The Priest(Kafka Vs Camus)

The Outsider, written by Albert Camus, and The Trial, written by Franz
Kafka, are two books that have been critically acclaimed since the time
that they were published. There are critics that claim that The
Outsider is a dull book, and is not even a read-worthy book. Other
people claim that it shows us how society actually acts upon people who
do not want to be like the rest of society. The Trial falls under the
same kind of criticism; but both books, although written by different
writers in a different époque, fall under the same kind of genre:
Imprisoned Lives. In both The Outsider and The Trial there are many
people who influence the protagonists in a positive and in a negative
way, but none of those characters are as important as the priest. The
priest, being of the same profession in both books and trying to
accomplish the same kind of tasks, have a totally different effect on
the two protagonists. In The Outsider the priest changes the whole
attitude that Meursault has to life, whereas in The Trial the priest
tells Joseph K. how his life actually is.

"Why do you refuse to see me?" This question was asked by the priest
and was meant for Meursault. Normally, if a person is convicted to
death, he will see a priest before the sentence is executed. Meursault
did not do that. He profusely refused to see the priest and why should
he? He "did not believe in god." Meursault did not care, as he did not
care if his mother died, or if someone proposed marriage to him. This
of course went totally against the rules and ethics of society, which
cannot permit such kind of behaviour. But why does Camús characterize
Meursault like that? Why did he create such kind of an outsider to
society? Camús created such an outsider because he wanted to show
people how life actually is. Society does not accept people who do not
bend the truth a little and lie. Society wants to make life as easy as
can be, making up lies so that everything can run smoothly because truth
can hurt sometimes, and Camús knows that. Camús implements the priest
not just as another character in the novel, but as a person who wants to
tell Meursault how society expects him to behave. Meursault did not
want to know how he has to act to make the society happy, as a matter of
fact, the priest was "beginning to annoy" him. Meursault was not even
following what the priest said but rather gazed out of the cell into the
sky.

Camús wants to show us actually how uninterested Meursault is in the
priest. But all this is about to change because Camús adds an
unexpected twist. The priest mentions how even the hardest of criminals
stare at something at one point in their life and imagine a divine face
in it. Meursault did not see the face of Jesus Christ in it, but he saw
the face of Marie, the girl who proposed the marriage to him. But this
was the turning life in Meursault’s life. All of a sudden he starts to
care about things and take some interest in things, and that explains
the outrage he suddenly got against the priest. Meursault knows that he
his going to die, and he cannot accept that. His whole attitude all of
a sudden changed. Camús shows us that a person cannot go against
society and that society and the majority, be it good or bad, will
always win.

Kafka’s priest however was different. He did not tell to change Joseph
K.’s life but rather told Joseph K. how his life is and how unjust
society actually is. The setting that Kafka creates is pretty
phenomenal. The cathedral is dark and gloomy, only lighted by some oil
lamps which have a small illumination radius. "It is a rainy day",
which gives it an even more sad and depressing feeling. As time passes
by, the inside of the cathedral gets darker and darker, which creates a
sort of evil foreshadowing of what will happen at the end of the book.
Then the priest comes to the altar, which is humorous because there will
be no sermon right now. It is rainy, a weekday and nobody showed up at
the church. But that is the illusion Kafka wants to create. The priest
is not there to preach, he is there to talk to Joseph K. During the
talk the priest has with Joseph K., Kafka uses