The existentialist movement Assignment Paper

The existentialist movement

• Discussion Board 5.2: The Guest
Initial post of 300 words / two replies of 100 words each.

The existentialist movement
The existentialist movement


Respond to Alb

ert Camus’ “The Guest.” You may use the following prompts to help you get started, or you may explore and interpretation of your own choosing. Remember to use textual evidence to support your claims and interpretations.

The existentialist movement Assignment Paper


1. Albert Camus, along with Jean-Paul Sartre, was a central figure in the existentialist movement. What is existentialism and how might “The Guest” be an example of an existential crisis?

2. Was Daru’s decision to let The Arab choose his own destiny a heroic or cowardly decision? What is the ultimate result of this decision? What lesson or theme do you think Camus is trying to communicate through this encounter?

• “The Guest” by Albert Camus
Attached Files:
o the guest by albert camus.pdf (92.391 KB)
Camus, Albert. “The Guest.” Continental Short Stories. Translated by Justin O’Brien. Edward Mitchell and Rainer Schulte, eds. W W Norton & Co Inc (Np) 1969. Print.

The Guest
by Albert Camus. Translated by Justin O’Brien.

The schoolmaster was watching the two men climb toward him. One was on
horseback, the other on foot. They had not yet tackled the abrupt rise leading to the
schoolhouse built on the hillside. They were toiling onward, making slow progress in the
snow, among the stones, on the vast expanse oft he high, deserted plateau. From time to
time the horse stumbled. Without hearing anything yet, he could see the breath issuing
from the horses nostrils. One of the men, at least, knew the region. They were following
the trail although it had disappeared days ago under a layer of dirty white snow. The
schoolmaster calculated that it would take them half an hour to get onto the hill. It was
cold; he went back into the school to get a sweater.

He crossed the empty, frigid classroom. On the blackboard the four rivers of France,
1 drawn with four different colored chalks, had been flowing toward their estuaries for
the past three days. Snow had suddenly fallen in mid-October after eight months of
drought without the transition of rain, and the twenty pupils, more or less, who lived in
the villages scattered over the plateau had stopped coming. With fair weather they would
return. Daru now heated only the single room that was lodging, adjoining the classroom
and giving also onto the plateau to the east. Like the class cows, his window looked to the
south too. On that side the school was a few kilometers from the point where the plateau
began to slope toward the south. In clear weather could be seen the purple mass of the
mountain range where the gap opened onto the desert.

The existentialist movement Assignment Paper

Somewhat warmed, Daru returned to the window from which he had first seen the
two men. They were no longer visible. Hence they must have tackled the rise. The sky
was not so dark, for the snow had stopped falling during the night. The morning had
opened with a dirty light which had scarcely become brighter as the ceiling of clouds
lifted. At two in the after- noon it seemed as if the day were merely beginning. But still
this was better than those three days when the thick snow was falling amidst unbroken
darkness with little gusts of wind that rattled the double door of the class- room. Then
Daru had spent long hours in his room, leaving it only to go to the shed and feed the
chickens or get some coal. Fortunately the delivery truck from Tadjid, the nearest village
to the north, had brought his supplies two days before the blizzard. It would return in
forty-eight hours.

Besides, he had enough to resist a siege, for the little room was cluttered with bags of
wheat that the administration left as a stock to distribute to those of his pupils whose
families had suffered from the drought. Actually they had all been victims because they
were all poor. Every day Daru would distribute a ration to the children. They had missed
it, he knew, during these bad days. Possibly one of the fathers would come this afternoon
and he could supply them with grain. It was just a matter of carrying them over to the
next harvest. Now shiploads of wheat were arriving from France and the worst was over.
But it would be hard to forget that poverty, that army of ragged ghosts wandering in the
sunlight, the plateaus burned to a cinder month after month, the earth shriveled up little
by little, literally scorched, every stone bursting into dust under one’s foot. The sheep had
died then by thousands and even a few men, here and there, sometimes without anyone’s

In contrast with such poverty, he who lived almost like a monk in his remote
schoolhouse, nonetheless satisfied with the little he had and with the rough life, had felt
like a lord with his whitewashed walls, his narrow couch, his unpainted shelves, his well,
and his weekly provision of water and food. And suddenly this snow, without warning,
without the foretaste of rain. This is the way the region was, cruel to live in, even without
men–who didn’t help matters either. But Daru had been born here Everywhere else, he
felt exiled.

