What is the main idea of "The Ambitious Guest?"

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ladyvols1 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

"Wo for the high-souled youth, with his dream of Earthly Immortality! His name and person utterly unknown; his history, his way of life, his plans, a mystery never to be solved, his death and his existence equally a doubt! Whose was the agony of that death moment?"

As the quotation at from the end of the story states, the guest who came to visit the family wanted nothing more than to make his mark on the world.  How ironic that he is killed before he can achieve his ambition.  He visited with this family and before the end each of the unassuming members began indicate things they would like to be remembered for.  In the end, they all die from the landslide.  The family, will be remembered because they had a community, a home, a family,and friends, but the "guest" will have died unknown.