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The Guest - Techniques

Uploaded by m_mccambridge on Oct 16, 2002

Imagine a world where people were free of consequence and could make their own choices without worry of backlash from society and other future implications. Would people make the right decisions? If they didn't, could they live with themselves for not doing so? These questions and more are answered in the story "The Guest" by Albert Camus.

This story focuses on Daru, a teacher in the French Colony of Algeria. Daru's friend, a gendarme, asks him to take an Arabic prisoner to the police authorities in a nearby town. Daru is now faced with a difficult choice, whether to bow down to the detested colonial authorities, or to allow the prisoner to decide his own destiny. Daru allows the prisoner to decide whether to go to the authorities, or to go to a tribe that will take him in, he decides to go to the authorities, perhaps feeling undeserved of the freedom bestowed up him.

One of the most important and essential components of this story was the setting. Albert Camus created an intimate, captivating setting for this story. The story took place mainly on a remote, bearin, snowy Algerian plateau. The author continually tells us how rugged and bearin the landscape is, and how harsh the climate is, often by using vivid imagery and connotations. This setting is meant to show how unimportant the world is, and is very successful in illustrating that. It was said of the setting that "bare rock covered three quarters of the region. Towns sprang up, flourished, then disappeared; men came by, loved one another or fought bitterly, then died. No one in this dessert, neither he, nor his guest mattered" (78). This is conveyed as a very existential setting, the reader gets the sense that nothing matters here, there are no consequences for the few residents of this vast, lonely land.

The development of characters in this story was done exceptionally well. By using the limited omniscient point of view, and concentrating on the thoughts and feelings of Daru, the reader was able to better understand how he felt about the situation he was put in and why he chose the way he did. Why did Daru want the prisoner to escape? Why did he decide to let the prisoner choose his own fate? It would have been much more difficult to answer these questions and account for Daru's kindness towards the prisoner if this story...

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Uploaded by:   m_mccambridge

Date:   10/16/2002

Category:   Literature

Length:   4 pages (933 words)

Views:   1578

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