Thursday, March 12, 2009

"The Guest" by Albert Camus

Answer the following question in 2-3 paragraphs:
Who is the hero of the story? Support your answer with specific references to text.
A link to the story is at
Have a good break.


  1. "The Guest" by Albert Camus
    The hero of "The Guest" is Daru. A hero is a person who represents and shares the beliefs of a society. When Balducci brings Daru the Arab prisoner he tells Daru that he needs to escort the prisoner to Tinguit where the police station is waiting for him. Balducci tells Daru that he doesn't like tyeing up men and that even feels humiliated but he “[Balducci has] an order to deliver the prisoner and [he's] doing so” (1875).
    Daru didn't just drop his beliefs because he was given an order to do something against his honor. In his society “to hand [the prisoner] over was contradictory to honor. Merely thinking of it made [Daru] smart with humiliation” (1879). After a nights rest Daru and the prisoner begin walking to Tinguit yet an hour in Daru stops, hand the prisoner the bundle and points the prisoner in the right direction. Allowing the prisoner to make his own choice allows Daru to preserve himself from soiling his honor and to continue to represent his society's beliefs.
    --David Stanley

  2. The hero in "The Guest" is Daru. From the beginning we learn he is a "schoolmaster" and can assume he cares about other people. Later in the story Camus writes, "he held out the glass of tea to the prisoner, Daru hesitated at the sight of his bound hands. 'He might perhaps be untied.'"(7). Even in comparison to the prisoner and Balducci, Daru is obviously the most caring. For Balducci, though he does not commit a crime he does not take initiative and does not try to help the prisoner. In contrast, the prisoner has killed a man, and now he is being punished.
    Later in the story Daru says to the prisoner, "'There are dates, bread, and sugar. You can hold out for two days. Here are a thousand francs too.'"(27). Not only does he supply him with rations for two days and gives him money, he lets him choose he path. Daru is the hero in this story because he is generous and does not immediately judge the prisoner.

  3. "The Guest" by Albert Camus

    In "The Guest" Daru is the hero, not just because he says he will take the Arab to the police headquarters in Tingui, but also because of what he has done for the students and their families that live near him. Daru constantly has the students and their well being on his mind, and he always makes sure he is feeding them and their families. Daru is always responsible about getting the wheat delivered from the administration to his students, “Every day Daru would distribute a ration to the children. They had missed it, he knew, during these bad days. Possibly one of the fathers would come this afternoon and he could supply them with grain” (Camus). Daru knows that he is partly accountable for feeding his students and their families and he does an excellent job of doing so.

    Daru also proves to be the hero when he demands to know why the Arab killed his cousin. This trait of insisting that there be justice is found in almost every hero. Daru commands for the Arab to tell him why he would kill his own flesh and blood because he wants to find justification in the man’s actions. He wants to feel as though he had a valid reason for killing and that there is no need for the cousin’s family to receive compensation or reparations to restore a balance of fairness to them. He proves this when interrogating the criminal Arab: “‘Why did you kill him?’ he asked in a voice whose hostile tone surprised him. The Arab looked away. ‘He ran away. I ran after him.’ He raised his eyes to Daru again and they were full of a sort of woeful interrogation.” (Camus). Obviously Daru doesn’t find any relief in the Arab’s paratactic sentences and feels the need to deliver justice to this man and his cousin’s family. This is when Daru realizes why he must take this man to the police headquarters in Tingui, and this is when he truly reveals himself as the hero in the story.

    1. Thats not wat happens he lets the arab choose

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. Peter Washington's (Period 7) Response:

    Both Daru and the Arab have potential qualities of a hero. Although the Arab shows great courage and noble qualities, he is a murderer who deserves the sentence of prison that he was given. On the other hand, Daru is portrayed as not committing any unlawful or unmoral activities. This not the only reason as to why he better fits the definition of a hero. It is truly admirable of him to give the Arab food, money, and the option of being free. Daru acts according to his morals, not others.

    Furthermore, Daru never fails to treat the Arab with the utmost respect. At the moment when Daru thought the Arab was running away, he thought to himself, "the hens were not fluttering; the guest must be on the plateau." The keyword is "guest." Daru refers to the prisoner as a "guest" throughout the story, despite his criminal status. Daru not only calls the Arab a guest but treats him as one. He creates an omelet and "served the Arab." Camus's diction constantly characterizes Daru as an honorable host and not that of an unwilling prisoner transporter. Only a truly noble and honorable individual, and hence a hero, would refer to treat a prisoner as a guest.

  6. The hero of Albert Camus’s “The Guest” is the school teacher Daru. He is obviously the hero because all he ever does is help people. First, he helps the travelers find their way when the trail was covered with snow. “The school master calculated that it would take them half an hour to get onto the hill”. He also helps all the poor families of the students living all around him by rationing out the food given to him by the government. “Every day Daru would distribute a ration to the children”.
    The school master, Daru, is also the hero because he seems to have good morals when those around him do not. He is a patriot of his own county and despite the harsh conditions he stays in his home land. Daru also helps the Arab that he sees Balducci leading along the road, saying “he might perhaps be untied” when he sees the rope around the Arab’s hands. In addition, Daru refuses to participate in the slave trade that Balducci is involved in, and it takes only a simple “that is not my job” to make this clear.
    Following this pattern, Daru is exceedingly kind to the Arab and lets him walk away with money and food. It is quite a shame that after all the good deeds he does Daru has to be threatened by the scrawl on the chalk board “You handed over our brother. You will pay for this”. Such an unfortunate turn of events.

  7. antons analysis

    The hero of Albert Camus' "The Guest" is the school teacher Daru. Even before the arrival of the guest when the story truly begins, we learn that Daru not only helps educate the poor children, but even feeds them in times of starvation. Besides the evidence of his actions to suggest him being a hero, his school house is located atop a plateau high above the other cities, this is a figurative hint towards his god like merciful personality, a trademark of a hero. Furthermore his morals are that of a merciful forgiving being as well. Even though the guest, a prisoner, "killed his cousin" a crime that Daru considers the lowest of low, Daru "serve[s] the Arab" food and even makes a bed for him. Nor does he tie his wrists, but lets him stay as a guest.
    this generosity is the trademark temperament of a hero.

  8. Daru is the hero of Camus' "The Guest". He is presented with the moral dilemma of turning a man over to the police for the murder of his cousin. In the unstable political climate of the time, with rumors of an Arab uprising, assisting the government was definitely not the safest of courses.
    Daru walks the moral tight rope by treating the man not as a prisoner, but as the title suggests, a guest. The man is never restrained and could have easily escaped in the night if he had wanted. Daru would not have minded if he had vanished for his involvement in this entire convoluted affair would disappear with the Arab. Daru merely thought "Good riddance" when he thought the Arab was escaping. As it was, however, Daru's guest stayed of his own accord.
    The next day, Daru set the man free with one thousand francs and provisions for two days. He merely pointed the man in the direction of the police. It was the Arab's own moral conviction that compelled him to turn himself in. In that essence, the two of them posses heroic qualities, but Daru had the ability to deprive the Arab of any choice and he chooses not to. Though despite his heroism, he still receives a threat at the end of the story, scrawled on his blackboard saying, "You handed over our brother. You will pay for this." As the saying goes, no good deed goes unpunished.

  9. The hero of "The guest" is Daru. Even though he is ordered by Balducci to to take the Arab prisoner to Tiguit where he is expected at police headquarters, he is hesitant on doing so because he would feel guilty on having the pleasure of turning a man in to the police. Even though Daru is aware that the Arab murdered his cousin, he does not treat him like a criminal; he makes sure he eats and has a bed to sleep in under his roof.

    When the day comes to supposedly turn the Arab in to the police headquarters, Daru comes along with the Arab and leads him to a deserted plateau. He hands him a bundle of dates, bread, and sugar and gives him two options. Daru points to the east and says, "there's the way to Tinguit." However, Daru makes sure he points out that towards the south, the Arab will find freedom when he tells him, "In a day's walk from here you'll find pasturelands and the first nomads. They'll take you in and shelter you according to their law."

    Giving the Arab these two choices brings satisfaction to Daru because he knows that he never forced him to go to Tinguit and be turned in and gave him a right to freedom.

  10. Though at first I thought Daru's actions seemed indecisive, the fact that he actually tries to do what is truly good by searching within himself and his own values makes him a the hero. Balducci may be completing his assigned task, but he is merely obeying orders, which is a much easier task than trying to find truth and good for oneself. Daru realizes the weight of the situation and acts accordingly.
    When he hears the Arab's escape and thinks to himself, "Good Ridance"(22), it is not that he really hates the presence of the Arab, but it is him acknowledging the burden of controlling another man's fate, and the weight this carries. He is angered by the man for taking a human life, so for Daru to sentence the man to death he would be taking a life himself, and such a course of action would make him a hypocrite. By letting the Arab decide his fate for himself he stays true to his conscience and values, and carries out what he believes to be the ultimate good even in the face of personal suffering.

  11. "The Guest" by Albert Camus has no hero character. Of the three characters featured in the story, two are good people with qualities that prove them so but neither make any completely self-less acts, go out of their ways to be helpful, or do anything for the greater good of another.
    Daru is honest and trustworthy as he informs the unfair and harsh Balducci that "There's no need [to sign]. I'll not deny that you left him with me." He also presents himself as a passifist, choosing not to make any decision about the fate of the Arab himself nor to take part in any war acts. However, once again, every measure he takes is simply the schoolteacher trying to deal with the situation he is left with, with as minimal damage to his comfortable life as possible.
    The Arab shows that he is remorseful and fair, claiming to only have killed his cousin because "he ran away. I ran after him" . He may have committed a crime, but he is still a decent human being for "walking slowly on the road to prison".
    However, once again, no hero emerges, just two good men who learn from their mistakes and attempt to survive the ragged times they are in.

  12. By sacrificing his future for the justice of penance, the Arab shows that he is the true hero of Albert Camus' "The Guest". Although the schoolmaster Daru is the lead of the story, he is not the protagonist.

    Daru shows kindness to the Arab, he does so although it is contrary to his disgust, this would suggest that the man is either deceptive or so confined by social standards that he feels he must be hospitable. His actions seem to be due to a combination of uncertainty and the fact that "to hand him over was contrary to [his] honor" (24). No hero should show concern for his personal pride above that of justice.

    The Arab willingly sacrifices his freedom. He was capable of leaving, but instead he returned to the schoolhouse, "closed the door carefully, and came back to bed without a sound." (22). Later, when the choice is given to him he opts for the "road to prison" (28). Although at multiple points within the text Camus explains that The Arab was frightened, morality overtook his actions and he accepted whatever punishment was warranted.

  13. Although the Arab man in Albert Camus’ “The Guest” acts with greater integrity than the common criminal, the hero of the story is Daru. Circumstances force the Arab to submit to submit to the superior force and he eventually turns himself in. However, the Arab does not face the dilemma that Daru does. The Arab perceives that he has murdered and can either turn himself in or not, but Daru must weigh the life of another human being. Daru’s clear morals prevent him from consigning the Arab to a formidable, unmentioned fate. His take on the situation is “‘every bit of this disgusts me […] I won’t hand him over” (12). Daru does not take joy in having to turn the Arab in to the prison, nor does he show the Arab the road to prison from any feeling of duty. Though he “cursed at […] his own people […] and the Arab too” (24), Daru watched “with heavy heart […] the Arab walking slowly on the road to prison” (28). Though relieved at having the fate of another lifted from his hands, he nonetheless sees with some regret that the Arab did not choose freedom over punishment.
    Faced with a decision that he must make, Daru chooses the path where he does not rule absolutely over another. Daru cannot release the man back to his own people, but at the same time, he thinks of the Arab “‘He is running away […] Good riddance’” (22). Though good riddance can be taken as offensive in some context, here is simply expresses Daru’s relief, which will form into his eventual decision of allowing the Arab to choose his own fate. Though he does allow the Arab his own choice, he does not completely abandon justice, he points in the direction of “‘the administration and the police. They are expecting [the Arab]’” (27). Without completely forgetting that the Arab is a murderer, Daru tries to absolve his own hand from having to play a direct role in the man’s fate. Daru reluctantly chooses to do what he thinks is best regarding the life and future of another human. This is infinitely more difficult than the choice the Arab has to make, which could be marred by selfishness. In having another in his control, without playing God as it were, Daru withholds his own hand, and satisfies justice and honor.

