Character Analyzation Of Albert Camus' "The Guest"

1108 words - 5 pages

Albert Camus' story "The Guest," takes place in the rough terrain of Algeria at the end of World War II. Algeria, under French control at the time, was very tense due to civil unrest of the Arabic people. The protagonist of the story is Daru, a solitary French schoolteacher who lives at a school on a remote plateau that has been deserted due to a freak snowstorm after eight months of drought. Two minor characters, a French policeman, Balducci, and an Arab prisoner arrive at the school. Balducci commands Daru to deliver the prisoner to nearby authorities but Daru has a conflict over the decision of whether or not to take the Arab to prison. In the end, Daru leaves the decision up to the ...view middle of the document...

But I won't hand him over" (106). "That man's stupid crime revolted him, but to hand him over was contrary to honor" (110). We can see that Daru is torn between what is actually right or wrong. He wants the Arab to run because he doesn't want to make the choice himself. "He was amazed at the unmixed joy he derived from the mere thought that the Arab might have fled and that he would be alone with no decision to make" (107). Daru's character is very dynamic. At first he refuses to bring the Arab to justice due to his existentialist beliefs. We can tell that Balducci looks down on the Arab while Daru, views him more humanely. Daru insists that the Arab doesn't need to be tied up. Balducci's character is static. He claims he doesn't like putting ropes on prisoners but concludes by saying "But you can't let them have their way" (106). Daru insulted Balducci by not wanting to comply with him. Later remembering Balducci's farewell, he reveals "He had hurt him, for he had sent him off in a way as if he didn't want to be associated with him," and "he felt strangely empty" (110). The Arab's character remains somewhat static throughout the story. The Arab got up several times the night before, as if almost wanting to escape, but came back in. With the task of delivering the prisoner at hand, Daru's final choice is to let the Arab choose his own fate, which was totally not what Balducci intended. The Arab does what he feels is right, or what he feels the governing society feels is right. He complies with French law, while ironically, Daru didn't. The presentation is also very important in supporting the central idea of this story. A major revolt against the French colonists was about to take place. French control and law was in question. Should one culture be able to dictate laws upon another culture just because it is temporarily the governing body? In the...

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