What are the ironies of "The Guest" by Albert Camus?

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The principal irony of the story is perhaps that although Daru has, in effect, released the Arab prisoner instead of escorting him to the police as he was supposed to do, he finds the ominous message left for him in the schoolroom after he returns. It implies that a good deed doesn't go very far or have much meaning in this situation. But what, one might ask, could Daru have done? Would any action under the circumstances have accomplished the goal of defusing the tension between the "occupiers" and the "occupied"? It's ironic that a straightforward question such as this has no clear answer.

The message of the story is one in which Camus expresses sympathy for the indigenous North African population. Daru, like Camus himself, is a liberal who recognizes the injustice of the colonial occupation. Yet those of French descent who had themselves been born in Algeria saw the country as their "home" as well. The French title, "L'Hôte," can mean either "guest" or "host," so an underlying irony is...

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