  14. “The Guest” – Albert Camus

    Daru is the hero in “The Guest” because of his beliefs on humanity and the actions he takes according to them. Daru maintains a cynical perspective on humankind. Camus writes, “Daru felt a sudden wrath against the man, against all men with their rotten spite, their tireless hates, their blood lust.” The placing of this sentence is ambiguous because it is unclear whether “the man” refers to Balducci for frightening the Arab with his violent gestures or the Arab for killing his cousin. Camus indicates that it does not matter who the man is because they are both at fault. This objective view on humans makes Daru the protagonist, because instead of siding with one evil, Daru condemns both.
    The treatment of the Arab after Balducci leaves also shows Daru’s noble qualities. Despite his negative views on him, Daru still treats the Arab with respect. When the Arab says, “Why do you eat with me?” Daru replies “I’m hungry.” This shows that while the Arab is not an admirable person, Daru treats him with dignity rather than stooping to his level of indecency. “[Daru] was amazed at the unmixed joy he derived from the mere thought that the Arab might have fled and that he would be alone with no decision to make,” Camus writes. When Balducci brings Daru the Arab, he leaves him in an impossible position. Daru can either take the Arab to Tinguit and succumb to laws that rest on vengeance, or release the Arab and exempt him from the punishment he deserves. Daru is relieved when he thinks the Arab may run away because he would not have to make a decision. Although in wishing so he ignores enforcement of the law, it is because he believes that it is morally unacceptable to choose one evil over another.

  15. There is no clear hero in "The Guest". Daru, the almost-worthy contender, is never praised for his courage, nor commended for his sacrifices. In fact, the conclusion of the story leaves him feeling empty, perhaps more than he felt at the beginning. Daru exemplifies some qualities of a hero through his morality (and actions thereof).

    The chore faced by Daru is to take the Arab prisoner to Tinguit where he will be imprisoned. In being ordered to complete a task, Daru begins on the path toward becoming the hero. With a bit of hesitation, Daru exclaims "that's not my job" (8), instinctively resisting the delegation of this assignment. Daru feels overwhelmed in a region that is already "cruel to live in" (4), not to mention his feelings of being "exiled" in his own home (4).

    Nonetheless, Balducci leaves the Arab prisoner with Daru, forcing him to make a decision. In vague attempts at moral understanding, Daru asks the Arab to explain the murder he has committed. His inquisition reaches the point of exasperation, as Daru's "annoyance was growing" to a point of severe impatience (18). However, the fact that Daru made an attempt to understand the Arab's decisions advocates reason and justice, both characteristics of a hero.

    Traditionally, the hero's job is to make a decision for the task at hand. Daru does not. He feeds the prisoner and leads him on the path towards prison, but in the end, Daru leaves the decision of action to the prisoner. He makes this judgement absolute by saying "no, be quiet. Now I am leaving you" (28). Because of this, Daru's actions align more with a coward than with a hero.

    Lonely at first, Daru lived "like a monk in his remote schoolhouse" (4). At the conclusion of the story, the same loneliness returns, isolating Daru in "this vast landscape he had loved so much" (29). His depressing tone indicates an overall lack of accomplishment, inconsistent with the disposition of a hero. Daru's attempts at moral and physical understanding draw him close to being a hero, though his dissatisfaction at the end leaves him just short.

  16. “The Guest” by Albert Camus

    In most fairytales, the hero is the one to save the day, and triumph over evil by helping out people just from the kindness in his heart. In this particular story, no such person or event exists. Out of the five characters in the story, one is an animal, and another character does not have any speaking lines. Two of the last ones each have many identifying, yet contrasting qualities of a hero. Neither of them are the definitive hero of the story, however they both do fill the shoes that are needed.

    The schoolmaster in this story seems to be the more obvious pick. Not only does this man take in the unnamed Arab, but he also feeds and allows the Arab a warm sleeping space. Through his gracious gestures of not putting the rope on the Arab, and not stopping the Arab from running away, the schoolmaster lets the Arab keep what little of his dignity he still has from Balducci. Even though he reluctantly takes in the prisoner and his attitude towards the man shows dislike, Daru still respects the Arab’s ability to make his own decisions. For “every bit of this disgusts me [Daru], and first of all your [Balducci’s] fellow here. But I [Daru] won’t hand him over” (12.5). Daru has the decency to stand up for what he believes in, and not hand a man over to his doom.

    The Arab, however guilty of his crime, still partially acts as the hero alongside Daru. The Arab does not run away or hurt the schoolmaster when given the chance, even though not being tied, and not being matched in arms, if he were to take the revolver “still in the drawer of his [Daru’s] desk” (22), he could be free. The Arab, despite still thinking that he is being taken to a prison, does not attack or run away, but keeps his cool, and his respect for Daru. Later, the Arab is given a choice between turning himself in, which would make it easier on Balducci and Daru’s friendship, or becoming free and living in peace, with only his conscience to hurt him. Daru gives him this choice, allowing him to choose his own future for the better or the worse. The Arab takes the noble path, and decides to turn himself in.
    -Sarah Laves

  17. In “The Guest,” the schoolmaster, Daru, is the heroic character. He displays many qualities of being a good person, and the reader is able to identify with his struggles and finish the reading still on his side. Even as Daru fights with himself over how he should handle the situation concerning the Arab, the reader is confident in his decision, and trusts him to do what is right.
    Daru is a good person who constantly shows how much he cares about others. He teaches poor children and provides them with rations to help “[carry] them over to the next harvest” (3). Despite his attempts to help, Daru still feels “like a lord” with the quality of his simple lodgings (4). Daru also stands up for what he believes in, taking a risk by directly defying an order, telling the gendarme that he “won’t hand him over” (12), as he feels it would be “contrary to honor” (24). Another quality that places Daru into the role of the hero is his patience. Daru is willing to take the time to make the Arab comfortable, showing him where to wash and making up a bed for him. All of these traits show the reader that Daru is truly a good man, and allow the reader to connect with his character, placing him in the role of hero.
    As Daru struggles with making the right moral decision about how to deal with the Arab, the reader does not lose faith in his ability to make the right choice. When Camus allows the reader to experience Daru’s thought process, they connect with the character and see his logic. At the conclusion of the story, when Daru sends the Arab off to prison, the reader still respects him, because Camus makes it clear that Daru is not happy with the outcome. Daru watches the Arab walk “with [a] heavy heart” (28), showing that although the circumstances were not ideal, Daru did the best he could to make the right decision by leaving it up to the Arab himself.

  18. Heroes are not always your usual “Superman.” A multitude of heroes are often those faced with despairing choices of great difficulty, especially in the case of Albert Camus’ writing. Camus’ heroes are those who enjoy a spiritual honor in an abstract sense as seen in The Myth of Sisyphus, where the hero is a man who is condemned to roll a boulder up a mountain forever, to no avail by any means. The plot behind The Guest is one of great perplexity at the start of the story. A man is challenged with an order to send a criminal to the police headquarters a day’s journey away. The situation as he deems it was unnecessary for him to go to such trouble despite his unforgiving rage over the criminal’s felony. A clash of values and self-morality explodes inside his head as he ponders the fate he will decide for his guest. Even so, Daru, the challenged schoolmaster who lives a solitude life, appears the clear hero of this story, a man facing the absurdities of life with the difficult decision over another’s.
    Daru’s quiet life is interrupted when Balducci orders him to take an Arab prisoner to Tinguit, a command against his own wishes. He boldly protests, “Every bit of this disgusts me, and first of all your fellow here. But I won't hand him over. Fight, yes, if I have to. But not that” (13). Despite his strong argument, Balducci still forces the law onto Daru and leaves the prisoner in the schoolhouse. Daru cannot comprehend the Arab’s sinful crime and ponders how he should get about the man’s fate. “That man's stupid crime [revolts] him, but to hand him over [is] contrary to honor. Merely thinking of it [makes] him smart with humiliation. And he [curses] at one and the same time his own people who had sent him this Arab and the Arab too who had dared to kill and not managed to get away” (25). The schoolmaster has control of the Arab’s life at this point, but his own morals and values conflict. He despises the prisoner for killing someone else but cannot bear to bring him to the vicious courts. The rage, confusion, and ultimately frustration cloud his head as he prepares for a long day the morning after the delivery.
    Daru finally leaves the Arab on a hill with directions to Tinguit as if he were letting the Arab choose for himself, escape or the law. When he looks back, he sees “the Arab walking slowly on the road to prison” (29). Daru becomes a hero through a series of difficult choices and considerations that frustrate him in too many ways. A hero, in this sense, does not have to be a character doing everything righteously – there is no definite, real “righteousness” after all – but someone of central importance throughout the story. Daru serves as the central model in which he symbolizes his own moral right and decision along with the proper etiquette to handle a guest. The Arab decides to head to prison because he also realizes that Daru’s courteousness compels him to serve other guests as well, a manner to much of a burden to bear for him. In the end, Daru still faces moral reconsiderations as he ponders to himself, “You handed over our brother. You will pay for this” (30). In whatever case, Camus’ fictional hero will find himself the solution-provider and thinker for many other challenges to come.

  19. The Hero of “The Guest”
    Ari Hausman-Cohen
    Page numbers from the Norton Anthology

    In Camus’ “The Guest”, Daru is the hero because he is the character who most closely follows the hero cycle. A few steps are left out or combined, and some characters play multiple roles, but this is understandable in a short story.

    At the beginning of the story, the hero is in the realm of the known, in this story Daru’s familiar schoolhouse. Camus even mentions that “Everywhere else, [Daru] felt exiled” (1873). The hero cycle begins with a call to adventure. In “The Guest” this is when Balducci asks “‘will you deliver this fellow to Tinguit’” (1874). Daru is asked to do something, for whatever reason. This is followed by the refusal of the call, where Daru protests, saying “‘that’s not my job’” (1874). This step mixes a bit with the first call for help. The call for help is often associated with the wise old man (Balducci) giving the hero an offensive weapon. In this case, the pistol is given. The steps are mixed here because Daru continues with the refusal of the call, saying “‘I won’t hand him over’” (1875). Daru accepts his duty reluctantly by signing the paper, and even this he only does to make Balducci content. The final step of the first section of the hero cycle is the crossing of the threshold. When Balducci leaves, Daru is left alone in the “belly of the whale”, in the realm of the unknown. Although Daru has not changed locations, the setting around him has changed. He is now alone in a remote schoolhouse with a murderer.

    The realm of the unknown begins with minor skirmishes. I would consider the conversation to be these small fights. After all, it isn’t exactly a friendly chat. Daru uses a “hostile tone” and the Arab’s eyes are “full of a sort of woeful interrogation” (1877). The minor skirmishes are followed by an act of hubris, where the hero gets too confident and is torn down. Daru comes close to this stage during the night, by letting the Arab sleep in his room, and as such he worries and has a hard time sleeping because he is “on the alert” every time the Arab moves (1878). The second call for help is skipped in this story. The next step is the supreme ordeal. Daru must face his inner conflict to vanquish it. His inner conflict is a battle between morals. Camus writes, “that man’s stupid crime revolted [Daru], but to hand him over was contrary to honor” (1879). Daru overcomes this challenge by letting the Arab decide his destiny for himself. This may not be the bravest way to face the supreme ordeal, but even in “Lord of the Rings”, arguably one of the world’s stories that best fits the hero cycle, the ring is destroyed by being bit off the main character’s finger, not by any virtue of the hero himself.

    The remaining half of the hero cycle is completed quickly, in only two paragraphs. Daru takes his magic flight by climbing back up the hill. Although it is not actually written about, the setting in the final paragraph indicates that he re-entered the schoolhouse, the re-entry being the point of return. No boon is brought back, but there is the writing on the chalkboard, “‘you handed over our brother. You will pay for this’” (1880), which is another call to adventure, the cycle being completed.

    Note: "Lord of the Rings" is in quotes, not italics because of formatting issues in blogspot

  20. In "The Guest", Daru is not necessarily the "good guy", but his actions make him the story's clear hero. While he accommodates the Arab, he treats him with the same kindness he would anyone else, even though he despises the Arab for his crimes. Also, the Arab's presence is an inconvenience for Daru. "In this room where he had been sleeping alone for a year, this presence bothered him" (21). Still, he doesn't allow this to change his kindness.
    However, the point of the story at which Daru becomes the clear hero is the end. He feels remorse for what has happened, making him a more human character."'You handed over our brother. You will pay for this.' Daru looked at the sky, the plateau and beyond the invisible lands stretching all the way to the sea. In this vast landscape he had loved so much, he was alone" (29). In fact, Daru's actions make him a tragic hero. He began with good intentions, allowing the Arab to decide his own fate. However, when the Arab chooses to turn himself in, Daru feels as if he had handed the Arab over. However, it is by the Arab's free will that he takes the road to prison. If Daru were a lesser man, he would tell himself this, remove the guilt that he feels, and deny any charge against his honor. But he feels remorse, making him a human hero.

  21. There are three active characters in The Guest by Albert Camus: the schoolteacher Daru, the gendarme Balducci, and the criminal Arab. At first, the title of “hero” does not seem to apply to any one of them. Upon reconsideration (needed in order to complete a certain assignment), Daru stands out as the short story’s protagonist who displays certain attributes of a hero.

    Heroes do not start out fighting evil adversaries and doing good. Instead, they are forced out of their everyday existence by some outside pressure. Conflict arrives at Daru’s schoolhouse with Balducci, an old soldier of the French colonial government, and his prisoner, an Arab convicted of murder. Balducci asks Daru to take the prisoner to the police headquarters of a nearby town. Daru is hesitant. The request is against his sense of morals, but he also does not “want[] to hurt the old Corsican” (1874). Balducci appeals to Daru’s loyalty to the government and to him, telling his friend that “there is talk of a forthcoming revolt. We are mobilized in a way” (1874). Daru’s abhorrence of murder in opposition to his discomfort with turning over a man for execution further compromises any steps toward decision-making. He tells Balducci, “every bit of this [situation] disgusts me” (1875) and absolutely wants to take no part. In fact, “merely thinking about it made him smart with humiliation” (1879). As a potential hero figure, Daru is torn by loyalty and his morals and wishes to completely avoid it.

