The Case for the Defense

by Graham Greene

Start Free Trial

In the story "The Case for the Defence" there was a statement "That extraordinary day had an extraordinary end." Examine the significance of the day's extraordinary nature.

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

The significance of the day's extraordinary nature was that there is only doubt and confusion left after a day that started off with so much certainty.  The exposition of the narrative suggests that the trial will have a definite outcome, the evidence is extraordinarily strong against the defendant, and there is even a clear understanding that the Mr. Adams that stands accused will be found guilty.  There is a strength and almost faith in conviction.  This is something in which the day begins.  The course of the trial and the events that follow the trial bring about its exact opposite.  There is complete uncertainty about whether Mr. Adams committed the crime.  There is total uncertainty about whether or not the right Mr. Adams stood accused in the first place.  There is sheer uncertainty about which Mr. Adams died by the bus.  Mrs. Salmon is left with total uncertainty about what she saw that led her to be a witness and what she saw in terms of the bus hitting one of the Adams brothers.  It is here where the "extraordinary day and an extraordinary end."  The significance of this undermines the very foundation of the individual.  That which is perceived to be solid and consisting of total bedrock can end up becoming eroded and something reflective of the insecurity and doubt that seems to be intrinsic to what it means to be a human being.  In the final analysis, this is where the significance of the extraordinary nature of the day lies. There in only insecurity around human beings.  Doubt seems to be the only certainty within human consciousness and the day brings this out in an extraordinary manner.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team