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Kat
05-12-2010, 11:38 PM
:book:

Hi fellow sleuthers! Given the archetypal themes that any case of alleged filicide raises, perhaps it's not surprising that references have been made in court of late to some heavy-hitting works of literature. Thought I would open a thread for conversation about these works and others that may come up--thus far it's Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird and The Stranger by Albert Camus.

Some very perceptive posts about these literary references have been posted in other threads--the metaphorical and allegorical possibilities clearly get many WSer's synapses a-poppin'--and I figured it might be helpful to create a book nook of sorts.

If you want to refresh your memory on either of these works before diving in, here's this:

SparkNotes on TKAM (http://www.sparknotes.com/lit/mocking/)


SparkNotes on The Stranger (http://www.sparknotes.com/lit/stranger/summary.html)

I will begin by saying I was quite surprised to hear AL come out of the gate with "The Stranger" and then even more surprised that she only focused on Meursault's non-reaction to his mother's death and ignored the rest of the book--I've never seen anyone quote an entire NOVEL "out of context" before. :banghead: However, AL did have the good sense to choose an absurdist/nihilist author to reference... :crazy:

LOL thanks for the spark notes ynotdivein, I needed them! It's been over 20 yrs since I had Lit 101. :)

You know what? I think she isn't well versed with that book and it's more subtle interpretations.

I think she chose it because Meursault's trial became about his apathy and his "outsiderness" and his inappropriate responses to the rest of the world, not just his mother's death.

I wasn't able to listen to the exact quotes she used. I will need to find a transcript.

As for the TKAM Baez left me speechless and then I burst out giggling. Please is he comparing himself to Atticus? Come now.

But again we see the defense chooses to extract out of context the part of the novel they want.

AF defended a black man in a racist community. Even though AF showed that Tom was innocent but he is found guilty.

I think they were trying to tie in two themes (without delving too deeply into the themes of the respective books which are multi-layered as we all know).

1. The defendent does not react in what society considers as appropriate to events in their lives.

2. That the jury (and general public) has already made up their mind about the defendent based on their prejudices against the defendent. (see #1)

Not well thought out IMHO.

cecybeans
05-12-2010, 11:38 PM
Well a dear elven friend of ours and former WS dignitary sent me this. I think it says it beautifully:

Here is my contribution for the STATE to reference the heady literary thread:

A person's a person, no matter how small. ~ Dr. Seuss ~

Pensfan
05-12-2010, 11:53 PM
Listed are potential similarities between KC’s and Meursaul’s trial.

In The Stranger, the accused is seen by the jury to be unsympathetic (similar to KC) and his crime irrational (similar to KC murdering her own child). The defendant was unable to gather sympathy similar to KC’s affect on others. The prosecutor concentrated on proving the defendant guilty by providing the jurors with evidence of the defendant’s cold heartedness; his inability to cry at his mom’s funeral was the supposed proof. This is similar to KC’s prosecutors providing the jury with photos of KC dancing immediately after her daughter's “disappearance” .

Although there are similarities, they are not emotion invoking and do not eliminate the defendant’s confession that he is a sociopath and does not feel remorse. By AL referencing similarities in this novel, she reinforced that KC is a sociopath and she has no conscience. This literary reference probably thwarted any lenience towards KC from Honorable Judge Perry.

Horace Finklestein
05-13-2010, 12:16 AM
Well, as much as I'd love to think of literary allusions (I'm sort of thinking The House of Atreus as The House of Anthony) - and how much fun it will be trying to dress this up in finer cloth, somehow at first blush these folks lend themselves less to the Shakespeare set and more to the Suzanne (as in Jacqueline - although Spock did reference that as one of "the classics" in Star Trek IV, IIRC).

I say, let's open the field to all media and include our favorite literature, both new and old, films, television and even cartoon strips should they inspire. I've often said this is a movie that Tim Burton and John Waters could have directed. And at the end, we'll have a compendium of entertainment that Charles Addams would envy, not to mention a wonderful list of things to either read or reread and enjoy from a fresh perspective. What a great idea for something new to do, thanks for making this fun and educational ynot!!