    After the introduction of a conflict, the next step of the hero cycle is the would-be hero’s refusal of the quest. Daru repeatedly tries to refuse his task, first with Balducci, then with himself, and finally within walking distance of Tinguit. In an attempt to escape his entanglement in the affair, Daru has the Arab prisoner make his own choice, jail or freedom. When he returns to the schoolhouse, Daru finds “You handed over our brother. You will pay for this” (1880) sprawled on the chalkboard. As a failed hero who tried to take matters out of his own hands, Daru must face the consequences. It is a short, depressing, but existent hero cycle.

  22. According to Mr. Snyder, a hero is a person that embodies the values of their culture. Balducci, as the only one in the story to complete his role in a manner that would be supported by his society, is the stories hero. Balducci is given "an order to deliver the prisoner and [he does] so," (p.13).Balducci has fulfilled his duty to the French Colonial Governenment without question, even with his age and the inconvenience it causes the El Ameur patrol.

    Daru, even though the protagonist, admits that he "won't hand [the Arab] over," and fails to at the conclusion of the story (p.12). Daru is therefore a traitor to his country, and in no way upholds his society's value of justice. The Arab is in a similar situation as Daru. The prisoner had he upheld what his society wished upon him would have not "walk[ed] slowly on the road to prison," (p.28), as made clear by the note left on Daru's board by brethren of the Arab stating "You handed over our brother. You will pay for this," explaining the Arabs' unwillingness to accept the french rule (p.29). Since neither the Arab or Daru upheld the values they should have, the honorable Balducci is the hero of, "The Guest".

    Daru, Daru, Daru is on fi-ire.
    happy spring break Sherpster.

  23. While this is an extremely debatable prompt, for me the answer is made clear by the fact that is asks of the story. The hero is the Arab. When he chooses to turn himself in instead of running away he demonstrates regret and a sense of responsibility. He knows that Daru, who was so kind and tried to save him, may suffer grave consequences if it was discovered that he did not force the Arab to go to jail. It is true that he committed murder, however this did not take place during the story, and the question specifically asked "of the story", restricting all criteria to actions that happened in the story.

    Throughout the story the Arab was quiet, reserved, and committed no violent actions at all. He expressed remorse for his previous sins, and in the end he made the morally right decision, making him the hero.

  24. In “The Guest”, by Albert Camus the hero of the story is the Arab. The Arab is the true hero because he is the only character brave enough to decide on his own beliefs and atick to them. The other characters, Daru and Balducci, either do not have the courage to stand up against what they believe to be wrong, or are even so cowardly that they hide from their own thoughts, not allowing themselves to find what the truth is to them.
    The Arab is more heroic because he chooses the path he finds to be just and right, “walking slowly on the road to prison”, punishing himself as the government says he needs to be, even though he would obviously rather get away. He chooses not what is easier but what he finds to be moral, which is a heroic characteristic.
    Daru on the other hand cannot even search out what he finds is morally right, finally just handing the decision over to another man. Balducci also avoids following his morals as he speaks of tying the Arab up saying that “’You don't get used to putting a rope on a man even after years of it, and you're even ashamed’”. This lack of search for or adherence to personal morals makes Daru and Balducci unheroic, leaving the Arab who sticks to his convictions the hero.

  25. The hero in "The Stranger" is Daru because he had the choice to take the Arab to jail. Since Daru is a more real person than many other hero characters, it is more difficult to identify him as such. Daru, a former soldier, was commanded by Balducci to take the Arab to jail. Although the Arab was a criminal and treated as less than human, Daru treated him like one. The Arab, clearly unused to such treatment was bewildered, "Why do you eat with me?"

    Daru also left the Arab with the choice to go to jail. Daru was morally opposed to taking him to jail and let the Arab decide. He encouraged the Arab to join some nomads that would treat him fairly but found out "with heavy heart" that the Arab was going to jail. Daru even provide the man with enough food to last two days and money. Daru is the hero because he cares for people.

  26. If we look for a hero in "The Guest" in terms of a protagonist, a main character, it is difficult to say whether the schoolteacher Daru or the Arab left in his custody deserves the title. There is a case to be made for each.

    We are given this story through Daru's view, Daru's thought process. The Arab is brought into Daru's life, and we are given insight into the schoolteacher's conflicted feelings on the matter. The Arab's past actions "revolt[] him, but to hand him over [is] contrary to honor. Merely thinking of it ma[kes] him smart with humiliation" (24). Does he turn over a man he knows to have committed murder, or does he do a good deed for his fellow human? Follow orders or follow morals? When it finally comes down to it, Daru tells the Arab how to reach either the administration that is looking for him or a land where he will be free, and he gives him more than enough money and food to last the latter journey. This is all he can hope to do for the other man. The story begins and ends with Daru--and, at the end, he alone is left.

    Yet we meet the Arab in the middle of perhaps a far larger story, one that began at least with the murder of his cousin and probably even long before that. Daru's encounter with him--or, to put it another way, his encounter with Daru--is only a chapter, or part of one. An earlier part of this story must be on the verge of coming into play when the Arab "turn[s] toward Daru and a sort of panic [is] visible in his expression" (27). He has something important to tell the schoolteacher, but he will not listen. In the end, he resigns himself to prison despite the other option given to him, and this, this choice to take the path of justice, is undeniably heroic.

    Still, the question is, who is the hero of THIS story? In this specific tale, this little story, "The Guest," Daru is the main character, the best candidate for "hero."

  27. In a weird and twisted way, the Arab is the hero of ‘The Guest.’ Despite the fact that the Arab killed his cousin with little reason, he still shows incredibly endearing qualities. The Arab was able to recognize the choices that he made and accept the punishment. When Balducci took the Arab to Darus schoolhouse, the Arab followed behind him, yes he was tied, but willingly. The Arab was also heroic in the way he was given opportunity after opportunity to escape. First Daru untied him and neither Daru of Balducci paid much attention to him giving him the opportunity to escape. Then in the middle of the night after Balducci had left, Daru heard the Arab get up and leave his bed, Daru continued to lie in one place, but the Arab did not take advantage of this opportunity and returned to the room instead of escaping.
    It takes a lot of moral and honesty to accept responsibility for a terrible crime such as murdering someone in your family. The Arab has this quality. It might be a little bit sick to call the Arab the hero of this story, but if you look at the story honestly he is. The Arab was a unique man, he wasn’t a filthy villain. He accepted with crime with an interestingly honest attitude. This accepting and honest quality is what makes the Arab the true hero of this story.

    Eliza Trono

  28. A hero is what a society, or more often writer, sees as the perfect person. When he encounters a decision, he chooses the path that we hope we would take. Often in stories that is not an easy decision. Such is the case for Daru in Camus’ “The Guest”. He finds himself in an ethical quandary and eventually takes the route which is most morally appealing to the writer and his society.
    The central conflict of the story is a moral one between two morals: one man has no right to chain another and one man must be punished if he does something dreadful. Daru is the one to confront this conflict. Daru is the one who Camus has chosen to confront and act upon the central conflict in the way Camus feels is the ethically correct. Daru thus becomes the paragon of Camus’ ideals. Daru makes the right, in Camus’ view, decision even despite the negative effects it may have. Daru, who does not want to “hurt the old Corsican”, must insult him nonetheless in order to make the right choice.
    The gendarme cannot be the hero because he does not do what even he thinks is right. Despite the fact that he “do[es not] like [chaining the Arab] either” he still does exactly that because “that’s the rule” and he does not wish to face the penalties for breaking the rules. The Arab cannot be the hero because his conflict is only very minor and Camus does not discuss that dilemma in detail. While the Arab does “walk slowly on the road to prison” Camus does not focus on that action. The Arab is not used to describe Camus’ moral system.

  29. “The Guest”

    The Arab proves himself to be the true hero of this story. He has a kind of patience and endurance, which shows his strength. At one point, Daru looks at the Arab, “trying to picture his face bursting with rage. He couldn’t do so. He could see nothing but the dark yet shining eyes…” (18). The Arab keeps a kind of calm about him, revealing hardly anything of any kind of inner panic. He obeys orders and remains quiet. However, his eyes are described several times as shining or feverish. These adjectives are not used to imply that the Arab is sick. They instead imply that the Arab’s eyes are the only part of his body that betray any of his inner feelings. The Arab is nervous and afraid, but he reveals these feelings only with his eyes. He is consistently, outwardly, quiet and patient- it takes a great deal of strength to hide emotions in this way, especially if one has committed a crime. He has the strength to remain calm and bear his present situation.

    The Arab also shows that he knows what he has done is wrong and that he carries a sense of remorse. Before leaving the Arab on his own, Daru gives him supplies to last him and tells him where to go to get protection. However, when he looks back, “Daru with a heavy heart made out the Arab walking slowly on the road to prison” (28). The Arab could have escaped, could have run away and never been prosecuted, but he instead chose to turn himself in. He knows that he deserves to be punished for the crime of murder and takes it upon himself to ensure that he is given a just punishment. He could easily have run away, but he did the moral thing. Not only does this take a great deal of strength, it displays a strong sense of morality on the Arab’s part. This choice alone reveals that the Arab’s character is both strong and honorable, whether or not he has killed a man.

  30. In “The Guest,” the characters don’t depict typical hero qualities. Every character has obvious flaws, yet the Arab repeatedly chooses to act as he is told, even when it isn’t beneficial to him. During the night he spends with Daru, he leaves the schoolhouse quietly, almost as if he’s going to run away. Instead, “the Arab again stood framed in the doorway, closed the door carefully, and came back to bed without a sound.” Staying despite his eventual imprisonment displays the Arab’s heroic nature, to not shy away from punishment for.

    The Arab is given an opportunity to be free once again, but this time another openly allows him to flee from the police who are waiting for him. Again the Arab chooses to face his fate, as Daru sees him “walking toward the prison.” Even when all logic points towards his freedom, the Arab continues in his journey to Tinguit. While the crime he committed was severe, the Arab accepted the consequences of his actions, as other heroes would.

  31. Josh Trubowitz
    Camus' work explores the ambiguity of heroism, questioning what truly constitutes a hero. And in The Guest, the answer is not clear-cut or framed in black and white terms. It could be Balducci, one who stoically upholds the law despite the fact that he will "never get used to putting a rope on a man." This ability to work for the greater good – even when he does not truly understand how the ends justify the means – shows a strong loyalty towards and belief in what he does. But it is not clear that this defines a hero. Nor is it obvious that Daru is as much a hero as a man whose actions are defined by his time. When the Arab is forced upon him, he has little say in the matter and acts in the way he sees fit, this being one that the reader can sympathize with. However, Daru did little to go out of his way to help the prisoner. While he ignored the law for what he saw as the best course of action, there was little that he actually did to accomplish this vision. The Arab, too, falls in the gray area, his plight the archetypal struggle of past versus present. Do his past actions discredit his final about-face? After all, even though he owns up to his actions in the end, his murder will never be erased.
    Clearly, it is difficult to slap the title of "hero" to any of the characters, Camus showing the reader that life – much less heroism -- is not something that can be defined by a dictionary. This also means that heroism is subjective and open to interpretation and will thus be evaluated from my own personal ideas of what makes a man a hero. When seen in this light, I find myself siding most with Daru. While he may simply have been defined by his time and place, his internal struggle was one that resonated with me. His decision to follow his own moral code even when it conflicted with the law is, to me, one measure of heroism.

  32. The hero of The Guest is Balducci. Worn-out Greek idealistic definitions of hero are not appropriate in the context of the modern story. The persecuted Arab is not the hero, because he is aggressive and confused. He does not understand himself. He kills his cousin out of anger and pressure to do what what he thinks is Right.
    Daru is even less heroic. He leads his life day by day without variation or excitement, fulfilled by his simple role in life. He initially rejects the notion of doing something out of the ordinary, scared by deviation and surprise.
    But Balducci! He does what he does. His job as a gendarme defines him, and he pursues his objective without ambition, perhaps only despairing at his lack of choice in the matter. In that sense he is Camus' existentialist hero: he lives his own life and nothing else. "O. K. But the orders exist and they concern you too."
    Unlike Daru, Balducci has no choice whatsoever in defying the law, but he doesn't resent his imposed task at hand.
    Daru acts on an ideal, setting the Arab free, thus enslaving himself to a Virtue. He pays for his transgression against himself.

  33. The Hero of "The Guest"
    Alekz Graves
    Note: Citations refer to paragraph #s

    Balducci follows the orders of his superiors flawlessly. However, if he embodies the values of his culture, as a hero does, then his culture does not have any morals at all. Even though he says, “You don't get used to putting a rope on a man even after years of it,” (13) he continues to do so to follow orders. Although part of his culture’s morals is doing your job, it is not the only thing.