The existentialist movement Assignment Paper

He stepped out onto the terrace in front of the schoolhouse. The two men were now
halfway up the slope. He recognized the horseman as Balducci the old gendarme he had
known for a long time. Balducci was holding on the end of a rope an Arab who was
walking behind him with hands bound and head lowered. The gendarme waved a greeting
to which Daru did not reply, lost as he was in contemplation of the Arab dressed in a
faded blue jellaba, 2 his feet in sandals but covered with socks of heavy raw wool, his
head surmounted by a narrow, short cheche. They were approaching. Balducci was
holding back his horse in order not to hurt the Arab, and the group was advancing slowly.

Within earshot, Balducci shouted: “One hour to do the three kilometers from El
Ameur!” Daru did not answer. Short and square in his thick sweater he watched them
climb. Not once had the Arab raised his head. “Hello,” said Daru when they got up onto
the terrace. “Come in and warm up.” Balducci painfully got down from his horse without
letting go the rope. From under his bristling mustache he smiled at the schoolmaster. His
little dark eyes, deep-set under a tanned forehead, and his mouth surrounded with
wrinkles made him look attentive and studious. Daru took the bridle ]led the horse to the
shed, and came back to the two men, who were now waiting for him in the school. He led
them into his room “I am going to heat up the classroom,” he said. “We’ll be more
comfortable there.” When he entered the room again, Balducci was on the couch. He had
undone the rope tying him to the Arab, who had squashed near the stove. His hands still
bound, the cheche pushed back on his head, he was looking toward the window. At first
Daru noticed only his huge lips, fat, smooth, almost Negroid; yet his nose was straight,
his eyes were dark and full of fever. The cheche revealed an obstinate forehead and,
under the weathered skin now rather discolored by the cold, the whole face had a restless
and rebellious look that struck Daru when the Arab, turning his face toward him, looked
him straight in the eyes. “Go into the other room,” said the schoolmaster’ “and I’ll make
you some mint tea.” ”Thanks,” Balducci said. “what a chore! How I long for retirement.”
And addressing his prisoner in Arabic: “Come on, you.” The Arab got up and, slowly,
holding his bound wrists in front of him, went into the classroom.

The existentialist movement Assignment Paper

With the tea, Daru brought a chair. But Balducci was already enthroned on the nearest
pupil’s desk and the Arab had squatted against the teacher’s platform facing the stove,
which stood between the desk and the window. When he held out the glass of tea to the
prisoner, Daru hesitated at the sight of his bound hands. “He might perhaps be untied.”
“Sure,” said Balducci. “That was for the trip.” He started to get to his feet. But Daru,
setting the glass on the floor, had knelt beside the Arab. Without saying anything, the
Arab watched him with his feverish eyes. Once his hands were free, he rubbed his
swollen wrists against each other, took the glass of tea, and sucked up the burning liquid
in swift little sips.

“Good,” said Daru. “And where are you headed?”
Balducci withdrew his mustache from the tea. “Here, Son.”
“Odd pupils! And you’re spending the night?”
“No. I’m going back to El Ameur. And you will deliver this fellow to Tinguit. He is
expected at police headquarters.”
Balducci was looking at Daru with a friendly little smile.
“What’s this story?” asked the schoolmaster. “Are you pulling my leg?”
“No, son. Those are the orders.”
“The orders? I’m not . . .” Daru hesitated, not wanting to hurt the old Corsican. 3
“I mean, that’s not my job.” “What! What’s the meaning of that? In wartime people do
all kinds of jobs.”
“Then I’ll wait for the declaration of war!”
Balducci nodded.
“O. K. But the orders exist and they concern you too. Things are brewing, it appears.
There is talk of a forthcoming revolt. We are mobilized,in away.
Daru still had his obstinate look.

