The Stranger Religion Quotes
How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Part.Chapter.Paragraph). We used Matthew Ward's translation, published by Vintage International published in 1989.
Then he looked at me closely and with a little sadness in his face. In a low voice he said, "I have never seen a soul as hardened as yours. The criminals who have come before me have always wept at the sight of his image of suffering." I was about to say that that was precisely because they were criminals. But then I realized that I was one too. It was an idea I couldn’t get used to. (2.1.12)
The magistrate tries to invoke Christianity as Meursault’s ultimate savior. When it doesn’t work, Meursault is made a more "hardened" criminal because of his reaction. Religion is being used to assign guilt once again.
And I can say that at the end of the eleven months that this investigation lasted, I was almost surprised that I had ever enjoyed anything other than those rare moments when the judge would lead me to the door of his office, slap me on the shoulder, and say to me cordially, "That’s all for today, Monsieur Antichrist." I would then be handed back over to the police. (2.1.13)
There is an absurdist’s brand of humor in the judge’s labeling of Meursault.
But all the long speeches, all the interminable days and hours that people had spent talking about my soul, had left me with the impression of a colorless swirling river that was making me dizzy. (2.4.7)
Meursault, though uninterested, does at least comprehend that it is his soul on trial here, not his crime. The jury, the judge, and the prosecutor have added a religious element to the court system and Meursault, by using the word "soul," recognizes this.