    Daru has the opposite flaw as Balducci. He has no allegiance to his superiors and does not follow his orders. This is evident when he tells the Arab, “In a day's walk from here you'll find pasturelands and the first nomads. They'll take you in and shelter you according to their law,” (28). Assuming that the Arab will choose to be free, Daru ignores all orders to take him to Tinguit and allows him to escape. In this way, he neglects all of his superior’s orders. Unlike Balducci, however, he does what he considers the morally correct thing to do because of pure human-to-human morals and because the Arab “impos[es] on him a sort of brotherhood,” (22). This makes him an amiable character, but not the hero because, as mentioned before, following one’s orders is a moral that his culture probably valued.

    The Arab, on the other hand, is the only character in the story who upholds his culture’s values while still following his civil duty. Although the Arab killed his cousin, he is clearly remorseful. This is evidenced by the aversion of his eyes when asked why he killed his cousin and the “sort of woeful interrogation,” (19) that Daru sees in his eyes. Additionally, he fulfilled his civil duty and did the morally correct thing to do when he “walk[s] slowly on the road to prison,” (29) instead of escaping, which would have been the logical but illegal and unjust thing to do. For these reasons, out of the three main characters in the short story, the Arab best embodies the values of his culture, which is the main characteristic of a hero.

  34. The Hero: "The Guest" or Host?
    Rosalind Faires

    It becomes difficult to categorize a man when the categories are hazy. We have learned a dozen ways to recognize a hero. Sometimes, armor and white horses are expected, sometimes selfless action, and sometimes just someone whose life journey follows a particular path of development and adventure or who provides the best example of the culture from which they spring.
    It seems to me that "The Guest" is not a piece about heroes. Yes, we undoubtedly hear the most about Daru, but what is written paints a picture not of a moralistic hero, but of a three-dimensional man who is guided by his beliefs, but nonetheless attempts to evade responsibility over others. The Arab, on the other hand, is less fleshed out, and harder to interpret. Why does he turn himself in? Because it is "right"? Because it saves Daru from being harassed by the government? It is difficult to define him as a hero when he is so little understood.
    Perhaps the Arab is the closest thing to a hero in "The Guest". Certainly, his actions are noble, both in his acceptance of his position and responsibility. I am not at all certain.

  35. "The Guest", Albert Camus

    Both Daru and the Arab in "The Guest" are admirable characters, but the Arab is the one that is the actual hero of the story.
    While Daru does what he believes to be morally right throughout the story, by not tying up the Arab when suggested to by Balducci, in addition to trusting the man in his home and allowing him to make the choice at the end of the story whether to turn himself in or to journey to a separate village where he would be put up.
    By choosing to turn himself in at the end of the story, following the "road to prison" as Daru looks back at him, the Arab becomes the hero of this story. He has done wrong, and though he could have escaped at many points of his journey to prison, and is actually given a clear choice between freedom and imprisonment at the end of the story. He does what he knows that he deserves, and turns himself in. this makes him the hero of this story.

  36. In “The Guest” the hero is the schoolteacher, Daru. He expresses many heroic attributes of a hero such as a display of courage and the will for self sacrifice for some greater good. Daru does things like teaching the less fortunate by doing things to help them, like making sure they have enough food for them to make it “over to the next harvest”. Though Daru is hard on himself about not doing enough, he still takes in the prisoner. He takes the takes the time to make the Arab feel comfortable; he gives him a place to sleep and gives him food. All of these actions show the reader of the story that he has heroic attributes.
    Though just like every hero he has a heroic attribute that plagues him, he has a tragic flaw. This tragic flaw follows that of classic heroic traits, he cannot decide what to do with the Arab that he keeps under lock and key. He fights with himself whether or not he should take the Arab to the police or not. Through out the end of the story he struggles with his thoughts and finally tells the Arab to go. Though this doubts the readers thoughts of him being heroic he sends the Arab off with “dates, bread, and sugar.” And Daru said “’You can hold out for two days. Here are a thousand francs too.’" And then “The Arab took the package and the money but kept his full hands at chest level as if he didn't know what to do with what was being given him.” These are things that make Daru become the hero of the story. Even though Daru has an attribute that plague him he is still the hero because in the end he did good for a less fortunate person.

  37. Daru is without a doubt the hero of "The Guest." The most obvious reason for this is that he surveyed the Arab and Balducci, and was the first one introduced. The story goes on to describe his life in more detail than the others. The Arab is much more mysterious and in the dark. His murder of his brother was left only to "'He ran away. I ran after him.'" If the Arab were the hero of the story, his life would have been analyzed more.

    Daru is the one who learns the most from this experience. He lives in a "solitary expanse where nothing had any connection with man." Before the Arab arrived, Daru felt at ease with his new, solitary life. However, when the Arab chose to go on the path of conviction, Daru's views changed. When the Arab was given the chose of which path to take, "panic was visible in his expression." This means that the Arab was not completely sure of the situation, and chose in Daru's opinion the wrong path. Daru later reflects and notices that "he was alone." He chose the path to freedom, which the Arab should have taken. The Arab chose the path to conviction, which Daru should have taken . This is because Daru would have been better in the busy civilization, even if he were conviction, than the solitary place he currently is in. Daru goes through a eureka of faults, thus is the one who learned the most from the story. This proves that Daru is the tragic hero of "The Guest."

  38. Albert Camus’s The Guest does not contain a hero. Three characters are presented, but they do not have the capacity to be a hero.

    No one considers Balducci heroic. After all, he adheres to the regulations, regardless of his own beliefs, “The old gendarme stood in front of him and looked at him severely…’ I don't like it either. You don't get used to putting a rope on a man even after years of it’” (12). He clearly states that he does not agree with the treatment of the prisoners. Yet, he ties the Arab’s hands and constantly emphasizes the ‘orders’ he received. Balducci cannot disobey the government, uphold his morals, and does not display noble qualities. He has no heroic qualities.

    Daru is potentially the hero figure of The Guest. Camus writes that, “Daru felt a sudden wrath against the man, against all men with their rotten spite, their tireless hates, their blood lust” (11) He is morally upright, hates violence and the men who resort to violence. This is indicative of his peaceful and righteous character. He follows these morals and disregards the orders that he receives, because they conflict with his beliefs. He opts to follow his own path and mind. These qualities are generally accepted as heroic.

    However, Daru assists a person who went against his morals, "‘He is running away,’ he merely thought. ‘Good riddance!’" (22). Daru feels hatred for the Arab and his crime. Yet, he does not persecute the Arab, who resorted to violence. If he does not act fully on his beliefs, they are not truly a redeeming factor, because aside from his morals, Daru does not have anything else. He is not heroic.

    Daru offers the Arab a choice, “‘He pointed in the direction of the east, ‘…At Tinguit you'll find the administration and the police… ‘That's the trail across the plateau. In a day's walk from here you'll find pasturelands and the first nomads’” (27). The Arab makes the final decision. He chooses to turn himself in, displaying his feelings of remorse. On the surface, the Arab has turned ‘good’, so he can be considered a hero. However, the gendarme’s rope, the gun, and his feelings of guilt and fear bar him. His crime and imprisonment illustrate the fact that the Arab does not act on his own. He is forced into his condition by the will of others. Hence, he is also not a hero.

  39. "The Guest"

    In the guest, three persons are presented for character analysis alone. Daru, the teacher, Balducci, the gendarme, and the Arab prisoner. However, the teacher acts solely on personal motives and for self-preservation, the police officer acts based on his job and everyday responsibilities, neither exhibiting the selfless courage and self-sacrifice for the sake of others. Only the Arab does this, turning himself in acceptance of his punishment, following the orders and the wishes of others despite his ability to decline them and instead better his own position.

    Under further review, one can see that legal and social obligations are the only rules under which Balducci performs. Balducci follows his "orders" (Camus paragraph 8) , doesn't do anything when its "not [his] job" (8). Balducci sees the world only through his police perspective, regarding actions only as bad and good, unlawful and lawful. Because of his lack of expressed empathy and his lack of understanding and self-sacrifice because of it, Balducci is not the hero.

    Daru is simply processing based on his own needs. Daru dislikes the idea of handing the Arab over because turning him in "was contrary to honor" and even the though of it "made him smart with humiliation" (24). Daru formulates here his motives on the perceptions people will receive of him because of his actions. daru neither takes the Arab to custody nor protects him whole-heartedly. Instead he allows the Arab to make the difficult decision that Daru would otherwise have to, giving him provisions to reach the nomads or the jail.

    The Arab is the only character that accommodates the welfare of others and acts solely on this welfare, his conscience, and his moral integrity. When leaving the room in the middle of the night to answer the call of nature, instead of taking the opportunity to escape, "he [comes] back to bed without a sound" (22), Owning up to his responsibility for murder. When provided with the choice to escape imprisonment and seek freedom and refuge, he considers the reputation of both the policeman and the teacher and the consequences for each, as well as the accountability for his crime, and chooses the road to judgement rather than that to emancipation. The Arab is the hero of "The Guest"

  40. Although there is some speculation as to which character of "The Guest" is, the one that most fully embraces the role of a hero is the Arab. Heroes often are accompanied by their flaws, the Arab's being that "he killed his cousin with a billhook". Granted, this is a pretty big mistake to have to carry with you, but it is one of the great aspects of human nature to seek redemption and forgiveness.

    The key characteristic that makes the Arab the hero and not Daru is that he is able to follow through with his expectations, or rather, exceed the expectations of others. Daru is expected to take the Arab all the way to Tinguit. However, he chooses not to do so, telling the Arab that he has "a two hour walk" to get to the destination himself while Daru returns home. The Arab could choose to run away, but simply "[walks] slowly on the road to prison". He chooses to make the right decision, setting him apart from Daru as the hero of Albert Camu's "The Guest".

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  42. Within Albert Ganus' "The Guest," Daru portrays the hero of the story. His continuous faith in others and their ability to do the right thing resembles his compassion for humanity. Upon hearing his order to deliver the Arab to prison, Daru declares, "I won't hand him over" (12). Daru's refusal demonstrates the sacrifices he is willing to make in order to give a person another chance. Daru surprises the Arab with his courtesy and respect, treating him not as a villian, but as a guest.
    Towards the end of the story, Daru gives the Arab a choice. He may either walk himself to prison or head in the other direction to be taken in by a nomad tribe. By giving the Arab a choice, Daru allows him to find his inner being and discover who he truly is. The Arab has to determine if he is one who wants to live in a world full of deception and injustice, or if he wants to be the one to do the right thing and endure the punishment he deserves. Daru eventually sees the Arab "walking slowly on the road to prison" (28),and knows he had chosen to do the right thing.
    Daru is the hero of the story because his actions led another man to discover the goodness in his heart, altering his perception of life. The Arab acknowledged the justice he had to face, and Daru gave him a chance to fulfill it in honor instead of shame.

  43. In The “Guest,” the Arab is the hero because he is brave and he sacrifices himself for the well being of others. When Daru releases the Arab, he gives him the choice of whether to escape to freedom, or to turn himself in to jail. The Arab’s choice to turn himself in to be arrested shows that he values the welfare of others more than his own. The Arab realized that Daru would be punished for releasing him, so he decided to protect Daru by going to jail. Also, the Arab had many opportunities during the night to escape from the schoolhouse or to attack Daru, but he chose not to, which shows his responsibility and concern for others.

    Daru is not the hero because although he helps the Arab, he does not take any decisive actions to prove the morality of his choices. Though Daru does not agree with Balducci’s treatment of the Arab, he also does not approve of the Arab’s crime. He does not want to take either side of the issue. During the night, when Daru believes that the Arab is running away, he thinks, “‘he is running away,’ […] ‘Good riddance!’” This shows that he does not want any association with the Arab. He does not want to decide whether or not to deliver him to jail because “that man’s stupid crime revolted him, but to hand him over was contrary to honor.” This shows that Daru is not willing to sacrifice himself for the benefit of the Arab. When Daru releases the Arab, he gives him the choice of going to jail, or escaping to freedom. By giving the Arab the choice of his fate, he places the responsibility on him. Throughout his entire custody of the Arab, Daru does not take responsibility for any of his actions nor does he take any decisive actions according to his morals. This does not display heroic qualities. The Arab, however, takes the road to jail in order to protect Daru.

  44. In “The Guest” by Alfred Camus, the true hero is Daru. Daru proves his worth as the story’s hero by being selfless, and making an honorable sacrifice. Daru, who is ordered by Balducci to “deliver the prisoner” (13) to the local legal head quarters, makes a noble choice to let the prisoner decide his fate. It is apparent that Daru does not respect the prisoner because of his crime of “murdering his cousin” (11), but Daru does not let his feelings get in the way of his actions or cloud his judgment. Daru has a clear system of morals and values which he uses when he tries to determine the right course of action to take with the prisoner. Daru knows his place in society as a school teacher and does not consider himself a keeper of the law.
    Daru has the potential to persecute the prisoner. His heroism is defined by his restraint and his noble cause. When Daru feeds the prisoner, the prisoner asks, “Are you the judge?” (17) Daru responds, “No, I’m just keeping you here until tomorrow” (17). This event foreshadows Daru’s decision to let the prisoner decide his own fate. He is not the judge, but rather the safe-keeper of the prisoner, proving Daru’s heroism as a noble warrior without a sword.

