In "The Guest," why does Daru give the prisoner his freedom? What reasons are there for not giving him his freedom?

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Daru is in the typical position of a seemingly liberal member of a colonialist population, caught between the proverbial rock and a hard place. He knows that the indigenous people of Algeria are justified in their resentment and anger toward the occupying power, the French. But Daru is of French background himself. Like George Orwell in Burma, he feels that imperialism is wrong, unjustifiable; yet the country in which he lives is in some sense his country too.

Daru does not wish to follow Balducci's instructions and continue to hold the Arab man as a prisoner, because, when it is a question involving the "rightness" of the system that Balducci and the gendarmerie represent, Daru doesn't believe in it himself. But the ominous message the prisoner leaves on the board in Daru's schoolroom is an indication that by helping the man—by leaving him unaccompanied and allowed to go on his way despite telling him to report to the distant station—Daru is possibly endangering himself. In a struggle...

(The entire section contains 4 answers and 860 words.)

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