What is the pace of "The Guest" by Albert Camus?

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ladyvols1 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The pace of Albert Camus’ “The Guest,” could be described as deliberate.  Camus writes about a school teacher, whose life is interrupted by a policeman with a prisoner.  He is asked to transport the prisoner to the nearest town and then he can get back to his “comfortable life.”    Camus begin the story,

“The schoolmaster was watching the two men climb toward him. One was on horseback, the other on foot. They had not yet tackled the abrupt rise leading to the schoolhouse built on the hillside. They were toiling onward, making slow progress in the snow, among the stones, on the vast expanse oft he high, deserted plateau. From time to time the horse stumbled.”

There is no rush, or sense of expediency in the story.  This pace is deliberate and slow and lets the suspense grow.  Will the school teacher comply?  Will the prisoner cause the school teacher problems after the police leave them alone?  What will the prisoner do once he is released?  All of the suspense and mystery of this story is accomplished by this slow deliberate pace.