The Guest by Camus

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There are very few people who would argue that life is fair. Some might say that this unfairness comes from God's wrath at Adam's rebellion, some say it's the fact that human beings are so greedy that no matter what happens to them they believe it underwhelming compared to what they deserve. Albert Camus, in The Guest, proposes that there is a free choice that goes along with life and if the result seems unfair, it is because humans are out of synch with each other.

Daru, the schoolmaster that The Guest surrounds, is a French colonist in Algeria, at a time when France was attempting to phase out Arab influence and make Algeria and extension of its own country. The Arab nationalists were seen as barbarians while the French saw themselves as pedagogues, come to save these savages from themselves. While Daru himself seems neutral to this struggle, he serves as a teacher to local students about France, drawing "on the blackboard the three rivers of France, drawn with four different colored chalks..."

The unnamed Arab represents the savage, unable to accustom himself to the raiding countries laws and unable to understand how they can not uphold his own. He is a murderer and Daru is asked to transport him as a prisoner to the local prison to be punished. The reader is told very little about his crime, other then that it was "A family squabble, I think". When Daru asks him why he killed the man, the Arab responds simply "He ran away. I ran after him." While this could represent a cold-bloodedness, its more likely to mean that that is just how things are done in the village. The man tried to steal his grain and ran away, and Daru ran after him and slit his throat. There is nothing more to it then that. When asked if he is sorry, the Arab offers further proof that he did nothing wrong in his culture. "The Arab stared at him openmouthed.". These men are from two different cultures, neither of which embraces or understands the other. Daru is quick to show anger when...
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