  45. While the term "hero" has many connotations, the most common definition is of a protagonist that embodies the values of the author or of society. Additionally, the hero is most often the main character of the work whose motives and emotions are most thoroughly explained such that the reader is able to sympathize.

    Based on this definition, the hero of Albert Camus' "The Guest" is Daru. Camus begins by referring to him as the "schoolmaster" (1), a profession often associated with kindness and a strict moral code. This image is further reinforced by Camus' mention of him distributing grain to the impoverished families. While it could be argued that he does so only through a sense of obligation, he is not portrayed as greedy and is said to be "satisfied with the little he had and with [his] rough life" (4). These illustrations and others depict Daru as a compassionate and humble protagonist.

    However, Daru does not remain a superficial, incorruptible hero. Camus often centers on his thought process, revealing that he is frequently unsure as to how he should act: though he agrees to take on the Arab prisoner, he derives "unmixed joy...from the mere thought that the Arab might have fled and that he would be alone with no decision to make" (16). In the end, Daru relinquishes his control of the situation and gives over power to the Arab, an action that is not at all heroic. However, Daru still feels responsible for the Arab's fate, suggesting that our decisions shape the world, whether they are heroic or not.

  46. I would say that the hero of The Guest is Drau. He is obviously the main character and the most likely candidate to be the hero, but more than that he is trying to help out the Arab, and he defies an order to transport the Arab to Tinguit from Balducci because, his long time friend, to do so, "Listen, Balducci," Daru said suddenly, "every bit of this disgusts me, and first of all your fellow here. But I won't hand him over. Fight, yes, if I have to. But not that." Also he feeds and takes care of the Arab and eats with him, and is never once unkind to him while the Arab stays with him.
    Daru also fits the characteristics of the typical hero, he is kind, peaceful, and accepting, he lives alone, “he who lived almost like a monk in his remote schoolhouse”, and he does what is right, no matter what the circumstances are, even against the law. He does end up transporting the Arab, but he doesn’t give him over to the police, instead he gives him some food and direction to where he can stay, He turned toward the Arab, who was looking at him blankly. “Daru held out the package to him. ‘Take it,’ he said. ‘There are dates, bread, and sugar. You can hold out for two days. Here are a thousand francs too.’" And he lets him make his own choice of weather to run away from the police or not, “In a day's walk from here you'll find pasturelands and the first nomads. They'll take you in and shelter you according to their law."

  47. “The Guest”

    In “The Guest,” the character that best fits the characteristics of a hero is the Arab. At first one is inclined to think that Daru, the schoolmaster, is the hero of the story because he shows kindness and compassion towards the Arab. A hero, however, is someone who embodies the values of a culture. From the reading, one can observe that the culture presented in “The Guest” is a culture that believes in justice. After the Arab kills a relative, he is “expected at the police headquarters,” and Daru is responsible for delivering “this fellow to Tinguit.” Daru, by letting the Arab escape and avoid justice is violating his values and culture. Therefore, Daru is not in the best position to be the hero of the story.

    The Arab, on the other hand, “[walks] on the road to prison,” because he knows that he is culpable of a crime. The fact that he killed a relative might make him seem as if he is the antagonist of the story, yet he decides to do the right thing by giving in to the police. He embodies the values of this culture, by being just and honest.

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  49. Lauren Vunderink - Period 7

    The hero of “The Guest” by Albert Camus is the school teacher, Daru. Hero’s are generally easily recognized by a few key traits, that do not necessarily go in order, but develop as throughout the story, leaving the reader with a moral at the end. Firstly, they need the empathy of the reader. Camus inspires feelings of sympathy in the audience by saying about Daru that “in [the] vast landscape he had loved so much, he was alone”. Next, the hero is often put in an uncomfortable or foreign situation that tries their skills, such as when Daru was given the odd job of delivering the prisoner, even though “that’s not [his] job”. When this occurs, the hero in question is usually aware of the people’s feelings around him, and they hesitate, “not wanting to hurt the old Corsican”, or whomever the other people are. A lovely character trait for a hero to possess is the ability to treat everyone equally, and when they ask, “Why do you eat with me?” answer very simply and honestly, “I’m hungry.” Clearly Daru fills all these loose requirements for the typical hero, and thus our question is answered.

  50. The Arab is the hero in Albert Camus' "The Guest." While Daru is the main character, it is the Arab who shows true strength and a sense of what is right, both of which are heroic qualities.

    When Daru lets the Arab decide his fate, whether to turn him self in or to run away, Daru sees "the Arab walking slowly on the road to prison."(28) By turning himself in, the Arab shows that he has a good sense of justice and what is right. He knows that he has done something wrong. Although it may mean sacrificing himself, he turns himself in to uphold the values of their society.

    Daru "Looks at [the Arab], therefore, trying to imagine his face bursting with rage.[But] He [can't] do so."(18) Daru can tell that the Arab, while he may have done something wrong, is a good person by looking at his eyes. The Arab's eyes are mentioned frequently throughout the story and are often described as "feverish." The description of his feverish eyes reveals the Arab's fear, but although he is frightened, he stays calm and never tries to runaway. His ability to face his fate even through his fear shows his true strength.

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  52. there is an odd quirk about life called the two haystacks principal. the way it works is that if a donkey is put directly between two perfectly identical haystacks, he will starve to death from indecision. in Albert Camus' "The Guest", Daru falls subject to this principal, where he can help the Arab or help his Police friend, both of which hardy effect him in the long run. At the same time, the Arab, who is presented with one out come that physically benefits him, and one that spiritually benefits him chooses the latter which is heroic as opposed to taking the stand of a donkey.

    the main reason that the Arab is so heroic is that he has come to terms with what he has done, and that it is, as Daru puts it, a "tupid crime [that] revolt[s] him"(24), killing his cousin with a billhook. even when given the chance to get away %100 scott free, he choose what he feels he deserves, and the Arabs rare virtue of pure self honesty makes him a hero.

  53. The hero featured in Albert Camus' "The Guest" is Daru. The earliest piece of information that the reader is given about this character is that he is a schoolmaster, displaying his obvious concern for others to be educated. At the beginning of the story, Daru is watching two figures through the school house window. "Somewhat warmed, Daru returned to the window from which he had first seen the two men. They were no longer visible. Hence they must have tackled the rise" (1872). He shows obvious concern for the well being of the men and keeps an eye on them to provide some sort of safety displaying his selflessness.

    When the man and his slave arrive, Daru is quick to offer his assistance. He is gracious and concerned about both men even due to the fact that one was a slave and was though of as below others. "'He might perhaps be untied'" (1874). Daru suggests this to the slave's master when he notices how painful the binding around the man's hands must be. Daru was interested in the Arab slave from the beginning. "From under his bristling mustache he smiled at the schoolmaster. His little dark eyes, deep-set under a tanned forehead, and his mouth surrounded with wrinkles made him look attentive and studious" (1873).

    Like any hero is, Daru is faced with a decision in the story when he is left with the task of "delivering" the Arab slave. Being a kind and fair person, Daru is destined to struggle with the situation. "'Are you the judge?' 'No, I’m just keeping you here until tomorrow'" (1874). This exchange shows the hesitation Daru feels about having the fate of the slave in his hands. He later makes the decision to allow the slave to decide his own faith. Through this thought process, Daru shows his nature of equality and treating all people with respect. These are both extremely crucial and prominent characteristics with held by a heroic character, and this is why Daru is the heroic figure in "The Guest."

  54. Ari Ferdman
    Dead from the moment Balducci was ordered to deliver the Arab to his schoolhouse, the tragic Daru may have been set up as the hero simply by being portrayed during the time that the story narrates. Daru may have saved the Arab's life, but it did not take enormous courage or nobility to do so. He stuck by his morals which was commendable, however if Daru was truly a hero it was for something that he did that he he did not consider heroic. His teaching, during a time of war, food rations, and blizzards, was heroic, as well as the effort he made to help out anyone he could by supplying them with provisions.
    It is because of Daru's commitment to the children of the town during troubling towns that I choose him as the hero of the story. The Arab murdered for his people and they probably considered him a hero, however he was not a universal hero. Daru's actions benefited mankind overall--he did not care whether he was helping his own people or the Arab. "That man's stupid crime revolted him," he thought, "but to hand him over was contrary to honor" (paragraph 24). Balducci carried out difficult orders but really was watching out for his own back, not willing to cross any lines or anger any officials. He did not like the orders, he said, "but the orders exist and they concern [Daru] too" (paragraph 8).
    Daru seemed to encompass a strong connection with nature. He noticed the beautiful landscapes around him, and gazed at the surrounding mountains. His connection with nature and noble intentions along with his terrible fate evoke pity from the reader, especially when reminded that "In this vast landscape he had loved so much, he was alone" (paragraph 29). His solitude set him aside as a fated but exceptionally good person.

  55. In Camus’ “The Guest,” there are three prominent characters, each with their own points of view and their own stories to tell. The reader sees the events of the tale through Daru, though, who, out of the three main characters, is the only one whose qualities consistently live up to reader’s moral standard. Furthermore, Daru is the only character to exhibit selflessness in the story, and thus it is fair to say that he is the hero.

    While it is not Daru who narrates the story, he is the first character introduced to the reader. As the reader observes as, in the opening paragraph, the two men travel up the hillside, Daru is watching through his window. Immediately, this connection of perspective is made between the reader and Daru. He extends this bond by establishing Daru as a safe, likable character: a school teacher whose primary interest seems to be helping his impoverished students and their families. Clearly caring of these students, Daru reflects on how “it would be hard to forget that poverty, that army of ragged ghosts wandering in the sunlight.”

    Even when Balducci (whose immediate rudeness and disconnection to the reader rules him out as a hero) presents Daru with a difficult situation, Daru continues in this path of moral righteousness and self-sacrifice. He helps the imprisoned Arab in his time of need, despite his past immorality (the Arab’s killing of his cousin ensures that he himself is not the story’s hero). This is not to say that Daru isn’t wise about his situation, as he tells Balducci how “every bit of this disgusts me, and first of all your fellow here. But I won't hand him over. Fight, yes, if I have to. But not that.” Daru’s strength and moral stability here add to his heroic image, and so it can be certain that in “The Guest,” Daru obtains the role of the hero.

    --Alec Herskowitz

  56. All the characters in Camus' "The Guest" show heroism at some point in time. The soldier shows heroism when he tries to protect the people from the "forthcoming revolt." He is trying to keep peace and law from becoming overcome by chaos and anarchy. Without order, civilization will fall.
    The schoolkeeper, Daru, also shows heroism by taking orders from Balducci and showing hospitality towards his guests. He notices the prisoner's discomfort and asks if "he might perhaps be untied." He serves both of his guests, despite the fact one is a murderer. He gives the arab respect, even though others believe he does not deserve anything.
    The true hero, however, is the Arab. He faces the truth about what he did when he was questioned by Daru, and did not deny anything. He shows true honesty and responsibility because he does not hide anything, but rather accepts the blame. He is even given the chance to avoid punishment twice. Daru thinks the prisoner runs away and thinks "good riddance," but the prisoner comes back. Daru also offers the prisoner two days of food and one thousand francs as well as the path to freedom or prison, but the arab makes the responsible choice of "walking slowly on the road to prison." This obedience is the theme Camus is trying to convey, and it is an example of true heroism.

  57. Albert Camus’s “The Stranger” is a masterful commentary on the choices and decisions made by humans when faced with difficult or trying circumstances. Daru, the protagonist, is the reluctant hero of the story. Forced to decide whether a murderer lives or dies, he takes on the weighty responsibility of choosing another man’s fate. Instead of taking out his own will on the Arab and removing his unalienable right to life, he allows the prisoner to take his fate into his own hands. “Now look,” he tells the unfortunate man. “There’s the way to Tinguit.” He offers the man the choice to live his own life, something that his government did not see him fit to hold. His act of mercy on the poor Arab demonstrates his personal strength of character. While he may have been frustrated by Balducci attempting to force him to turn in the prisoner, he ultimately accepted the responsibility of the man’s life and liberty. Daru had the choice to be insensitive to the pain and terror of the Arab, and yet, while he was irritated by the man’s useless panic and reliance on him, he managed to feel sympathy for his desperate state, noting the uncomfortable bindings on the Arab's wrists and suggesting, "he may perhaps be untied."
    It can be argued that Daru's choice to not choose made him the weakest character in the story. However, who was Daru to choose the man's life or death for him? While Daru "felt a sudden wrath against them all, against all men with their rotten spite, their tireless hates, their bloodlust" when told of the murderous crime of the Arab, and repeatedly interrogated him hostilely, asking, "why did you kill him?" this expresses the limits of his ability to judge him. As another human being, the peer of the Arab, he has no right to choose the man's life. While punishment should be served to those deserving, Daru's contumacy at the request of Balducci is deserved, because Balducci is asking him to make a decision that no single man should be called upon to make for another. It could be argued that this is Daru defying the will of his country, but arguably Daru is superseding the unclear judgment of his nation and respecting man's unalienable rights. This makes him a hero, because his deference to the Arab's humanity can only be described as heroic.
    This altruistic act, that in the end came (or will come) to harm him, can only be considered the deed of a hero. Daru, having long lived in the harsh, barren environment of his mountainous abode, is most likely completely aware of the retribution he may face for allowing the Arab to turn himself in. Guerilla warfare would have been a common (and feared) phenomenon, and Daru's willingness to place himself in the way of this deadly wrath displays a selfless personality, a true trait of a hero.

