Papillon - First Notebook, The Descent into Hell Summary & Analysis

This Study Guide consists of approximately 28 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Papillon.
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The story opens in "The Assizes," with Papillion about to enter the courtroom for his trial. He is twenty-five but looks somewhat younger, is well-dressed and polite which prompts the jailers to allow him to walk around without handcuffs. Papillion notes that the star witness against him is a "walking tape recorder" named Polein. Papillion insists that he does not know Polein and holds to the idea that Polein was caught in some illegal action with the police agreeing to drop the charges against him in return for lies against Papillion—a claim supported by the fact that Polein is later arrested for drug trafficking. Papillion is accused of having murdered "a pimp and a stool pigeon" named Roland de Petit. Papillion is sentenced to life in prison at hard labor, escaping the death...

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This section contains 566 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Papillon Study Guide
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