The Guest Historical Context

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The encounter depicted in "The Guest" takes place in "mid-October," on the eve of the outbreak of the Algerian War. The revolt, led by the National Liberation Front (FLN) began on October 31, 1954, and lasted until July, 1962, when Algeria achieved independence. There had been scattered uprisings and nationalist movements in Algeria since the first French colonial presence in Africa in 1830. But the nationalist movement had gained considerable strength after World War II. By the time the story takes place, the revolt was imminent, so when Balducci talks of war, he is describing a realistic fear. Likewise, the positions of "us" and "them" refer not just to cultural differences, but to the now clear battle line between settlers of European origin and the Arab rebels and sympathizers. While the events and characters in the story are fictional, Camus drew on his early experience as a court and...

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This section contains 604 words
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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.