  58. If we take the hero in the sense of someone “noted for feats of courage or nobility of purpose, especially one who has risked or sacrificed his or her life” (Webster’s Dictionary) then Daru must be the hero of “The Guest.” Daru is true to this definition, his end decision to let the boy take his own path was disobedient of Balducci’s orders and he now faces a potential death threat, “You will pay for this.” A hero is supposed to be essentially “good” and the protector of overall righteousness in society, and Daru could not bear to see such a young boy dragged along at a rope no matter his previous actions. Daru lives “almost like a monk in his remote schoolhouse,” showcasing his essentially good heart and actions.
    A hero is one who stands up for what he believes in when the morals of society are in the midst of turmoil, and does not do so selfishly. Daru stands firmly in his actions and proclaims “That’s right. Repeat to them what I’ve said to you: I won’t hand him over.” He disobeys the law and his people who are on looking war and fighting, but does not believe this child should be treated so harshly. In the end, Daru’s actions are proven good when the boy decides to turn himself in rather than being upheld by brute force.

  59. Upon first reading “The Guest,” I could not clearly determine which one was the hero because the typical hero found in many stories did not seem to be present in this one. But as I thought about it, I began inclining towards Daru, despite the Arab’s choice to face his punishment by turning himself in, something extremely characteristic of a hero. Daru, the supposed protagonist of the story, is the hero because of his thoughts, actions, and reactions displayed from the arrival of his friend and the Arab to when the Arab left.
    Because of the way the story is composed, the readers are able to connect with Daru. The story is always set wherever Daru is, following him into the school’s classroom or from outside to inside and inside to outside. In addition, the plot is always surrounding Daru in order to show his thoughts and feelings towards others. First, Camus created an image of Daru that revealed his true personality. “He who lived almost like a monk in his remote schoolhouse, nonetheless satisfied with the little he had and with the rough life, had felt like a lord with his whitewashed walls…[and] his unpainted shelves,” (4) showing a heroic trait of modesty it seems as he enjoys the life he has teaching other children and giving them opportunities even though it may be harsh. Daru’s care and kindness for others also represents his heroic character. At the beginning, Daru’s personality was first revealed when he was thinking of the children. “They had missed it, he knew, during these bad days” (3), demonstrating that even during such a time when the weather was bad and it took hours to get to other places, he was able to think about the children he taught and hoped that they were doing alright. Later on, more of his kindness was revealed as he took in the Arab, fed him, gave him shelter, and showed him respect even though he murdered his own cousin.
    The situation that Daru is put in truly tests his strength and his bravery. Not prepared for such a thing to happen, Daru was given the task of taking the Arab to Tinguit, even thought it was not his task to do. Stuck in such a situation, he is still able to keep calm and decide by himself the solution to this task. By giving the Arab a choice, he essentially gave the Arab another chance to live life. Heroes are meant to save other people or fix certain problems, and in this story, Daru gave the Arab a second chance to relive things. His consideration for others’ well-being is so strong and his respect towards everyone demonstrates that he is a good person, and additionally, a hero.

  60. The Arab is the hero of "The Guest" by Albert Camus because the reader's attention is drawn to him in every scene. He is the main character, the protagonist, and thus the hero. Daru's growing distress throughout the story only enhances the focus on the Arab. With the prisoner's slightest movement, he is "stiffened, on the alert" (22). This close attention to the slightest motions of the Arab heightens his mystery, as it leaves the reader unaware of what is going on in the Arab's head. The ambiguity surrounding the character and the reader's lack of knowledge about how he has come to possess this quiet calm despite his desperate situation is paramount to his conundrum.

    The other reason that the Arab is the hero of the short story is ending. We are left unclear as to the fate of the Arab, and will remain in the dark about it. We can assume and hope that he escapes to his brothers in the hills rather than going on to the city to turn himself in, but his fate is unclear. Linked with this lack of knowledge is Daru's fate, as depending on the outcome of the Arab's release, Daru could be killed or saved by the relatives of the Arab.

  61. Balducci is the hero of Camus’ “Guest.” The Arab is not a hero, because he is confused about the morals by which he operates, and because he reacts impulsively and aggressively to petty pressures of society. Daru does not fit the role, because, although possessing a tremendous capacity for compassion, he is apathetic and indecisive: he tries to maintain neutrality during a conflict between two diametric sides—the Arabs and their colonial French masters. He appears to help out the Arab, but lacks the passion and initiative to go the full length and introduce the Arab into a welcoming tribe. Although he does allow the Arab to choose his own destiny, he does not consider the fact that the Arab is an unstable character with fluid morals, which reflects his fundamental lack of personal interest in his affairs.

    A hero is the embodiment of the values of a culture. Although specific values are not stated, Balducci is scrupulous, decisive, and law-abiding, and he obviously aligns himself with a single side, being weary to compromise this. He tells Daru that one doesn’t “get used to putting a rope on a man even after [y]ears of it” (12). Besides referencing his past as an adherent of the French colonial government, he empathizes with Daru, who has a newfound, emotionally challenging responsibility. So, while principled, Balducci is not prejudiced.

    The text also holds evidence that Balducci saved the Arab, as he reveals that “[the Arab’s] village was beginning to stir; they wanted to take him back” (9), which suggests that the Arab’s own people wanted to punish him for murdering his cousin. It is unreasonable to assume that the tribe will cheerfully welcome him back.

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  63. Of the three principal characters in "The Guest," Daru most resembles a hero because of his humanity and kindness to his fellow men, which he places above the law. While the Arab does display great moral character by deciding to take the path to prison at the end, he would have not had a choice had it not been for Daru's compassion. Balducci shows some reluctance in taking part in the Arab's death, but is unable to act based on what he thinks is humane and instead adheres to the law. He tells Daru, "You don't get used to putting a rope on a man even after years of it, and you're even ashamed, yes, ashamed" and expresses a distaste for executions, but adds that "I have an order to deliver the prisoner and I'm doing so." Daru, on the other hand, displays a difference in priority, as he finds his duty to his fellow men to be more significant than his duty to the law. Both Balducci and Daru have an inevitable freedom of choice that transcends any law. To obey the law would be the easier, and this is the choice Balducci takes. Daru is different and more heroic because he risks his reputation and his life to make the harder, but more humane option.

    Upon being asked by Balducci to send the arab off to prison, Daru adamantly refuses, saying, "I won't hand him over. Fight, yes, if I have to," shaking off a request from a man he has known for a considerable amount of time for a completely different stranger. He betrays the people he's associated with for a man of different descent. Daru is able to connect himself to the Arab because of a strong moral obligation he feels he has towards other men. Camus describes his connection in the 21st paragraph, stating that "Men who share the same rooms, soldiers or prisoners, develop a strange alliance as if, having cast off their armor with their clothing, they fraternized every evening, over and above their differences." As different as they are, Daru still manages to care for the Arab by giving him food and setting him loose, if only because he was a fellow human being.

    Daru notably fails to save the arab from execution at the end of the story. While this may appear to make him a failed hero, it actually demonstrates just how heroic he is. A major theme in the story is the fact that every man possesses a certain degree of freedom to make choices and should maintain that. Balducci and Daru have the freedom to decide whether they should save or condemn the Arab. The Arab has the freedom to decide whether he should go to prison or escape, but he only has that because it is given to him by Daru. The Arab is not forced on the path to freedom or escape because Daru gives him a choice, as he believes that he should not be at any means the ultimate decider of a man's fate. He shows him both "the way to Tinguit" and "the trail along the plateau." He chooses not to take away the Arab's free of will, though his desire to preserve his guest's personal liberty unfortunately drives the guest to condemn himself out of a moral obligation to his host.

  64. Balducci is the hero because he upholds all the beliefs of his nation and society, and has the good wisdom to act outside of his level of comfortability. Where Daru acts upon his own beliefs, his beliefs may be uninformed, and are without a doubt very subjective. When acting to represent your nation, to disobey your duty is not only unpatriotic, and unfaithful to society, it is unheroic.

    " 'I don't like it either. You don't get used to putting a rope on a man even after vears of it, and you're even ashamed' " said Balducci. Where Daru rashly acts upon his thoughts and feelings, Balducci is under much better self-control, and while he admittedly dislikes tying prisoners up, he understands that there are greater things at play, struggles in society, and he has the rationale to not necessarily disregard feelings, but to control them.


  65. A hero isn't necessarily someone who has 'superhero' qualities and saves people's lives. Albert Camus' "The Guest" does not have any characters that would qualify as heroes or leaders but throughout his story, Daru seems like the character who acts more as a honest leader than the rest of the few characters.
    Daru, the schoolmaster, had none of his students attend due to a severe drought. He "would distribute a ration to the children," a ration from his government-provided supplies. Daru is, as told through Camus' descriptions of him, a man of great modesty and honor for his simple being. "He felt like a lord with his whitewashed walls, his narrow couch, his unpainted shelves, his well, and his weekly provision of water and food" (pg 1873). Even though he does not live in a sophisticated lifestyle in a desert, he takes everything he earns in gratitude. This character quality is one that would be considered high standard for someone that, even though is not viewed as a hero, is a leader than the others. His poor living makes him a strong and honest person at heart, along with his hospitality for the other characters.
    When Balducci brings in the Arab prisoner, Daru does not show disgust or cautiousness towards the murderer. Instead, he offers tea to both Balducci and the prisoner. He even calls the prisoner his 'guest', which may not be expected by many when overlooking the situation. Daru shows that he has equal treatment for everyone when he treats the Arab the same as Balducci.
    Daru is definately the hero of this story as he may not have been saving lives, but it is his honesty, politeness, and overall equality for everyone that sets him apart as a leader than a simple schoolmaster. He gives all he has to the people he knows and meets even though he has little for himself. A hero, in this case, is someone who puts others before himself and gives all he has and can give for the well being of other people.

  66. The hero of this story is Daru. This is mostly because he follows his definition of ethics despite his circumstances, with shows a significant amount of strength found in literary heroes. For example, when Daru finds out that the Arab had killed a man, the “stupid crime revolted [revolts] him” (24). However, despite what the Arab had done, Daru sets him loose from captivity and gives him “dates, bread, and sugar” (27), along with “a thousand francs” (27). It takes much moral strength to be able to show that much compassion to a murderer. Daru consistently shows the Arab with respect and kindness.
    In addition, when the Arab is handed over to Daru, who is supposed to be his jailer, this makes him “smart with humiliation” (24). It violates his ethical code to just hand over a man to his execution. Even though Daru is ordered to hand the Arab over to the authorities in a couple of days, he lets him go. Again, one can see that he sticks with his moral and ethical codes and does not stray from them, even when the circumstances are difficult.
    However, it can be argued that the Arab is the hero too. After all, he rejects “shelter” from nomads (27) and instead takes the road to the prison. It can be argued that this shows much moral fiber, to be able to accept the consequences of one’s actions. However, there is little to no evidence of the Arab’s motivation for taking the road to prison. If there is no evidence of a heroic motivation, it is hard to label the Arab as the hero.


  67. There is no obvious hero in Albert Camus’ “The Guest.” Though one might say that because of his hospitality and humility the schoolmaster Daru shows towards the Arab embodies the qualities of a hero, but his actions were out fear of “the sin reappear[ing],”and for his life. When forced to be with someone known for their potential to kill, one would more than likely try to stay on their good side rather than provoke them.
    At the end of the story when Daru decides to leave the Arab with food, money, and the option to run or go to Tingui, it is not because he is a hero, but because he does not want to be filled with the guilt of delivering a man to his death after dining and sharing a room with him. "Every bit of this disgusts [him].” Daru would rather face an uprising and “fight, yes if [he] has to,” than deliver the Arab to Tingui. Daru is not a hero, merely a philanthropist.
    If a hero can be defined as someone that embodies the values of their culture, anyone belonging to a certain culture that can embody its values can be conceived as a hero, making a whole society of heroes. If everyone is a hero, then there is no one defined hero. If all of the characters in “The Guest” can embody their cultures values, then they are all the heroes, not specifically one of them.

  68. The commonly chosen hero (by the students of Mr. Sharp) of Albert Camus' "The Guest" is the strong willed schoolteacher. The first several blog posts alone have started with a variation of "the hero of "The Guest" is Daru" (S, David. 1). Although the schoolteacher feeds the Arab two meals and gives him rations to live off of for two days, things start to become less simple after frustration is shown in Daru. The Arab's "stupid crime revolt[s] him, but to hand him over... [is] contrary to honor". It is not the man that has moved Daru to his present stance but the thought of going against honor.