Also, there is something absolutely Dickensian about the entire defense team. I wonder if anyone has casting ideas along those lines?

Hmm yes Dickens does come to mind (Mrs Haversham anyone?). Also, for a movie director, I picture it being more of a Coen brothers affair.haha

bessie
05-13-2010, 12:26 AM
Personally, I think JB's own brand of jurisprudence was derived directly from The Stone-Sucking Sequence from Samuel Beckett's Molloy.


I took advantage of being at the seaside to lay in a store of
sucking-stones. They were pebbles but I call them stones. Yes, on
this occasion I laid in a considerable store. I distributed them
equally between my four pockets, and sucked them turn and turn
about. This raised a problem which I first solved in the following
way. I had say sixteen stones, four in each of my four pockets these
being the two pockets of my trousers and the two pockets of my
greatcoat. Taking a stone from the right pocket of my greatcoat, and
putting it in my mouth, I replaced it in the right pocket of my
greatcoat by a stone from the right pocket of my trousers, which I
replaced by a stone from the left pocket of my trousers, which I
replaced by a stone from the left pocket of my greatcoat, which I
replaced by the stone which was in my mouth, as soon as I had
finished sucking it. Thus there were still four stones in each of my
four pockets, but not quite the same stones. And when the desire to
suck took hold of me again, I drew again on the right pocket of my
greatcoat, certain of not taking the same stone as the last time.
And while I sucked it I rearranged the other stones in the way I
have just described. And so on

NocturnalLady
05-13-2010, 12:28 AM
I was also surprised to learn AL attempted to utilize The Stranger to sway the Honorable Judge Perry against the DP for KC.

AL must have slept through a significant portion of the literature class that discussed The Stranger. This is not a book that encourages strong anti-death penalty sentiments for people like the defendant in the novel or people like KC. The defendant in this novel explains that he was never really able to feel any remorse for any of his actions in life. Comparing KC to this defendant directly implies that KC is also a violent sociopath. People do not feel sorry for violent sociopaths and spare them from the death penalty.

That was a crazy reference to make. She either has not read the book or didn't understand it.

twomanywords
05-13-2010, 12:32 AM
I know this isn't really a classic..But "The Bad Seed" has always come to mind for KC and her mother. Their co dependence is remarkable.
Cindy defends KC to the public, yet warned quite a few of her (KC) friends that she is a sociopath and will rob them blind. Also Jesse's account of Cindy stating that KC had nothing and no future, no education etc...so why would he want to be with her?

Pensfan
05-13-2010, 12:38 AM
Well a dear elven friend of ours and former WS dignitary sent me this. I think it says it beautifully:

Here is my contribution for the STATE to reference the heady literary thread:

A person's a person, no matter how small. ~ Dr. Seuss ~
Add this to a list that JA can deliver when AL begins spewing anti-death penalty literary references.

“If we are to abolish the death penalty, I should like to see the first step taken by my friends, the murderers.” Alphonse Karr

A_News_Junkie
05-13-2010, 12:43 AM
Since AL has stated the basis of her argument for KC I don't think her closing argument will take long........ it will go something like this: "To err is human, to forgive divine" Alexander Pope ..............which will be an ABSOLUTELY EPIC FAIL!

Pensfan
05-13-2010, 08:49 AM
Another inappropriate comment coming from the defense was a reference to the novel, To Kill a Mockingbird. Besides the fact that neither Baez or AL, defense lawyers, have the moral integrity of Atticus Finch, why would either of these individuals inject a book into their defense that uses the "N" word forty-eight times? They were presenting in front of an African American judge who is of the age group that considered the novel, To Kill a Mockingbird, to be very controversial for its profuse use of the "N" word.

This novel has prompted controversy since it was published in 1960 because of its use of racially derogatory language. Hundreds, perhaps thousands of Americans, perhaps including Honorable Judge Perry's parents, protested the reading of To Kill a Mockingbird in publicly funded high schools because of the racially derogatory words. Certainly Honorable Judge Perry's mother and father, and very possibly His Honor, were disturbed to hear this prejudicial novel inserted into KC's defense.

