The guest albert camus sparknotes. The Guest Study Guide 2022-12-29
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The Guest is a short story written by Albert Camus, a French philosopher and writer known for his works on absurdism and the human condition. The story tells the tale of a schoolteacher named Daru who is tasked with escorting an Arab prisoner, referred to as the "guest," to the authorities in a nearby town. Along the way, Daru is faced with the moral dilemma of whether to follow orders and deliver the prisoner, or to defy authority and let the prisoner go free.
One of the key themes in The Guest is the concept of choice and its consequences. Daru is faced with a choice between two conflicting duties: his duty to the law and his duty to his own moral code. He must decide whether to follow orders and betray his own sense of justice, or to follow his conscience and risk the consequences. This tension is a common theme in Camus' work, as he believed that the human condition is characterized by the inability to escape from making choices and the resulting consequences.
Another theme in The Guest is the idea of isolation and loneliness. Daru is a solitary figure, living alone in a remote schoolhouse in the desert. He is removed from the rest of society, and his only interaction is with the Arab prisoner, who is also isolated and alone. This sense of isolation is a common theme in Camus' work, as he believed that the human condition is characterized by a feeling of alienation and disconnection from others.
The Guest also touches on the theme of colonialism and the exploitation of the Arab people by the French authorities. The Arab prisoner is depicted as a victim of colonialism, and Daru is torn between his duty to the authorities and his sense of compassion for the prisoner. This theme is a reflection of Camus' own experiences living in Algeria during the height of French colonial rule.
Overall, The Guest is a thought-provoking tale that explores the complex relationship between duty, conscience, and morality. Through the character of Daru, Camus raises important questions about the human condition and the choices that we must make in life.
The Guest Summary
In the abstract, the notion of ending seems unproblematic enough, but in practice, real endings often pose problems for readers. Next day he will have a long trek, so he is supplied with dates and rusks. Daru isn't the only one who exhibits interesting and ironic behavior. The questions of whether the Arab prisoner feels guilty, is surprised by Daru's treatment of him, or hopes for friendship are also not answered. L'apparition d'autrui dans le monde correspond donc à un glissement figé de tout l'univers, à une décentration du monde qui mine par en dessous la centralisation que j'opère dans le même temps. When Daru is again certain they are alone, he gives the Arab prisoner the packet of food as well as a thousand francs. Nor does John K.
Daru, a schoolmaster, is charged with transporting an Arab prisoner to the town of Tinguit after a severe blizzard. Is it possible for individuals to transcend the confines of cultural and judicial systems which define and often violate alterity? Daru is thus still left with making the moral decision of what to do with the Arab. For a differing view of honour, see Sterling, p. In this symbol, the desert represents the Arabs and the plateau represents the French. New York: Pantheon, 1978. There are, then, two hands in the story that write with care, one skilled, the other untutored, and both hands write words which function within the narrative as possible death sentences. The host, in order to fulfill his sacred obligations—provide food, shelter, protection—chooses to cross an established boundary.
Dans ce désert, personne, ni lui ni son hôte n'étaient rien. This is part of the story's subtext. One of them is the gendarme Balducci while the other is an Arab prisoner. For him, the story is over. .
If Camus's openness to Arab culture in general is considerable, his attitude to the Bedouins in particular is little short of idealization. In a Prague restaurant the author is obliged to sit with a girl whom the waiter has summoned to translate. Works Cited Camus, Albert. Cite this page as follows: "The Guest - Moishe Black essay date spring 1989 " Short Story Criticism Ed. By the age of 40, Yvars has ceased to enjoy looking at the sea during his morning bicycle ride to work. Actuelles I, Actuelles III, L'Envers et l'endroit, Noces, L'Eté and Les Sources du terrorisme are all in vol. The next morning, Daru takes the Arab man away from the house, and hands over some food and a thousand francs to him.
New York: Viking, 1970. As seen in Le Mythe de Sisyphe, the change from illusion to disillusion characterizes the journey to consciousness of the absurd, the human condition. Indeed, it is not insignificant that the Arab is narratively defined by both his legal and his ethnic status. His sense of belonging and control is such that he fears no repercussions—a point to be remembered when Daru learns the Arab's decision at the end—from his contravening, hence superseding, custom and law, repercussions that jeopardize his solidarity with the colonialists and his friend. Camus was careful to avoid worsening the tensions between the French and Arab Algerians through the portrayal of his characters, and as a result the story went through multiple revisions. Now he does not have to face the question of what to do with his charge. Commentators also view Daru as representative of a repressive colonial regime who is destined to be replaced by indigenous authority through violence.
Albert Camus: Les Extrêmes et l'équilibre. Storey essay date fall 1986 " Short Story Criticism Ed. See also Black and Léger for commentaries on the ambivalence of the ending. Yet if the Arab did understand, and did choose freedom, would the ending be that different? He explains that the man has been accused of the murder of his cousin and asks Daru to keep the prisoner overnight and deliver him to the police headquarters in Tinguit the next day. But first of all, protection. You will pay for this.
Through the perpetual movement of his narrative stance, Camus can be seen to be in search of a means of ethical response. The prisoner, following his moral code, chooses to face his trial; yet he will most certainly not be judged on the basis of that code, but must expect lifetime imprisonment or, worse, a death sentence. This emphasis on the host as servant is sustained. The second date is today's date — the date you are citing the material. He is, like his comrades, humiliated by the take-it-or-leave-it attitude and behavior of his superior, by his inability to control his own destiny. But this seems an inappropriate description. Daru welcomes the two persons and feeds them tea.
Justin O'Brien New York: Alfred A. If he feels no remorse for his crime, it is because its inexplicable spontaneity has destroyed all active sense of a personal, willed participation. One such incident proves that the Arab isn't going to make any attempt to avoid his punishment. Works Cited Black, Moishe. We feel his great anguish first, and only then do we reflect upon the story's existential implications, that is, what it says about the human condition generally. Daru fails in this regard.
Cite this page as follows: "The Guest - D. Even as Hawkins lies dying and he, himself, is about to be shot, Belcher remains submissive, tractable and uncomplaining, although more talkative. Camus saw the world as an illogical place, and believed that people find meaning through their freedom to choose despite the absurdity that surrounds them. The prisoner's cousin was killed with a billhook over some owed grain. The citation above will include either 2 or 3 dates.
Yet when he does, his gaze rests on something that he cannot comprehend or contain. The Cambridge Companion to Camus. He supplies the prisoner with a thousand francs and some food and tells him if he goes east, he can turn himself in to the police in Tinguit. The third act begins the next morning when Daru leads the Arab prisoner on the road to Tinguit. These words do not describe custom, they describe prescription. In one version that was actually written but not published, Balducci informs Daru—in awful detail—that the prisoner has killed not only his cousin but also the cousin's young son. Daru will pay, but his eventual death is presented to us not so much as an injustice as a signal of his imminent transformation.