The Stranger

The Defense Lawyer Character Analysis

Meursault's lawyer who tries to defend Meursault's character, to present his crime as an accident, and to disassociate Meursault's behavior at his mother's funeral from the murder. He is exhausted by Meursault's unyielding impassiveness and by his self-sabotaging lack of savvy about public opinion. A less talented lawyer, in Meursault's opinion, than the prosecutor.

The Defense Lawyer Quotes in The Stranger

The The Stranger quotes below are all either spoken by The Defense Lawyer or refer to The Defense Lawyer. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Meaninglessness of Life and the Absurd Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Vintage edition of The Stranger published in 1989.
Book 2, Chapter 1 Quotes

The investigators had learned that I had "shown insensitivity" the day of Maman's funeral. "You understand," my lawyer said, "it's a little embarrassing for me to have to ask you this. But it's very important. And it will be a strong argument for the prosecution if I can't come up with some answers." He wanted me to help him. He asked if I had felt any sadness that day. The question caught me by surprise and it seemed to me that I would have been very embarrassed if I'd had to ask it. Nevertheless I answered that I had pretty much lost the habit of analyzing myself and that it was hard for me to tell him what he wanted to know. I probably did love Maman, but that didn't mean anything…I explained to him…that my nature was such that my physical needs often got in the way of my feelings.

Related Characters: Meursault (speaker), The Defense Lawyer (speaker), Madame Meursault
Page Number: 64-65
Explanation and Analysis:

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He asked me if I could say that that day I had held back my natural feelings. I said, "No, because it's not true." He gave me a strange look, as if he found me slightly disgusting…I pointed out to him that none of this had anything to do with my case, but all he said was that it was obvious I had never had any dealings with the law.

Related Characters: Meursault (speaker), The Defense Lawyer
Page Number: 77
Explanation and Analysis:

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Book 2, Chapter 3 Quotes

Come now, is my client on trail for burying his mother or for killing a man?

Related Characters: The Defense Lawyer (speaker)
Page Number: 96
Explanation and Analysis:

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Book 2, Chapter 4 Quotes

But were their two speeches so different after all? My lawyer raised his arms and pleaded guilty, but with an explanation. The prosecutor waved his hands and proclaimed my guilt, but without an explanation…In a way, they seemed to be arguing the case as if it had nothing to do with me…There were times when I felt like breaking in on all of them and saying, "Wait a minute! Who's the accused here? Being the accused counts for something. And I have something to say!" But on second thought, I didn't have anything to say.

Related Characters: Meursault (speaker), The Prosecutor, The Defense Lawyer
Page Number: 98
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

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The Defense Lawyer Character Timeline in The Stranger

The timeline below shows where the character The Defense Lawyer appears in The Stranger. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Book 2, Chapter 1
Meaninglessness of Life and the Absurd Theme Icon
Indifference and Passivity Theme Icon
Importance of Physical Experience Theme Icon
Relationships Theme Icon
...Thinking his case "pretty simple," Meursault does not hire an attorney. The court appoints one. His lawyer refers to accounts of Meursault's "insensitivity" at his mother's funeral and asks Meursault if he... (full context)
Book 2, Chapter 2
Chance and Interchangeability Theme Icon
Indifference and Passivity Theme Icon
Importance of Physical Experience Theme Icon
...of Maman's ideas…after a while you could get used to anything." Meursault looks forward to his lawyer 's neckties just as, before prison, he looked forward to holding Marie. "Killing time," he... (full context)
Book 2, Chapter 3
Meaninglessness of Life and the Absurd Theme Icon
Indifference and Passivity Theme Icon
Importance of Physical Experience Theme Icon
Relationships Theme Icon
During cross-examining, Meursault's lawyer reveals that the caretaker had smoked and drunk coffee with Meursault, and that Thomas Pérez... (full context)
Meaninglessness of Life and the Absurd Theme Icon
Chance and Interchangeability Theme Icon
Indifference and Passivity Theme Icon
Relationships Theme Icon
After Marie is questioned by Meursault's lawyer , the prosecutor questions Marie. He gets her to describe her date with Meursault the... (full context)
Chance and Interchangeability Theme Icon
Indifference and Passivity Theme Icon
Relationships Theme Icon
Meursault's lawyer protests "'is my client on trial for burying his mother or for killing a man?'"... (full context)
Book 2, Chapter 4
Meaninglessness of Life and the Absurd Theme Icon
Chance and Interchangeability Theme Icon
...[was said] about me than about my crime." Still, he can see little difference between his lawyer 's speech and the prosecutor's: the former proclaims guilt with an explanation while the latter... (full context)
Meaninglessness of Life and the Absurd Theme Icon
Chance and Interchangeability Theme Icon
Indifference and Passivity Theme Icon
Importance of Physical Experience Theme Icon
Meursault's lawyer gives his summation, speaking in the first person as if he were Meursault. Meursault is... (full context)
Chance and Interchangeability Theme Icon
Indifference and Passivity Theme Icon
The jury files out to determine the verdict . Meursault's lawyer is confident that Meursault won't be sentenced to death. After forty-five minutes, the jury returns... (full context)