    With the thought of Daru not caring about the man, the schoolteacher's earlier actions stand out. When told that he has to deliver a murderer to Tinguit, Daru asks Balducci (the man who brought the Arab), "are you pulling my leg". This forced trip is but a trivial interference to Daru. The schoolteacher even warns of what will happen if he were to be left with the Arab. Daru explains that he cannot take a man to jail. He knows that he will do something undesired if left to choose, and this warning is for telling Balducci to take the Arab back. Daru does not want to set the Arab free but knows that he will have to, for his honor.

    Even with the schoolteacher's selfish actions, he can still be considered as a hero. The reason for this is that he changes things for the better. He treats the Arab as if he were a guest. While others would think it necessary to protect themselves, the schoolteacher leaves the murderer untied. The Arab is free to leave at anytime. With this treatment, the Arab changes. A once frail man, who came to Daru appearing rebellious (his “whole face had a restless and rebellious look”), becomes strong and responsible.

    The actions of one man, Daru, affect those of another, the Arab, for the better. With what begins as a façade of kindness on the schoolteacher’s part, becomes so much more. Rather than the Arab being forced on an unwanted path, he is given a choice. When others would have chosen freedom, the Arab chooses to pay for what he had done, however unplanned it was. With Daru, the Arab learns to be a better person. The power to affect another human being so greatly, without knowing, in only a day is what makes Daru the hero in “The Guest”.

  69. The guest in 'The Hero' is the horse the Balducci rides. Unbeknownst to the arab, or the french, this is actually Rakmanikosilovisiv, Prince of Stallions. His people are being killed for food by starving Morrocans, and the beaten down and suppressed. But this one horse will eventually buck his rider, lead a stampede of snow-white horses into the camps of humans, killing everyone and taking back the desert for the horses.
    They will ride off into the sun, with the new horsey freedom being no longer a dream, but a reality.
    The reason Rakmanikosilovisiv is the guest is because unlike the arab, who is technically not a guest because he was not invited nor was he particularly well-received. Balducci is not the guest becuase he does not come of his own accord.
    However Rakmanikosilovisiv was welcomed and probably given oats to eat or something. Little did they know, those would be the oats which would give him the strength to lead the revolution! Daru is also not the guest. It's his freakin house.

  70. (Sorry, I forgot!)
    The Hero of The Guest.
    Daru, the protagonist of The Guest stands by his ideals and follows them to the extent of losing a father-like friend and refusing to follow orders that may, potentially, be crucial to the safety of his country. Although those who do this and fail are called pigheaded, Daru succeeds, for the most part, in staying true to his beliefs and that makes him a hero, albeit a somewhat unfortunate one.
    When first presented with the the receipt of a prisoner, Daru shows far greater humanity to the Arab by suggesting that "he might perhaps be untied." Although Balducci is more wary of the fighting, he is not as heroic. Daru's compassion towards the prisoner, even before knowing anything about him, demonstrates the moral teachings that would be expected of a hero.
    Despite what Balducci says, Daru holds his position. The father-like Balducci warns Daru of his foolishness and states that ""it's an order, son," but even that is not enough for Daru to change his mind. Daru is not without regret for the way that he saw off an old friend, but he keeps his promise to not "hand [the Arab] over."
    Granted, Daru is not without his flaws. His compassion is limited by the human sense of fear. He expects little from others and worries that the Arab will run away, for Daru expects more people to act like Balducci. The Arab exhibits traits of a hero, as well as Daru, but his morals are ambiguous, if at all apparent, throughout the majority of the story, when he, to Daru's surprise and heavy-hearted realization that "the Arab [was] walking slowly on the road to prison."
    The actions of the prisoner, however correct they may seem, ultimately, are better described as a reaction to Daru's kindness.

  71. Amy Anderson
    The hero of the story is the Arab because he is the only character who always does the right thing. Balducci follows orders the whole time, even though he’s ashamed of what he’s doing. He says that he hates what he has to do “even after years and years of it” but doesn’t have the guts to do anything for himself. Daru can’t even make up his mind. First he unties the Arab and takes care of him. Then later, he claims “he felt vulnerable” around the Arab despite everything he had done, and suddenly desired extra protection.
    The Arab, on the other hand, never lies and never changes his mind. He performs the bravest act in the entire story when he “walk[s] slowly on the road to prison.” He knows that he has done something wrong and is willing to pay the price for his crime. He willingly turns himself in even though he has multiple opportunities to run away.

  72. "The Guest" by Albert Camussssss

    The hero in "The Guest" is indisputably Daru, the schoolmaster. The entire story is told from his point of view. Within the first few paragraphs, we are already made to sympathize with him when Camus describes how, "in contrast with such poverty, he who lived almost like a monk in his remote schoolhouse [was] nonetheless satisfied with the little he had and with the rough life" (paragraph 4 of the online version). From this it can be gathered that Daru is not greedy or selfish. He simply lives in his schoolhouse, satisfied with the simple joy he derives from teaching his pupils. Furthermore, he places morality and honor above the law, which, here, is vengeful and unforgiving. What good would it truly do to punish the Arab now for a crime that cannot be reversed? It is clear that the Arab has no longer any intent of harming others, even his captors, for he does not take advantage of the opportunity, even when it presents itself.
    Daru is also the hero because he is the one burdened with a task, a decision, something of note to be, in a sense, accomplished. Balducci may at first have been charged with the task of bringing the Arab to Daru, but he is not the hero for several reasons. First of all, Camus gives almost no detail whatsoever of Balducci's journey, his thoughts, or any internal conflict he may have experienced. To the reader his character appears callous, selfish, and concerned only with doing what he is told, without consideration for what may be truly noble or moral. Balducci desires only to preserve his safety and position without challenging the laws put in place by some distant authority, the workings of which are unknown to all of the characters of the story as well as the readers. Evidence of Balducci's lack of compassion for the Arab in his plight can be seen when Balducci is leading the Arab -- "'Come on, you.' The Arab got up and, slowly, holding his bound wrists in front of him, went into the classroom" (6). Here, Balducci also has the Arab bound, showing his lack of trust and concern for only his own well-being. Furthermore, Balducci says, "'what a chore! How I long for retirement'" (6). This makes obvious his total disconnection from his job -- it is merely something he must do to preserve himself, and he will quit as soon as possible, caring not at all for any of it. Balducci is a selfish, lazy, callous character with nothing heroic whatsoever about him.
    The Arab comes close to Daru in terms of heroic qualities, but neither is he the hero. First of all, similarly to Balducci, the story does not detail any of the inner workings of the Arab's mind. While he may make many difficult decisions throughout the story, it is not described his struggle in making them, and none of them approach the importance and weight of Daru's task, for they all concern merely the Arab's own fate. The Arab's decision is essentially that between personal gratification by running away, or "doing the right thing" and accepting his punishment. However, Daru must decide the fate of another, which is not nearly as clear-cut and neither of his two choices will lead to a positive change in Daru's own life. If he obeys the law, Daru endangers himself and suffers from the weight of the Arab's fate on his conscience, however, if he does not obey the law, he is similarly endangered by another group of people. Daru is burdened with a much more significant task than the Arab, and the story follows his personal experience, thus the Arab is not the hero, and Daru is the hero for his abilities to act without as much concern for himself, to challenge the law with the intent of acting morally and with true honor, and to deal with the massive burden of deciding the fate of another.

  73. Indy Prentice, Period 8

    The Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary defines a tragedy as “a serious drama typically describing a conflict between the protagonist and a superior force (as destiny) and having a sorrowful or disastrous conclusion that excites pity or terror” (or, at least, did in 1976 when the copy I own was published). “The Guest” fits this definition more or less, as the Arab fits the description of a (tragic) hero.
    A tragic hero begins as a good character with a tragic flaw, or hamartia. The Arab’s tragic could be interpreted two ways. He has the flaw that he doesn’t fit wit the rest of society, because he is culturally different than them. Daru doesn’t even bother to learn his name, and he is referred to throughout the story as merely “the Arab.” Daru also doesn’t take the time to understand him, instead worrying about the horrible things he might commit, to the point where when the Arab even stirs, it “occurred to him that the revolver was still in the drawer of his desk.” The Arab is misunderstood by the people who surround him, which is one of his flaws. The other is that he has killed a man. This too leads to even more alienation and misunderstanding, and Daru feels “sudden wrath” because of it.
    This is also the flaw that leads to the Arab’s tragic dilemma, whether he should turn himself in or not. This fits the definition of a tragic dilemma perfectly: a situation where neither outcome is favorable. He can turn himself in and go to jail, or live among another people who will “take him in and shelter him,” but feel guilty always. He goes through anagnoresis and realizes that this situation is his fault, and chooses to turn himself in and go to jail. Though the Arab is not the main character of “The Guest,” he is still the tragic hero, just as in “The Bakkhai,” though she is not the main character, Agave is the only one who goes through the entire cycle of a tragic hero. Though he is not the main character or even the protagonist, the Arab is still the story’s (tragic) hero.

  74. Determining the who the hero is in Camus' "The Guest" is difficult because none of one's three options display any stereotypical characteristics of a hero. A more helpful approach then is to examine who it could not not be and see who is left. Reading through other's comments, it seems that many have identified Daru as the hero because he is presented as such a sympathetic character and is the reader's guide through the story. It is important, however, to separate the function of narrator from that of hero, as the former is not necessarily the later. In Kesey's One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, for example, the hero is undoubtedly McMurphy but the story is told through the thoughts of Chief. Further, the hero of a story must almost always affect his or her world in either a positive or negative way, but, in this respect, Daru fails almost entirely. From the beginning, his situation is thrust upon him, as in the first sentence when he "was watching the two men climb toward him." The picture given is of a man who is happy being left alone in the desolate desert and whom others must actively seek to get to do anything. Indeed he is described as "he who lived almost like a monk in his remote schoolhouse", which conjures up images of a man cloistering himself away content to speak with no one. Passivity is hardly a heroic trait. To this, some will argue that he did make the choice to allow the Arab to choose his fate, but this view ignores Daru's motivation- to rid himself of a problem and continue as he always had, alone "In this vast landscape he had loved so much". This can be seen in his initial reaction to Balducci's orders, " that's not my job". He does not want to take a stand because doing so will either anger his French keepers or Arab constituency. In the case of Balducci, he cannot be the hero because he is too unimportant to the story. True, he does bring the Arab to Daru, but his role is only to set up the interaction between those two and then leave.

    This leaves the Arab as the hero and such a choice is supported by the same criteria that disqualified Daru. He is the driver of his world as shown by his ability to murder, but, once Balducci leaves and night come, he comes into focus as the mover of the story. While trying to sleep, Daru becomes aware of and describes in great detail every action that the Arab takes from the position of his eyes to how he "turned over on his side with his back to Daru, who thought he heard him moan." Since each one of these actions provokes a new contemplation or feeling from Daru, it becomes clear that the Arab is in full control. In the end also, he is the one who must choose his fate as Daru has let him decide. Though his motivations for choosing prison are inscrutable, that fact that he chose it over freedom shows that there is more complexity to his thoughts than simply a desire to be left alone. Thus does the Arab pass both tests for being the hero.

  75. The Hero of "The Guest" by Alfred Camus
    Angela Liu
    Period 6

    The true hero of "The Guest" by Alfred Camus seems uncertain due to the lack of extended action and conflict in the short story. The character of Balducci, though demonstrating adherence to "the orders" (8) given to him, neglects his personal morals in conformity to the law. The Arab retains a few heroic characteristics, such his eventual reparation for his wrong doings. However, murder is murder, despite any regret he feels for his actions. It is only when Daru shows him kindness and gives him the choice of freedom versus punishment that he finally acts with righteousness by turning himself in.

    Clearly, Daru, the lead and protagonist of the story, embodies true heroism. An altruistic and benevolent man, Daru devotes himself to managing a schoolhouse for poverty-ridden children and generously distributing rations to poor families, though he, himself, lives "with the little he has and with the rough life" (4). More importantly, in his encounter with Balducci and the Arab, he displays strong personal rectitude, for which he is willing to fight and even break the law. By offering him chance of escape, Daru puts himself in the danger of conviction for breaking the law and his "comfortable life" (9) being disturbed. Daru is weighted with the life of another man and thus carries heavier responsibilities that the other characters. By overcoming his conflict of values, Daru proves himself to be worthy of a heroic status. While it may seem as if by Daru acted cold-heartedly in the end, he gives the Arab something more valuable that anything else he can offer, choice. In truth, Daru genuinely wishes for the Arab to live. He "turned [the Arab] roughly towards" freedom with the nomads, and watches "with a heavy heart" when the Arab, moved by Daru's kindness, chooses "the road to prison" (28).

  76. Albert Camus’ “The Guest” has three characters: Daru, the schoolmaster, Balducci, the gendarme, and the Arab, the prisoner. Each could be considered a contender for the role of ‘hero’ in this story, making it difficult to give the title to any single character.

