What are two important symbols in "The Guest"? How are these significant to the theme?

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Two important symbols in Albert Camus' story "The Guest" are the schoolhouse and the ethnic origins of the three characters. These are essential to the main themes of isolation and futility that are so prevalent in much of Camus's work. The story revolves around three characters: Daru, the local schoolmaster; Balducci, a Corsican gendarme; and an unnamed Arab who is brought to Daru by Balducci for transfer to a prison several hours' walk away. The theme of futility continues after the Arab is left with Daru to be transferred into the hands of the police for punishment for killing his cousin; Daru must choose whether to hand him over to the authorities or let the prisoner make his own destiny by running away to the protection of the local nomads.

At the beginning of the story, Daru stands outside his schoolhouse watching the two men approach. The topographical isolation of the schoolhouse between the desert plateau and the foothills of Algeria is exacerbated by the remains of a three-day...

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