Camus’s underlying philosophy is revealed from the very beginning of the story. The French title, “L’hote”, translates to mean both “guest” and “host” simultaneously, which implies that the mutually respectful relationship between the main characters in the story should be applied to mankind everywhere. The story begins on an auspicious note with the introduction of Daru, a teacher who chooses to work in an isolated school in the Algerian desert to embrace an ascetic life. Daru is content with a simplistic, rural lifestyle. Undoubtedly, Camus wrote this story out of affection for his teacher, Jean Grenier. Without Grenier, Camus would never have developed his political and philosophical ideas. In the story, Daru is an idealistic teacher who believes in just causes and free will, and is most likely a representation of Camus’s past teachers.
In contrast, a soldier in the French army named Balducci first appears with an Arab prisoner trailing behind him. When Balducci orders Daru to lead the prisoner to the Tinguit jail, a clear distinction between their attitudes is revealed. Balducci is one to follow his orders, neither questioning nor disapproving of any decision by the authorities. Daru, on the other hand, is torn by his own conscience; he will be sentencing a man to his death if he follows orders.
The Arab prisoner appears to be reserved; it see...
... middle of paper ...
...clysmic description of a naïve soldier almost mirrors Daru’s situation in “The Guest". Daru realizes in the end what Billy has known all along: life has no beginning, no end, no purpose; his response to any incident, bad or good, is “So it goes...” (Vonnegut).
Modern writers have been profoundly affected by Camus’s writings, even forty years after he died in a car crash. Today, Camus is still highly praised for the works that he deemed "unworthy" of a Nobel Prize. Diana Festa-McCormick comments that “The Guest” "remains one of the most widely read and anthologized…a quarter of the century after the Algerian war and the fierce debates that it aroused in the French intelligentsia, it stands as one of the most deeply touching literary pieces on that war” (Knapp). Camus's legacy is admired by both Arabs and French, a goal he would have been overjoyed to see realized.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- The Hero of Albert Camus' The Guest Although some have called Albert Camus an existentialist, he never consented to the label. Still, he saw many things the way an existentialist sees them. Camus talks of humanity’s aloneness in the universe and their complete freedom and responsibility for their own lives, themes he pulls together with his idea of the absurd. Camus’ story The Guest powerfully expresses his thought on these prevailing ideas by his story and descriptions of an open landscape and solitary schoolhouse.... [tags: Albert Camus The Guest]
1800 words (5.1 pages)
- In Albert Camus's "The Guest," an idealistic schoolmaster, Daru, is forced to make many unsettling decisions when ordered to deliver an Arab prisoner to higher authorities in Tinguit. From the beginning, after the prisoner is transferred into his custody, Daru chooses to treat him as a guest rather than a prisoner. Also, Daru decides not to cast judgment on the Arab for the crime of killing his cousin. Lastly, Daru chooses not to play God and assume the awesome responsibility of deciding another man's fate.... [tags: The Guest by Albert Camus]
720 words (2.1 pages)
- Anarchism in Albert Camus' Short Story, "The Guest" [[ "The Guest" is a small story which can usually be found in a compilation of Camus' works or in a World Literature anthology. Here, I have used the translation of "The Guest" found in the Norton Anthology of World Literature, 5th Edition. Since this is a critical essay on a particular story, it assumes that the reader has read the story. I do not believe that it will be nonsensical if you have not read "The Guest" yet, but I do encourage you to read the story so the ideas I put forth can be understood better in their context.... [tags: Albert Camus The Guest]
1052 words (3 pages)
- I was born in Birmingham, England, on the night of August 20, 1881. The American people refer to me as the 'poet of the people'. Who am I. I am Edgar Albert Guest, one of the mosst popular, inspirational poets of the twentieth century. Many people may remember me not only by my 'poet of the people' title, but also by my 4th volume of poetry, A Heap O'Livin, which sold over a million copies in 1916. I never could of done it without my family, hard work, and a creative mind. I was born to Edwin and Julia Wayne Guest in England.... [tags: Edgar Albert Guest]
672 words (1.9 pages)
- Power of the Mind Revealed in Albert Camus' “The Guest” In “The Guest”, a short story written by Albert Camus, Camus uses his views on existentialism to define the characters’ values. Camus’ effective use of descriptive words and individual thoughts and actions allows the reader to understand and sympathize with the characters’ judgments of one another, predominantly pertaining to the characters Daru and the Arab. Daru’s responses to the Arab and his decisions, Camus’ description of the Arab, and the Arab’s respect for Daru, prove that there is a basic goodness in humans, allowing them to accept responsibility and consequences for their acts of free will.... [tags: Albert Camus The Guest]
702 words (2 pages)
- Albert Camus’ The Guest revolves around the notions of moral justification and solitude with the underlying themes of absurdism and nihilism. Camus personifies absurdism through the protagonist, Daru–whether Daru makes the decision to release the prisoner to freedom or delivers the Arab prisoner into prison does not matter, since Daru allows the prisoner to choose, and the prisoner chooses to be imprisoned. There is also a sense of uncertainty of moral justification–how is one justified in one’s choice of action and on what scale is the justification based on, which is essentially the foundation of Daru’s dilemma.... [tags: Albert Camus, Absurdism, Existentialism]
776 words (2.2 pages)
- Humans have the freedom to think, feel, say and act however they want. However, this freedom is constrained by societal norms. In other words, the power to condone (or not) our thoughts, feelings, words and actions lies within the hands of society. Although humans are constrained by the rules society have set, there are a select few who choose to defy it. In both The Outsider and The Guest, Albert Camus portrays the paradoxical struggle against the inescapability of human judgement, and ultimately the condemnation of the individuals who chooses to differ from the norm.... [tags: Sociology, Individualism, Albert Camus, Mores]
1030 words (2.9 pages)
- Exploring Free Will and Decision Making in Albert Camus' short story "The Guest," In Albert Camus' short story "The Guest," Camus raises numerous philosophical questions. These are: does man have free will?, are an individual's decisions affected by what society demands, expects, neither, or both?, and finally, how does moral and social obligation affect decision making. Balducci brings the Arab to Daru's door, informing Daru that "I have an order to deliver the prisoner and I'm doing so," (90) thus freeing Balducci of the responsibility over wherever the Arab ultimately ended up.... [tags: The Guest Essays]
2034 words (5.8 pages)
- Sometimes reading fiction not only makes us pleasure but also brings many knowledge about history and philosophy of life. ‘The Guest’ by the French writer Albert Camus is a short story and reflects the political situation in French North Africa in 1950s. According to this story, we know the issues between the France and the Arab in Algeria, and the protagonist, Daru, refuses to take sides in the colonial conflict in Algeria. This is not a boring story, because Camus uses a suspenseful way to show the character, conflicts and symbol and irony.... [tags: North Africa, Politics, Algeria]
615 words (1.8 pages)
- French author and playwright Albert Camus once said, “He who despairs over an event is a coward, but he who holds hope for the human condition is a fool.” In the The Stranger and The Guest this philosophy is expanded on by demonstrating how those who do not conform to society are isolated, and portrayed as a threat to society because of their unique beliefs. The most prominent similarity among Daru and Meursault is that they are not able to accept the abstract morals of society, and prefer isolation.... [tags: Character Analysis, Daru, Meursault ]
1889 words (5.4 pages)