Listen, Son,” Balducci said. “I like you and you must understand. There’s only a
dozen of us at El Ameur to patrol throughout the whole territory of a small department 4
and I must get back in a hurry. I was told to hand this guy over to you and return without
delay. He couldn’t be kept there. His village was beginning to stir; they wanted to take
him back. You must take him to Tinguit tomorrow before the day is over. Twenty
kilometers shouldn’t faze a husky fellow like you. After that, all will be over. You’ll come
back to your pupils and your comfortable life.”

Behind the wall the horse could be heard snorting and pawing the earth. Daru was
looking out the window. Decidedly, the weather was clearing and the light was increasing
over the snowy plateau. When all the snow had melted, the sun would take over again
and once more would burn the fields of stone. For days, still, the unchanging sky would
shed its dry light on the solitary expanse where nothing had any connection with man.
“After all,” he said, turning around toward Balducci, “what did he do?” And, before
the gendarme had opened his mouth, he asked: “Does he speak French?”
“No, not a word. We had been looking for him for a month, but they were hiding him.
He killed his cousin.”
“Is he against us?”

“I don’t think so. But you can never be sure.”
“Why did he kill?”
“A family squabble, I think one owned the other grain, it seems. It’s not all clear. In
short, he killed his cousin with a billhook. You know, like a sheep, kreeck!”
Balducci made the gesture of drawing a blade across his throat and the Arab, his
attention attracted, watched him with a sort of anxiety. Dam felt a sudden wrath against
the mall, against all men with their rotten spite, their tireless hates, their blood lust.
But the kettle was singing on the stove. He sened Balducci more tea hesitated, then
served the Arab again, who, a second time, drank avidly his raised arms made the jellaba
fall open and the schoolmastcr saw his thin, muscular chest.
“Thanks, kid,” Balducci said. “And now, I’m off.”
He got up and went toward the Arab, taking a small rope from his pocket.
“What are you doing?” Daru asked dryly.
Balducci, disconcerted, showed him the rope.
“Don’t bother.”
The old gendarme hesitated. “It’s up to you. Of course, you are armed?”
“I have my shotgun.”
“In the trunk.”

“You ought to have it near your bed.”
“Why? I have nothing to fear.”
“You’re crazy, son. If there’s an uprising, no one is safe, we’re all in the same boat.”
“I’ll defend myself. I’ll have time to see them coming.”
Balducci began to laugh, then suddenly the mustache covered the white teeth.
“You’ll have time? O.K. That’s just what I was saying. You have always been a little
cracked. That’s why I like you, my son was like that.”
At the same time he took out his revolver and put it on the desk.
“Keep it; I don’t need two weapons from here to El Ameur.”
The revolver shone against the black paint of the table. When the gendarme turned
toward him, the schoolmastcr caught the smell of leather and horseflesh. “Listen,
Balducci,” Daru said suddenly, “every bit of this disgusts me, and first of all your fellow
here. But I won’t hand him over. Fight, yes, if I have to. But not that.”
The old gendarme stood in front of him and looked at him severely.
“You’re being a fool,” he said slowly. “I don’t like it either. You don’t get used to
putting a rope on a man even after vears of it, and you’re even ashamedÑyes, ashamed.
But you can’t let them have their way.”
“I won’t hand him over,” Daru said again.
“It’s an order, son, and I repeat it.”
“That’s right. Repeat to them what l’ve said to you: I won’t hand him over.”

