How does Camus develop the themes of freedom and responibility in the human situation?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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One way in which Camus develops the themes of freedom and responsibility in "The Guest" is by showing the intertwined and inevitable nature of both as part of what it means to be human. Daru does not choose to be involved in the situation with the Arab. He is forced to deal with a condition thrust upon him.  Freedom and responsibility are forced to be assumed in a situation that is not his. This helps Camus to develop the argument that part of what it means to be human is to have to assume responsibility and choice for something that is not directly constructed by human beings.

Daru has to choose a path and must assume responsibility for it.  He must eventually suffer the consequences for such action, as seen in the note written on his blackboard.  Daru embodies how human beings cannot evade the issues of responsibility and choice.  Even thought human beings might wish to be uninvolved and apart from it, Camus suggests that the modern condition is one in which these issues are thrust upon human beings.  Like actors on a stage who are pushed into the spotlight without a script, direction, or even preparation, we are forced to act.  Daru recognizes this aspect of his being as a result of the narrative.

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