Essay about The Hero of Albert Camus' The Guest

Essay about The Hero of Albert Camus' The Guest

Length: 1800 words (5.1 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Term Papers

Open Document

Essay Preview

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. In the midst of the vastness and solitude is Daru, the hero of an existentialist world who has stood up against the universe.

To be able to make sense of his characters, one must understand Camus’ philosophy of the world. As an atheist, Camus took a gloomy view of humankind’s condition. His list of favorite words, “the world, suffering, the earth, the mother, men, the desert, honor, misery, summer, the sea,” are closely tied with his understanding of life and the human condition, and nearly all of them appear in the story of The Guest (Bree 83). Profoundly aware of the “unbearable suffering of the world,” Camus believed every artist should make it her business to voice this through her art (Sprintzen vii). Although he scorned the idea of Christian hope, he wanted to show that people can take control of their own circumstances. The Guest presents Camus’ claim that humans can change their condition through acts and his belief in the power of the individual to create her own meaning in a cruel universe.

The story of The Guest tells about Daru, a lonely schoolteacher in Camus’ boyhood home of Algeria. Daru likes living in solitude, but he must learn to recognize that choices are...


... middle of paper ...


...on the plateau, more alone under the Algerian sunshine than when the story opened.

Works Cited

Bloom, Harold. Introduction. Albert Camus. Ed. Harold Bloom. New York: Chelsea House Publishers, 1989. 1-7.

Bree, Germaine. Camus. New Jersey: Rutgers University Press, 1972.

Camus, Albert. "The Guest." Trans. Justin O'Brien. The Longman Anthology of Short Fiction. Ed. Dana Gioia and R. S. Gwynn. New Yrk: Lamar University, 2001.

Guicharnaud, Jacques. "Man and His Acts: Jean-Paul Sartre and Albert Camus." Ed. Harold Bloom. Albert Camus. New York: Chelsea House Publishers, 1989. 27-41.

Hall, H. Gaston. " Aspects of the Absurd." Yale French Studies
25 (1960): 26-32. 28 Nov. 2005 sici=00440078%281960%3A25%3C26%3AAOTA%E2.0.CO%3B2-4>.

Sprintzen, David. Camus: A Critical Examination. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1988.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

The Schoolmaster in Albert Camus's The Guest Essay example

- 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]

Term Papers
720 words (2.1 pages)

Albert Camus ' The Guest Essay

- 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]

Term Papers
776 words (2.2 pages)

The Outsider And The Guest By Albert Camus Essay examples

- 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]

Term Papers
1030 words (2.9 pages)

Essay about Anarchism in Albert Camus' Short Story, The Guest

- 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]

Term Papers
1052 words (3 pages)

Power of the Mind Revealed in Albert Camus' The Guest Essay

- 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]

Term Papers
702 words (2 pages)

Essay about Futility of Human Existence Exposed in The Guest by Albert Camus

- “He who despairs of the human condition is a coward, but he who has hope for it is a fool” (Wyatt). As this quote by Albert Camus suggests, he was not a very optimistic writer. His gloomy look on life itself can be seen all too clearly in “The Guest”. The story itself deals with Camus’s idea of the futility of human existence: the only rational thing anyone can expect is death. 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....   [tags: The Guest Albert Camus]

Term Papers
2328 words (6.7 pages)

`` Nostalgia For Unity `` By Albert Camus Essays

- Everyone in the world is wandering around trying to find their place. Where do they fit in, what is their purpose, why are they here. People are always longing for answers, to understand what meaning their life truly has, and to figure out their tie to the universe. It is when people begin looking for one single truth that problems start to happen. Albert Camus believes that there is a conflict between what we want from the universe and what we will actually find in the universe. The “nostalgia for unity” is just people’s urge to be united with a purpose and make sense of the insane world going on around them....   [tags: Absurdism, The Myth of Sisyphus, Albert Camus]

Term Papers
1125 words (3.2 pages)

Exploring Free Will and Decision Making in Albert Camus' The Guest Essay

- 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]

Term Papers
2034 words (5.8 pages)

Albert Camus' The Myth of Sisyphus Essays

- Albert Camus' The Myth of Sisyphus Albert Camus' essay, 'The Myth Of Sisyphus' is an insightful analysis of the classic work, 'The Myth Of Sisyphus'. In some regards Camus' view of Sisyphus can seem quite accurate and in tune with the original text, but based on Camus' interpretation of the justness of Sisyphus' punishment, it is clear that the writer has some different ideas as well. Camus concludes that this punishment does not have the effect the Gods had intended, and ultimately the tragic hero must be seen as being 'happy'....   [tags: Papers Albert Camus Sisyphus]

Term Papers
810 words (2.3 pages)

Essay on Edgar Albert Guest Autobiogrpahy

- 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]

Free Essays
672 words (1.9 pages)