’s morality, Meursault then can’t explain why he couldn’t feel any emotion, drives, or thoughts of remorse for his murder. Lastly, when the chaplain visits Meursault against his wishes, this scene showed how society expects everyone to ask for forgiveness from god when near death. Meursault then thinks it is absurd and refused to believe in him because he says it’s ridiculous and there’s no time at all.
During this conversation between Meursault and Salamano, Meursault r... ... middle of paper ... ...greet me with cries of hate” (Camus 123). Meursault accepts his sentence with only the wish of a crowd at his execution, demonstrating that he would not relive his life to change it, that his life meets his idea of life, and that his life contains everything else that he desires. This hope mirrors that despite anything Meursault wishes, he will die and his life in the past cannot be changed. Meursault “escaped” the terror of death with his epiphany that no escape exists. No alternative exists for death, nor does the time in which death occurs revoke that the death actually occurred.
Furthermore, the Misfit does not have any sympathy or regret for those he murders and simply forgets his wrongdoings. While speaking to the grandmother the Misfit reveals that “‘[he] can do one thing or [...] another, kill a man or take a tire off his car, because sooner or later [he is] going to forget what [he had done] and just be punished for it.’”(O’Connor 25). The Misfit’s inability to understand the purpose of consequences reveals his insanity. His psychological issues are a key factor that institutes his horrific actions. The Misfit’s lack of psychological help contributes to the decay of his morality because with an unstable mind he is unable to grasp moral values whatsoever.
Because there is no God, there are no universal moral codes, no abstract values such as "justice" or "glory," and certainly no need for moral conventions. The hero rejects these, but imposes order upon his life through personal values-integrity, dignity, and courage. “If people bring so much courage to this world the world has to kill them to break them, so of course it kills them. The world breaks every one and afterward many are strong at the broken places. But those it will not break it kills.
However, Road to Perdition is making a different argument: that a horrible, gruesome job has no apparent impact on an individual’s inner nature. In any event, the comment about leading a “bad life” is fraudulent, because neither Sullivan nor Rooney nor Nitti is truly portrayed as a “bad man.” On the contrary, they are quite sympathetically presented, as “men of honor.” Only the outsider, the hit man who seems to enjoy his work, Maguire, is cast in a negative light. There is no serious exploration of the father-son theme. Michael Jr. fails to experience any serious inner conflict once he discovers that his father murders people for a living! He is presented to us as a sensitive soul, yet he does not even seem to hold his father responsible in any manner for the deaths of his mother and younger brother.
If we know our fate, do our lives hold meaning? Meursault remarks, “Nothing, nothing mattered, and I know why.” He knows he will be executed by a society in which he cannot exist, but he resigns and thereby assures himself that the middle is meaningless. Before his arrest, he knew he would die. Perhaps this knowledge justifies his living moment to moment. His statement compares to Beckett’s Vladimir when he laments, “Nothing happens, nobody comes, nobody goes, it is awful!” Both Meursault and Vladimir understand their insurmountable fate, but Meursault desires to confront it.
Upon his creation, he was left not receiving the protection and guidance he desperately needed. His feelings were the same as any other humans: grief, and distress, anger. But, instead of calmly diffusing his anger, he chose to destroy that which made his “enemy” happy. There was never a good reason to bring the dead to life, despite all of Victor’s claims. Because of his arrogance, and lack of a functioning human heart, he disregarded everyone’s opinions and advice and sought to do what was right for himself and not even attempting to protect his family, regardless of how he claimed he did.