I did some more research on court cases just to get a general idea on how it works and I also started reading Kafka’s “The Trial”.
I’ve researched terms and/or sayings with the words “just” or “justice” in them:
- just as well, just so, just a minute, just deserts, just for the hell of it, not just another pretty face, just for the record, just in case, just in time
- justice day/Day of Judgement, bring them to justice, poetic justice, Lady Justice.
The symbolism of Lady Justice: a blindfolded woman with a scale in one hand and a sword in the other. The scales is a symbol of balance, the blindfold = impartiality, sword = authority.
Order of a court case:
- crime committed.
- person is arrested
- Plead guilty or not guilty
- settlement or
- The Trial. Evidence is presented to determine if the defendant is guilty beyond reasonable doubt.
- sentencing: determined through jury and/or judge
- accused can appeal
Other jargon: if person lays a false claim under oath, he or she can be charged with perjury; jury’s verdict, cross examination, hostile witness, the accused, affidavit, bail, insanity plea, juvenile/minor, double jeopardy (protection of defendant; can’t be charged with same crime twice).
What kind of story is it? I want it to be somewhat absurd like a ‘farce’.
A farce is a comic dramatic work using buffoonery and horseplay. It has crude characterizations and ludicrous improbable situations. A farce describes an event that is absurd and/or disorganized. The characters are deliberately exaggerated.
Examples of famous farces:
- John Cleese in Fawlty Towers and Monty Python.
- Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales
- Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of being Earnest
- William Shakespeare’s The Comedy of Errors
- ‘Allo! ‘Allo!
- Freaky Friday
- Arsenic and old lace. I fondly remember the character Teddy who believes he is President F. D. Roosevelt and how he announces his presence with a bugle.
- Mrs Brown’s Boys
- My Boetie se boetie se baba ?
How to write a perfect farce: According to John Cleese, the absurd situations must be believable. It must read like clockwork: writer winds it up with credible premises and let’s it unwind with inevitable but startling logic. The characters are usually stereotyped. Sex and death are common themes.
So, if I do decide to write a farce maybe older characters would be more appropriate.
I also wanted to research how a trial is described in some absurd texts, because I’m thinking of including one in my story.
In Alice in Wonderland Chapter 11: Who stole the tarts? Caroll uses the following words/jargon: court, judge, jurors, herald (messenger) reads accusation, witness, testimony, jury box, verdict.
I’m thinking perhaps I should read Kafka’s The Trial. It describes a legal process but doesn’t process anything.