What do you see as the lesson or moral of "The Guest" by Albert Camus?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Perhaps the point of Camus's story is not so much a lesson or moral as it is an observation. We see a colonial scenario in which there is mutual alienation. Daru, a pied-noir (as French Algerians were known), does not seem in sympathy with either Baldacci or even really with the Arab man brought to him as a prisoner for transport to the police station. Yet in his way, he tries to help the Arab man by seemingly allowing him to take things into his own hands rather than escorting him as a prisoner, as he's been charged to do. It's partly an underlying sense of guilt that motivates him, though perhaps it's unnecessarily cynical to view it this way. But we don't observe any true bonding between Daru and the prisoner, though Daru flouts what is the proper duty of someone in his place. Daru is neither for nor against "his own" people or the indigenous Algerians whose country has been taken over by the colonizers.

Camus's observation is that imperialism puts everyone into an untenable position....

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 796 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial
Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on November 1, 2019