The Guest Essay

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In the following excerpt, which originally appeared in the French Review in February 1973, Fortier assesses the symbolic value of Camus's descriptions of nature in "The Guest."

Camus situates this short story in the North African desert at a time when revolutionary violence is about to break out. There are three characters: the schoolmaster Daru, a policeman, and an Arab. Because of the extraordinary circumstances, the policeman hands the Arab prisoner over to Daru, telling him that he is to take the prisoner to the jail in the neighboring town. Finding this task odious, Daru takes the prisoner to a crossroads, gives him food and money, then leaves him, after showing him the road that leads to prison, and the one that will permit him to escape. This gesture is misunderstood by the Arab, who goes off docilely to prison, and by his compatriots who announce that they will...

(read more from the Critical Essay #4 section)

This section contains 3,281 words
(approx. 9 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.