What is the central conflict of "The Guest"? Is it external or internal? Can it be defined in terms of dilemma?

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The conflict is both internal and external. In all colonial societies, and in literature by the more progressive authors who were a part of them, there is a split between the loyalty of the "occupiers" to their own people and the underlying awareness that the whole imperialist operation is wrong in both a moral and a practical sense. In "The Guest ," Daru, the schoolteacher, is supposed to escort the Arab prisoner to a distant police station, but he instead lets the man escape, while nevertheless instructing him to go to the intended destination as the law requires. Daru clearly has sympathy for the Arab man but is internally conflicted and doesn't want to act upon his conviction directly. The ominous message left on the blackboard in the schoolroom makes it clear that no amount of sympathy shown by the "occupiers" can defuse the problem that exists when the indigenous population wishes their country returned to their own control. It is, from the standpoint of Daru and other liberals, a...

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Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on October 24, 2019