Just Jayla
05-13-2010, 09:10 AM
The use of literary references is common when one is offering their philosophy-That was the theme of the hearing Tuesday, the philosophical beliefs that the defense holds, and impressing those beliefs on Judge Perry for him to transform to law.
Andrea Lyon said at one point that she would depart from her political views and argue a constructionist point of view. This reveals to me that much of what Andrea does in her framework is based not on strict adherence to law and precedent, rather she approaches the law as if it were a fluid thing that can be changed based on one's (or a group's) philosophy. Anchoring her ideas to the literary works and the expert opinions of educated minds (Ms. Rapaport) is a pseudo-foundation, because there may not be a real foundation in the law.
For Jose's part, he did no justice to the point of Harper Lee's novel-I could also note that he did not aim for the stars, choosing a college level, dripping-with-intellect book, he chose one that is read by 6th and 7th graders-But the book has its merits notwithstanding JB's bad take on the moral of the story.
If I were to give it my best shot at understanding JB's take, then KC would be the mockingbird, right? KC took in the life and the cirumstances around herself, she gave back to society and her family what she saw in it, and it is unfair to wrongly accuse her just because she is a victim of her (sexist) surroundings? Casey Anthony-A victim of circumstance. Okay...

ynotdivein
05-13-2010, 09:31 AM
I say, let's open the field to all media and include our favorite literature, both new and old, films, television and even cartoon strips should they inspire.

RSBM... I was quite inspired by some of the art analysis going on over here at a fascinating thread Harmony2 started. And maybe by the fact that I spent many long years teaching literature.

I think the underlying situation is indeed Shakespearian; the family power struggles (MacBeth, Lear), the jealous rage (Othello), the real and metaphorical murders of innocents (Othello, Hamlet, MacBeth... well yeah).

But the absurdity! The first thing that comes to mind is Stoppard's Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead (http://www.sparknotes.com/lit/rosencrantz). From the end of the play, emphases mine:

Rosencrantz: [Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are about to be hanged] That's it then, is it? We've done nothing wrong. We didn't harm anybody, did we?
Guildenstern: I can't remember.
Rosencrantz: All right, then. I don't care. I've had enough. To tell you the truth, I'm relieved.
Guildenstern: There must have been a moment at the beginning, where we could have said no. Somehow we missed it. Well, we'll know better next time.
The Player: Till then.

Pensfan
05-13-2010, 09:42 AM
But the absurdity! The first thing that comes to mind is Stoppard's Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead (http://www.sparknotes.com/lit/rosencrantz). From the end of the play, emphases mine:

Rosencrantz: [Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are about to be hanged] That's it then, is it? We've done nothing wrong. We didn't harm anybody, did we?
Guildenstern: I can't remember.
Rosencrantz: All right, then. I don't care. I've had enough. To tell you the truth, I'm relieved.
Guildenstern: There must have been a moment at the beginning, where we could have said no. Somehow we missed it. Well, we'll know better next time.
The Player: Till then.
Good comparison!

Do you believe that Baez inserted the novel, TKAM, into his argument because he believes he is Atticus Finch? He must defend KC as his morally duty even though he is mocked by society? He is a martyr and must accept the public scorn?

Why Honorable Judge Perry would believe that moving this trial to Miami (or anywhere for that matter) would reduce the prejudicial public scorn against Baez or KC is beyond my comprehension. IMO, it appears that Baez believes that the citizens of Miami have a lower intelligence quotient than those in Orange County. This in itself will fertilize public scorn for Baez and his client in Dade County.

logicalgirl
05-13-2010, 10:06 AM
That was a crazy reference to make. She either has not read the book or didn't understand it.

Those darn research students of hers - someone took a lazy shortcut or someone doesn't like her much and slipped that in just for fun.:waitasec:

LambChop
05-13-2010, 10:26 AM
I don't think KC's best friend, JL (Natural Born Killers) will get past the jury, either. jmo

Aedrys
05-13-2010, 10:53 AM
Well a dear elven friend of ours and former WS dignitary sent me this. I think it says it beautifully:

Here is my contribution for the STATE to reference the heady literary thread:

A person's a person, no matter how small. ~ Dr. Seuss ~

Okay, that almost had me bawling! Damn right you are, Dr. Seuss. *sigh* I hate how the A's and the defense want us to forget that Caylee WAS A PERSON!

