Compare and contrast the attitudes of Daru and Balducci toward the prisoner and the situation in "The Guest".


The Guest

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Balducci is a French "gendarme," or police officer. He is very disciplined and obeys orders that are given to him.  He does not understand anyone who does not obey orders. He is polite and friendly enough, but he is very abrupt.  He is all business and does not appear to hate his job, but there are parts of it he remarks that he doesn't like.  He knows Daru because Daru is the local school teacher.

Daru is a sensitive and quiet person. He is respectful to both men and he demonstrates compassion by having the prisoner's hands unbound before he serves him tea.  He doesn't mind living alone, and he really cares about his students.  This is most likely because he was raised in this area of Albania.  He does not like conflict.  He does not want to get involved politically with the French control or the Albanian rebels.  He simply wants to teach and live in peace.  This is the main reason he refuses to turn the Arab prisoner over to the French authorities.  He feels that if he does indeed deliver the prisoner, he will be taking a stand against the Arab community.  Daru is emotional, unsure of himself, and frightened of his future being disrupted. He says if he has to fight he will, but he isn't going to jump into the conflict prematurely.

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