The guest albert camus sparknotes. The Guest Part Summaries 2022-10-03

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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 Study Guide

the guest albert camus sparknotes

The question of his motives arises twice. However, the French way of handling the situation did not find support with Camus either. He knows his benefactor will be in trouble with the authorities if he, the Arab, escapes. The first example is from real life. Then Jeremiah Donovan, Bonaparte's and Noble's superior, brings orders that Belcher and Hawkins are to be shot in retaliation for the executions of Irish prisoners by the English. Because he does not understand French, the Arab constructs a narrative of his own by the way in which he interprets the tone of voice and gestures of the two Europeans who hold him prisoner. He looks over his shoulder more than once.

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The Guest (short story)

the guest albert camus sparknotes

He worked on the story during the years leading up to the Algerian War that broke out in 1954. But apprehension urges him to look back. East, where Daru is expected to transport the prisoner, is Tinguit. If there is one continuous thread in the commentaries on Camus's story it is the constant, virtually unexamined, assumption that the Arab prisoner has committed a foul murder and is on the outer boundaries of the human, whether he is vicious or mad or deeply stupid. Dans la chambre, l'instituteur lui montra une chaise prĂšs de la table, sous la fenĂȘtre. Exiles and Strangers: A Reading of Camus's Exile and the Kingdom.

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The Guest Part Summaries

the guest albert camus sparknotes

Thus, he is annoyed when Balducci brings him an Arab prisoner to deliver to authorities. Appearing after the geographical description which identifies this unnamed region for us as a place other than France, the map and its four colors contrasts with the cold, inhospitable landscape surrounding Daru's dwelling. Moreover, as Showalter has remarked, the ambiguity is compounded because Daru, a Frenchman, is a guest in the Arab's land, thus reversing their roles of guest and host. Ironically, these characteristics of the two prisoners—silence, submissiveness, tractability, and resignation—do not make it any easier for the protagonists to make their decisions or do their jobs. Belcher makes no attempt to escape or fight on the way to his fate, nor does he argue with his captors, as Hawkins does, about the inhumaneness of his execution.

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What is the moral to the story "The Guest"?

the guest albert camus sparknotes

Daru now shows the Arab prisoner hospitality. The prisoner, however, has simply gone outside to relieve himself, and he soon returns to bed. He does not say Here's some tea; help yourselves. He decries all philosophies that evade absurd freedom 122 and accept instead an illusional and delusional Christian and atheistic existential freedom. If he goes south, he can hide with the nomads.


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The Guest, Albert Camus

the guest albert camus sparknotes

Exile is another major theme; thrust into an untenable situation despite his reservations, Daru is forced to make an impossible moral choice, and he finds himself in exile in his own home. 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. The philosophical and political contexts of the time are deftly fused in this short story. Gale Cengage 2005 eNotes. However, he was placed upon the plateau where he would be—a schoolmaster. Julien eats with the leper; Daru offers the Arab a meal and shares it with him, beyond any need or expectation. The first is Daru's refusal to hand the Arab over to the authorities.

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The Guest

the guest albert camus sparknotes

Another interesting language pattern exists in Camus's use of the intimate tu in both Daru's remarks to the prisoner and in the prisoner's remarks to Daru. Notions of hospitality, though common to many cultures, are especially developed in Arab nations and most of all among the nomads. In the beginning, Daru was alone but thought of himself as a lord of his environment. Balducci is presumably instructed by his superior officers to hand the Arab prisoner over to Daru who is to take him to Tinguit. See also Black and LĂ©ger for commentaries on the ambivalence of the ending. But in fact the Arab is still there, and so is Daru's moral dilemma.

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The Guest Summary

the guest albert camus sparknotes

Maurice Sheehy New York: Alfred A. Yet if the Arab did understand, and did choose freedom, would the ending be that different? Other sources that I have checked and found not relevant to my purposes include Cervo, Ellison, and McDermott. He also seems to feel that men are isolated. Yet, intermingled, there is another dimension to the encounter. The change from hostility to intimacy creates a moral dilemma in Daru, for now he must make the painful choice between duty—delivering the Arab to police headquarters in Tinguit—and brotherhood—allowing the Arab his freedom. Falteringly, Daru moves away from the Arab and leaves him to walk the road to confinement rather than freedom.

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The Guest Plot Summary

the guest albert camus sparknotes

Daru can be called both the guest and the host. One of them is the gendarme Balducci while the other is an Arab prisoner. To the south is the desert. True hospitality, one could argue, requires two active participants. Daru fails in this regard. L'apparition d'autrui dans le monde correspond donc Ă  un glissement figĂ© de tout l'univers, Ă  une dĂ©centration du monde qui mine par en dessous la centralisation que j'opĂšre dans le mĂȘme temps.


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The Guest by Albert Camus: Setting & Analysis

the guest albert camus sparknotes

And of course, the ending of the story itself is ironic, whereby Daru is made responsible by unknown figures for a choice he could never bring himself to make. Daru tries to take back a bit of control by turning the choice over to the prisoner. Cite this page as follows: "The Guest - Michael L. While his influence has never truly gone away in France, in his native Algeria, Camus suffers far more scrutiny because according to Smithsonian contributor, Joshua Hammer, Camus "represents an Algeria that essentially is banished from the map, an Algeria of the pieds-noirs. L'absurde est l'état métaphysique de l'homme conscient.

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