The Guest Essay

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In the following excerpt, Griem examines the Arab's character in Camus's "The Guest," and contends that he is acting in accordance with his own cultural norms and codes.

Interpretations of Albert Camus's short story "The Guest" so far have had a tendency to make rather little of the prisoner, typically treating him as a primitive, brutalized, somewhat dull or even dim-witted character. In an influential early reading, Laurence Perrine helped establish this view, claiming that "his incomprehension . . . is emphasized" [Studies in Short Fiction, 1, 1963-64]. His comments in the Instructor's Manual accompanying his widely used textbook Story and Structure [1988] reinforce the view: "From the beginning the Arab is pictured as passive, uncomprehending, a little stupid." Nor does John K. Simon's reply to the original article in [Studies in Short Fiction] contradict this general view when he states, for example, "Having always lived under French law and authority, with no...

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This section contains 1,463 words
(approx. 4 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Guest Study Guide
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Short Stories for Students
The Guest from Short Stories for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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