Balducci made a visible effort to reflect. He looked at the Arab and at Daru. At last he
“No, I won’t tell them anything. If you want to drop us, go ahead. I’ll not denounce
you. I have an order to deliver the prisoner and I’m doing so. And now you’ll just sign this
paper for me.”
“There’s no need. I’ll not deny that you left him with me.”
“Don’t be mean with me. I know you’ll tell the truth. You’re from hereabouts and you
are a man. But you must sign, that’s the rule.”
Daru opened his drawer, took out a little square bottle of purple ink, the red wooden
penholder with the “sergeant-major” pen he used for making models of penmanship, and
signed. The gendarme carfully folded the paper and put it into his wallet. Then he moved
toward the door.
“I’ll see you off,” Daru said.
“No,” said Balducci. “There’s no use being polite. You insulted me.”

He looked at the Arab, motionless in the same spot, sniffed peevishly, and turned
away toward the door. “Good-by, son,” he said. The door shut behind him. Balducci
appeared suddenly outside the window and then disappeared. His footsteps were muffled
by the snow. The horse stirred on the other side of the wall and several chickens fluttered
in fright. A moment later Balducci reappeared outside the window leading the horse by
the bridle. He walked toward the little rise without turning around and disappeared from
sight with the horse following him. A big stone could be heard bouncing down. Daru
walked back toward the prisoner, who, without stirring, never took his eyes off him.
“Wait,” the schoolmaster said in Arabic and went toward the bedroom. As he was going
through the door, he had a second thought, went to the desk, took the revolver, and stuck
it in his pocket. Then, without looking back, he went into his room.

For some time he lay on his couch watching the sky gradually close over, listening to
the silence. It was this silence that had seemed painful to him during the first days here,
after the war. He had requested a post in the little town at the base of the foothills
separating the upper platueas from the desert. There, rocky walls, green and black to the
north, pink and lavender to the south, marked the frontier of eternal summer. He had been
named to a post farther north, on the plateau itself. In the beginning, the solitude and the
silence had been hard for him on these wastelands peopled only by stones. Occasionally,
furrows suggested cultivation, but they had been dug to uncover a certain kind of stone
good for building. The only plowing here was to harvest rocks. Elsewhere a thin layer of
soil accumulated in the hollows would be scraped out to enrich palty village gardens.
This is the way it was: 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 desert, neither he nor his guest, mattered. And yet, outside this desert
neither or them, Daru knew, could have really lived.

The existentialist movement Assignment Pap

When he got up, no noise came from the classroom. He was amazed at the unmixed
joy he derived from the mere thought that the Arab might have fled and that he would be
alone with no decision to make. But theprisoner was there. He had merely stretched out
between the stove and the desk. With eyes open, he was staring at the ceiling. In that
position, his thick lips were particularly noticeable, giving him a pouting look. “Come,”
said Daru. The Arab got up and followed him. In the bedroom, the schoolmaster pointed
to a chair near the table under the window. The Arab sat down without taking his eyes off
“Are you hungry?”
“Yes,” the prisoner said.

Daru set the table for two. He took flour and oil, shaped a cake in a frying-pan, and
lighted the litde stove that functioned on bottled gas. While the cake was cooking, he
went out to the shed to get cheese, eggs, dates and condensed mflk. When the cake was
done he set it on the window sill to cool, heated some condensed milk diluted with water,
and beat up the eggs into an omelette. In one of his motions he knocked against the
revolver stuck m his right pocket. He set the bowl down, went into the classroom and put
the revolver in his desk drawer. When he came back to the room night was falling. He put
on the light and served the Arab. “Eat,” he said. The Arab took a piece of the cake, lifted
it eagerly to his mouth, and stopped short.
“And you?” he asked.
“After you. I’ll eat too.”
The thick lips opened slightly. The Arab hesitated, then bit into the cake
The meal over, the Arab looked at the schoolmaster. “Are you the judge?”
“No, I’m simply keeping you until tomorrow.”
“Why do you eat with me?”
“I’m hungry.”