Also reminds me of another Dr. Seuss story, "Oh the places you'll go." Caylee had such potential. My heart just aches right now.

btw, the students in my Comp II class know more about literature than this defense team. They would so get an F in my class.

krt
05-31-2011, 10:16 PM
The name "Anabelle" has been bugging me today and after the whirlwind of fictitious names that ica has spewed, I thought it would be interesting if we made a list of her imaginary friends to see if we can decipher where these names came from and if there is a common theme.

ica worked at Universal Studios.....Anabelle is a princess from Disney.

TexasLori
05-31-2011, 10:27 PM
When I hear Annabelle, I always think of the doll's name in the movie Gone Baby Gone. Juliette Lewis is an actress. Maybe a Hollywood theme?

Mountain_Kat
05-31-2011, 10:28 PM
Racquel Ferrell...Raquel Welch and either Will or Colin Fe(a)rrell?

mrsu
05-31-2011, 10:29 PM
Annabelle's Wish is also a popular children's movie for the holidays.

(1997)http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0133372/

gngr~snap
05-31-2011, 10:47 PM
Annabelle - Jodie Foster
Freaky Friday?
Silence of the Lambs?

Curious Me
05-31-2011, 10:50 PM
Dora the Explorer may have taught Caylee how to count in Spanish. Dora has black hair, but I'm not sure if she has a little white dog.

Juliet, Jules, Jeff, Annabelle, Samatha, Gloria..............ZANNY...........???

crucibelle
05-31-2011, 10:50 PM
Annabelle, Zachary, Jennifer Rosa, Raquel Ferrell, Juliette Lewis, Zenaida Fernandez Gonzalez, Samantha, Gloria, Jules.... and more? I'm not really seeing a common thread, here. I remember having imaginary friends.......... when I was three years old -- "Mr. Mouse" and "Bald Headed Lady" (don't ask, i was a strange child.. lol).

Ricki
05-31-2011, 11:01 PM
There is a map called Annabell in one of the Dora the Explorer adventures.
I was walking through a room at work today and a co-worker had the trial on. I walked in at the time JB was talking about ICA imaginary friends. Kids have imaginary friends that they talk to have tea parties with and interact with. KC did not have imaginary friends. She just told lies and inserted whatever name came to her mind. No imaginary friends. KC was not at Fusion, shopping or hopping in bed with here imaginary friends because there aren't any. Just made up names. KC will be needing imaginary friends since she has alienated all of the ones she once had.

LCoastMom
05-31-2011, 11:18 PM
Oh, me thinks you give ICA way too much credit! LOL.

- Zenieda Fernandez Gonzales ICA went to school with a Zenieda
- Samantha - went to school with a Samantha (who had the same last name as Zenieda)
- Gloria???
Somewhere out there we also heard ZFG father/stepfathers name???

- Juliet Lewis & Anabelle - actress and ?????

- Jeffrey Michael Hopkins & Zachary - she went to HS with Jeffrey D Hopkins and a relative in Ohio (or former friend?) of hers has a young boy named Zachary
- Jules ???

- Raquel Farrell - there is a RGonzales who she went to HS with
- Jennifer Rosa - there is a JRosa who she went to HS with (not Jennifer)

- Thomas Frank & Tom Manley - one (or both) of these names is similar to her former supervisor at Colorvision

I think we could find most of these names or a close variation in her HS Year Book...

LCoastMom
05-31-2011, 11:23 PM
Annabelle, Zachary, Jennifer Rosa, Raquel Ferrell, Juliette Lewis, Zenaida Fernandez Gonzalez, Samantha, Gloria, Jules.... and more? I'm not really seeing a common thread, here. I remember having imaginary friends.......... when I was three years old -- "Mr. Mouse" and "Bald Headed Lady" (don't ask, i was a strange child.. lol).

My oldest DD had Little House on the Prairie (from reruns) - Laura and Mary living with us for quite sometime. I had to buckle and unbuckle their seat-belts every time I put her in her car seat and she usually wanted cereal bowls set out for their breakfast. She was a very thoughtful toddler.