Power of the Mind Revealed in Albert Camus' “The Guest”
In “The Guest”, a short story written by Albert Camus, Camus uses his views on existentialism to define the characters’ values. Camus’ effective use of descriptive words and individual thoughts and actions allows the reader to understand and sympathize with the characters’ judgments of one another, predominantly pertaining to the characters Daru and the Arab. Daru’s responses to the Arab and his decisions, Camus’ description of the Arab, and the Arab’s respect for Daru, prove that there is a basic goodness in humans, allowing them to accept responsibility and consequences for their acts of free will.
In “The Guest”, Daru forms his own opinion about the Arab based on his personal morals, even though the Arab is given qualities that brand him a problematic character. Camus uses intensely descriptive words to describe the Arab’s stinging appearance. “…the whole face had a restless and rebellious look that struck Daru when the Arab, turning his face toward him, looked him straight in the eyes” (318). Even with these seemingly dangerous qualities, Daru suggested that the Arab be untied. From the minute Daru was introduced to the Arab, he granted the prisoner his complete trust and regard.
Daru’s further evaluation of the Arab was one of integrity and respect. Instead of developing a judgment about the Arab based on what he was told, Daru examined and intended to understand the Arab’s character on his own. He made a decision that the Arab was worthy of his trust: “He set the bowl down, went into the classroom, and put the revolver in his desk drawer” (322). Daru put the gun away because he felt that the Arab posed no threat of danger. By doing this, Daru formed a distinctive, honest connection between the two where they both respected each other and concentrated on the positive qualities.
Daru also wanted to ensure the Arab’s safety and health throughout his journey: “There are dates, bread, and sugar. You can hold out for two days. Here are a thousand francs too” (326). Even...