The Arab fell silent. Daru got up and went out. He brought back a folding bed from
the shed, set it up between the table and the stove, perpendicular to his own bed. From a
large suitcase which, upright in a corner, served as a shelf for papers, he took two
blankets and arranged them on the camp bed. Then he stopped, felt useless, and sat down
on his bed. There was nothing more to do or to get ready. He had to look at this man. He
looked at him, therefore, trying to imagine his face bursting with rage. He couldn’t do so.
He could see nothing but the dark yet shining eyes and the animal mouth.
“Why did you kill him?” he asked in a voice whose hostile tone surprised him.
The Arab looked away.
“He ran away. I ran after him.”
He raised his eyes to Daru again and they were full of a sort of woeful interrogation.
“Now what will they do to me?”
“Are you afraid?”
He stiffened, turning his eyes away.
“Are you sorry?”
The Arab stared at him openmouthed. Obviously he did not understand. Daru’s
annoyance was growing. At the same time he felt awkward and self-conscious with his
big body wedged between the two beds.
“Lie down there,” he said impatiently. “That’s your bed.”

The Arab didn’t move. He called to Daru:
“Tell me!”
The schoolmaster looked at him.
“Is the gendarme coming back tomorrow?”
“I don’t know.”
“Are you coming with us?”
“I don’t know. Why?”
The prisoner got up and stretched out on top of the blankets, his feet toward the
window. The light from the electric bulb shone straight into his eyes and he closed them
at once.
“Why?” Daru repeated, standing beside the bed.
The Arab opened his eyes under the blinding light and looked at him, trying not to
“Come with us,” he said.

In the middle of the night, Daru was still not asleep. He had gone to bed after
undressing completely; he generally slept naked. But when he suddenly realized that he
had nothing on, he hesitated. He felt vulnerable and the temptation came to him to put his
clothes back on. Then he shrugged his shoulders; after all, he wasn’t a child and, if need
be, he could break his adversary in two. From his bed he could observe him, lying on his
back, still motionless with his eyes closed under the harsh light. When Daru turned out
the light, the darkness seemed to coagulate all of a sudden. Little bv little, the night came
back to life in the window where the starless skv was stirring gently. The schoolmaster
soon made out the body lying at his feet. The Arab still did not move, but his eyes
seemed open. A light wind was prowling around the schoolhouse. Perhaps it would drive
away the cIouds and the sin would reappear.

During the night the wind increased. The hens fluttered a little and then were silent.
The Arab turned over on his side with his back to Daru, who thought he heard him moan.
Then he listened for his guest’s breathing, become heavier and more regular. He listened
to that breath so close to him and mused without being able to go to sleep. In this room
where he had been sleeping alone for a year, this presence bothered him. But it bothered
him also by imposing on him a sort of brotherhood he knew well but refused to accept in
the present circumstances. Men who share the same rooms, soldiers or prisoners, develop
a strange alliance as if, having cast off their armor with their clothing, they fraternized
every evening, over and above their differences, in the ancient community of dream and
fatigue. But Daru shook himself; he didn’t like such musings, and it was essential to

The existentialist movement Assignment Paper

A little later, however, when the Arab stirred slightly, the schoolmaster was still not
asleep. When the prisoner made a second move, he stiffened, on the alert. The Arab was
lifting himself slowly on his arms with almost the motion of a sleepwalker. Seated
upright in bed, he waited motionless without turning his head toward Daru, as if he were
listening attentively. Daru did not stir; it had just occurred to him that the revolver was
still in the drawer of his desk. It was better to act at once. Yet he continued to observe the
prisoner, who, with the same slithery motion, put his feet on the ground, waited again,
then began to stand up slowly. Daru was about to call out to him when the Arab began to
walk, in a quite natural but extraordinarily silent way. He was heading toward the door at
the end of the room that opened into the shed. He lifted the latch with precaution and
went out, pushing the door behind him but without shutting it. Daru had not stirred. “He
is running away,” he merely thought. “Good riddance!” Yet he listened attentively. The
hens were not fluttering; the guest must be on the plateau. A faint sound of water reached
him, and he didn’t know what it was until the Arab again stood framed in the doorway,
closed the door carefully, and came back to bed without a sound. Then Daru turned his
back on him and fell asleep. Still later he seemed, from the depths of his sleep, to hear
furtive steps around the schoolhouse. “I’m dreaming! I’m dreaming!” he repeated to
himself. And he went on sleeping.

When he awoke, the sky was clear; the loose window let in a cold, pure air. The Arab
was asleep, hunched up under the blankets now, his mouth open, utterly relaxed. But
when Daru shook him, he started dreadfully staring at Daru with wild eyes as if he had
never seen him and such a frightened expression that the schoolmaster stepped back.
“Don’t be afraid. It’s me. You must eat.” The Arab nodded his head and said yes. Calm
had returned to his face, but his expression was vacant and listless.

The coffee was ready. They drank it seated together on the folding bed as they
munched their pieces of the cake. Then Daru led the Arab under the shed and showed
him the faucet where he washed. He went back into the room, folded the blankets and the
bed, made his own bed and put the room in order. Then he went through the classroom
and out onto the terrace. The sun was already rising in the blue sky; a soft, bright light
was bathing the deserted plateau. On the ridge the snow was melting in spots. Ttlc stones
were about to reappear. Crouched on the edge of the plateau, the schoolmaster looked at
the deserted expanse. He thought of Balducci. He had hurt him, for he had sent him off in
a way as if he didn’t want to bc associated with him. He could still hear the gendarme’s
farewell and, without knowing why, he felt strangely empty and vulnerable. At that
moment, from the other side of the schoolhouse, the prisoner coughed. Daru listened to
him almost despite himself and then furious, threw a pebble that whistled through the air
before sinking into the snow. That man’s stupid crime revolted him, but to hand him over
was contrary to honor. Merely thinking of it made him smart with humiliation. And he
cursed at one and the same time his own people who had sent him this Arab and the Arab
too who had dared to kill and not managed to get away. Dary got up, walked in a circle
on the terrace, waited motionless, and then went back into the schoolhouse.

The existentialist movement Assignment Paper

The Arab, leaning over the cement floor of the shed, was washing his teeth with two
fingers. Daru looked at him and said: “Come.” He went back into the room ahead of the
prisoner. He slipped a hunting-jacket on over his sweater and put on walking-shoes.
Standing, he waited until the Arab had put on his cheche and sandals. They went into the
classroom and the schoolmaster pointed to the exit, saying: “Go ahead.” The fellow didn’t
budge. “I’m coming,” said Daru. The Arab went out. Daru went back into the room and
made a package of pieces of rusk, dates, and sugar. In the classroom, before going out, he
hesitated a second in front of his desk, then crossed the threshold and locked the door.
“That’s the way,” he said. He started toward the east, followed by the prisoner. But, a
short distance from the schoolhouse, he thought he heard a slight sound behind them. He
retraced his steps and examined the surroundings of the house, there was no one there.
The Arab watched him without seeming to understand. “Come on,” said Daru.

They walked for an hour and rested beside a sharp peak of limestone. The snow was
melting faster and faster and the sun was drinking up the puddles at once, rapidly
cleaning the plateau, which gradually dried and vibrated like the air itself. When they
resumed walking, the ground rang under their feet. From time to time a bird rent the
space in front of them with a joyful cry. Daru breathed in deeply the fresh morning light.
He felt a sort of rapture before the vast familiar expanse, now almost entirely yellow
under its dome of blue sky. They walked an hour more, descending toward the south.
They reached a level height made up of crumbly rocks. From there on, the plateau sloped
down, eastward, toward a low plain where there were a few spindly trees and, to the
south, toward outcroppings of rock that gave the landscape a chaotic look.

The existentialist movement Assignment Paper

Daru surveyed the two directions. There was nothing but the sky on the horizon. Not
a man could be seen. He turned toward the Arab, who was looking at him blankly. Daru
held out the package to him. “Take it,” he said. “There are dates, bread, and sugar. You
can hold out for two days. Here are a thousand francs too.” The Arab took the package
and the money but kept his full hands at chest level as if he didn’t know what to do with
what was being given him. “Now look,” the schoolmaster said as he pointed in the
direction of the east, “there’s the way to Tinguit. You have a two-hour walk. At Tinguit
you’ll find the administration and the police. They are expecting you.” The Arab looked
toward the east, still holding the package and the money against his chest. Daru took his
elbow and turned him rather roughly toward the south. At the foot of the height on which
they stood could be seen a faint path. “That’s the trail across the plateau. In a day’s walk
from here you’ll find pasturelands and the first nomads. They’ll take you in and shelter
you according to their law.” The Arab had now turned toward Daru and a sort of panic
was visible in his expression. “Listen,” he said. Daru shook his head: “No, be quiet. Now
I’m leaving you.” He turned his back on him, took two long steps in the direction of the
school, looking hesitantly at the motionless Arab and started off again. For a few minutes
he heard nothing but his own step resounding on the cold ground and did not turn his
head. A moment later however he turned around. The Arab was still there on the edge of
the hill his arms hanging now, and he was looking at the schoolmaster. Daru felt
something rise in his throat. But he swore with impatience, waved vaguely, and started
off again. He had already gone some distance when he again stopped and looked. There was no longer anyone on the hill.

The existentialist movement Assignment Paper

Daru hesitated. The sun was now rather high in the sky and was beginning to beat
down on his head. The schoolmaster retraced his steps at first somewhat uncertainly then
with decision. When he reached the little hill he was bathed in sweat. He climbed it as
fast as he could and stopped. Out of breath at the top. The rock-ficelds to the south stood
out sharply against the blue sky but on the plain to the east a steamy heat was already
rising. And in that slight haze Daru with heavy heart made out the Arab walking slowly
on the road to prison.

A little later standing before the window of thc classroom the school master was
watching the clear light bathing the whole surface of the plateau but he hardly saw it.
Behind him on the blackboard among the winding French rivers sprawled the clumsily
chalked-up words he had just read. “You handcd over our brothnr. You will pay for this.”
Daru looked at the sky, the plateau and beyond the invisible lands stretching all the way
to the sea. In this vast landscape he had loved so much, he was alone.
1. The Seine, Loire, Rhone, and Gironder rivers; French geography was taught in the
French colonies. Back to text
2. A long hooded robe worn by Arabs in North Africa. Cheche: Scarf; here wound as
a turban around the head.
3. Balducci is a native of Corsica, a French island north of Sardinia.
4. French administrative and territorial division: like a county.
5. Against the French colonial government

The existentialist movement Assignment Paper Discussion Board

5.2: The Guest
Initial post of 300 words / two replies of 100 words each.

Respond to Albert Camus’ “The Guest.” You may use the following prompts to help you get started, or you may explore an interpretation of your own choosing. Remember to use textual evidence to support your claims and interpretations.

1. Albert Camus, along with Jean-Paul Sartre, was a central figure in the existentialist movement. What is existentialism and how might “The Guest” be an example of an existential crisis?

2. Was Daru’s decision to let The Arab choose his own destiny a heroic or cowardly decision? What is the ultimate result of this decision? What lesson or theme do you think Camus is trying to communicate through this encounter?

• “The Guest” by Albert Camus
Attached Files:
o the guest by albert camus.pdf (92.391 KB)
Camus, Albert. “The Guest.” Continental Short Stories. Translated by Justin O’Brien. Edward Mitchell and Rainer Schulte, eds. W W Norton & Co Inc (Np) 1969. Print.

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