    Balducci expresses remorse for taking the Arab to his death. He tells Daru, “‘I don’t like it either. You don’t get used to putting a rope on a man even after years of it, and you’re even ashamed, yes ashamed. But you can’t let them have their way’” (12). Balducci represents the literal definition of hero. Engulfed in a war, he holds the responsibility of persecuting wrongdoers, upholding the values of society. Although Balducci knows certain actions are wrong, he does them regardless because he knows they are necessary. His remorse shows that it takes him great effort go against his personal inclinations for the good of society.

    Daru not only feels pity for the Arab, but acts on it. First providing shelter to the Arab, treating him as “The Guest”, as the title implies, he displays compassion for other humans regardless of their situation. He ultimately leaves the decision up the Arab to make. This can be interpreted as being cowardly, as he refuses to actually act on his beliefs but instead leaves the decision up to someone else. At the same time, Daru claimed responsibility over the Arab. He states, “‘I’ll not deny you left him with me’” (13), and proceeds to sign an official paper. He is willing to take the risk that the Arab will do the ‘right’ thing, according to society. Daru shows amazing faith in the good of humanity and is brave enough to be willing to bet his own future well being on it.

    Finally, the Arab represents an entirely different case. He has an existing flaw (he killed a man) and he is aware. The Arab expresses reluctance to discuss the matter with Daru, but when given the decision between what is easy and what is right, he chooses to turn himself in. He willingly gives up freedom in order to pay for a crime that he committed. In addition, this also protects Daru, who would otherwise likely be persecuted for letting a prisoner walk free.

    In conclusion, any character in the story could be argued to be the hero. Balducci represents the textbook definition of hero, and upholds the values of his society. Daru expresses the compassion and bravery that a hero is typically known to possess. Finally, the Arab has the courage to make a sacrifice of his personal freedom to pay for his crimes. The Arab’s actions held the greatest power for me personally because he was given the choice and took the more difficult path because he knew it was correct. Daru, on the other hand, refuses to make the choice on his own, leaving it to the Arab. Balducci does not act at all on his remorse. The other characters could be argued to be the hero just as easily, and just as much evidence exists for their cases, but in my opinion, the Arab makes the greatest sacrifice and therefore deserves the title of ‘hero.’

  77. The foundation of my argument, like Ran Woodfin's, is based on the teachings of Mr. Snyder. He taught that a hero was someone or something that embodied the values of their culture, and that a culture was a group of people that accepted similar values. Accordingly, Balducci is the hero in Camus' "The Guest".

    In the story, the reader is presented with three characters of which to choose a hero from. Daru the schoolteacher, Balducci the gendarme, and the imprisoned Arab. Daru can't be considered our story's hero because he has no culture to represent. He speaks of how he "felt exiled", implying that he is lonely, and in the same sentence describes how "(he) had been born (in the schoolhouse)". This suggests that he is unique in the sense that he knows of nothing other than a place in which he has been exiled for the entirety of his life. With this in mind, we can conclude he has no others to identify with and thus, cannot be our hero.

    When Daru returns to the schoolhouse after releasing the Arab, he finds a message saying "You handed over our brother. You will pay for this", despite the Arab's choice to "[walk] slowly on the road to prison". The reader can assume that because the Arab's people wanted him back, but he did not wish to return, that the Arab can't be the hero because he explicitly opposes the will of his people.

    Thus, we are only left with Balducci to analyze. The instructions given to him were to "deliver the prisoner" and he does so. Under the asumption that Balducci's culture does value the execution of orders, the reader can identify Balducci as the hero.

  78. The hero of The Guest is the school master Daru. As a person, he is exceptionally kind. He cares about the people in the village, teaching what he knows to the poor children and giving necessities to them and their families. He quickly feels bad about how he spoke to balducci even though what he said was a reaction of uncalled for kindness towards the criminal Arab.
    His kindness is first displayed when the reader learns that "Every day Daru would distribute a ration to the children."(4) This act of kindness is uncalled for as the teacher. It would generally be expected that the children give things to the teacher as a symbol of appreciation but instead he both teaches them and feeds them. Even more noble is his unwillingness to turn in a criminal and that in this unwillingness he insults a friend. When Daru reflected on his actions toward Balducci, "He could still hear the gendarme's farewell and, without knowing why, he felt strangely empty and vulnerable."(25) He managed to sacrifice his friend for what he thought was right. Most heroic of all is that he gave the Arab a choice. Rather than hurt the Arab and turn him in or hurt his friends by betraying them, he let the Arab decide.
    Even more heroic than the action of Daru is the one choice that the Arab made. Even though he was not the hero of the story, his one action was more heroic than any of Daru's. Nobody tells him to go to prison for what he has done and nobody forces him to go there. He is standing in front of a road to freedom holding food and money yet "the Arab walk[s] slowly on the road to prison." (29) As the hero, Daru fits the image much better but in truth, the one who takes the most heroic action in the Arab.

  79. In "The Guest" by Albert Camus, I believe the hero of the story is Daru. Although Camus does a good job of creating a story where multiple characters could be considered the hero, it is my opinion that Daru is the hero.

    First off, he's the protagonist of the story, the central figure of the story. The plot stays with him the entire time. It starts with him sitting in his schoolhouse, then bringing the captive to the police, then going back to the schoolhouse to find the death threat. Therefore he is the central figure of the story.

    A hero is defined as a man distinguished by exceptional courage and nobility and strength.
    We already see his courage in the beginning of the story, when we find out that he lives all alone on a desert plateau, isolated from the villages beneath it. Then we see his kindness, nobility, and good heart, when we find that he gives supplies and food to the poor school children that come to his school.

  80. Ivy Nguyen, Period 6

    In “The Guest,” Camus writes about a schoolmaster conflicting with his duties of handing over a murderer to the authorities. There are only three characters within the story: Daru (the schoolmaster), Balducci (the gendarme), and the Arab prisoner. Out of them there are none that possess the typical clichés of a hero making it difficult for one to be singled out. However with his high morality and compassion, Daru is the true hero of the “The Guest.”

    Daru struggles between choosing honor or duty, which leads him to showing his nature. Because of the weather and the school’s out of the way location, the schoolmaster is isolated and extremely lonely. Once he has the opportunity to have company with the criminal, Daru forges a strong brotherly bond. The Arab and Daru live a day together in companionship. Daru cooks and cares for the Arab automatically and without thought while the Arab falls into a quiet friendship with him. Even before his friendship, Daru adamantly says, “I won’t hand him over” because he could not deliver a man to his dreadful fate. Balducci confronts Daru saying, “You’re even ashamed…but you can’t let them have their way.” The gendarme accurately describes Daru’s feelings. As time gets closer to morning, Daru wishes for the Arab to run away so that he does not have to make the decision between his friendship and duty.

    The schoolmaster finally leads the Arab halfway to the police and gives him money and rations. Daru shows him the route to the administration and to a village, giving him the choice between captivity and freedom. In this action, Daru is the hero. He creates a third choice for himself and satisfies both his duty to the government and his morality. Daru’s decision makes him a compassionate individual yet also dutiful to the law, which is what a hero is.

  81. Emily Wang -
    With much of a consensus, I too find that Daru is the hero of the story.
    Daru is the archetypal hero that lives a life filled with morals and helping others around him. Morality and honor stand strong within Daru which can be seen through his various actions and words.
    When Daru is first introduced, we initially view him as a selfless character takes care of others, and feels sadness when he cannot. "the little room was cluttered with bags of wheat...they had all been victims because they were all poor. Every day Daru would distribute a ration to the children. They had missed it, he knew, during these bad days. Possibly one of the fathers would come this afternoon and he could supply them with grain. It was just a matter of carrying them over to the next harvest." Daru helps everyone around him and thinks about other ways to help them through the hard times. He is not some rich man living in a large house taking pity on the poor, but lives similarly to them. "he...lived almost like a monk in his remote schoolhouse, nonetheless satisfied with the little he had and with the rough life." He is not arrogant or selfish or greedy, which are all key points to a hero in any story.
    Although Daru has flaws, in that he judges the Arab and wishes he would leave which would help Daru, he is surprised over his own thoughts and helps the Arab regardless, even though Daru gets nothing out of it. "He was amazed at the unmixed joy he derived from the mere thought that the Arab might have fled and that he would be alone with no decision to make." When reading this, one might initially see it as Daru being selfish because he truly did want the Arab gone, but he was amazed at that joy he had. The amazement he feels towards his own emotions suggests a sense of regret or shock that he would think such things. Though he did think the thought, he also recognized that such thoughts were rude, or at least that he should not have thought so selfishly.
    When Balducci presents the task of sending the Arab to some destination, Daru's morals outweigh any other situation and he refuses to go along with that which he does not believe in. Even when he slightly agrees with Balducci.
    ""Listen, Balducci," Daru said suddenly, "every bit of this disgusts me, and first of all your fellow here. But I won't hand him over. Fight, yes, if I have to. But not that."" This shows that Daru is a true protector, even through his biases. He is willing to fight for someone that will not benefit him, nor does Daru owe the Arab anything. To do such a selfless act requires a lot of courage, morality, and kindness towards others. These are aspects of many heroes in any story. Furthermore, in the face of insult and a possible threat, Daru does not stand down. He listens, disagrees and follows his own set of beliefs.
    "The old gendarme stood in front of him and looked at him severely.
    "You're being a fool," he said slowly...
    "I won't hand him over," Daru said again." Daru’s determination stands strong in the face of others.
    Camus also presents Daru as the hero in "The Guest" through his writing. The first character that is presented to us is Daru and he is described in such a way to draw sympathy from the audience and a sense of joy in that Daru is strong and selfless. Additionally, the story is written from Daru's point of view, connecting the audience to Daru rather than Balducci or the Arab which would make one sense that Daru is the one that leads the story and is thus the hero. Although the Arab makes the hard decision to accept his punishment for his actions, he still has the error of commiting the crime. It would be justice in a sense that he accepted his punishment, difficult situation that it may be. Moreover, although the decision is the Arab's and the punishment is done onto the Arab, Daru is still connected to that and regardless of the consequences, acted according to his own morals and made a decision that could have hurt him rather than benefit him. This sort of selflessness is one character trait that is maintained throughout the story and can be seen only through Daru. Thus it truly is Daru who is the hero of the story.

  82. This comment has been removed by the author.

  83. A hero is one who exhibits bravery and honesty. The hero will set aside his needs in order to achieve what is good and just. In "The Guest" by Albert Camus, the hero is an unlikely character. Often the main character is the hero, but in this story, the Arab is the hero.

    Daru does not posses very many heroic qualities. When Balducci comes to Daru's schoolhouse and gives him orders from the government, the police, he is very reluctant to accept. He agrees that the Arab should be punished, but he also refuses to take the responsibility that a hero would. In the middle of the night, Daru "was amazed at the unmixed joy he derived from the mere thought that the Arab might have fled." In the end, Daru gives up. When he lets the Arab choose his path, some may perceive Daru's actions as kind-hearted, but it is a way for Daru to escape guilt and responsibility.

    The Arab's choice to continue to Tinguit instead of escape to the pasturelands is a brave one. It proves that he believes in justice before his individual happiness and will take responsibility for what he has done. When the Arab chooses to sacrifice himself for what is good, and for Daru and Balducci (there would be consequences), he proves to be the real hero of "The Guest."

  84. Within The Guest, there are three characters, Daru the schoolmaster, Balducci the gendarme, and lastly the arab. To determine which character is the hero, you must look at which main character most similarly acts like a typical hero and stays true to his belief in doing what is right. Through the entire story, no true hero is revealed. All three main characters perform extremely selfish acts and therefore cannot be a hero.
    Daru is introduced as a good character and may appear to be the hero, but in the end fails to do the right thing. He is given care of the Arab and told to deliver him to the proper authorities. In the middle of the night as Daru is sleeping he hears a noise and thinks “‘He is running away,’ he merely thought. ‘Good riddance!’”(22). He is happy that the Arab might be running away because he does not want to have to make the decision to either turn the Arab in or to let him free. By the end of the story he leaves the choice up to the Arab, taking the easy way out and not living up to his responsibility to make the choice of what he thinks should be doe with the Arab.
    The second choice for the hero is the Arab, but he is not the hero not only because he may be a murderer, but also because he fails to do anything. The Arab is an idle character that does not claim guilt or innocence for his action. When the schoolmaster questions him, the Arab simply replies “He ran away. I ran after him”(18). If he was guilty, then he would be the hero by turning himself in to be punished, but if he was innocent he would be the hero by trying to prove his innocence despite what is said about him. He does neither by the end of the story and is therefore not the hero.
    The last character, Balducci is not the hero of the story simply for his negative attitude and treatment towards the Arab. He is in a small portion of the story and throughout that section he acts with a very high attitude and treats both Daru and the Arab as if they were lower than himself. He also drags the prisoner by a rope tied around his wrists, as if he were a slave, across the land to help deliver him to the police. These actions prove he is not good and cannot be the hero of the story without treating the other characters without the respect every person deserves. Therefore, The Guest has no hero because each character is flawed and does not consider the right thing to do for everyone else, but acts according to what they want.

    sorry its late, i forgot

  85. There are two obvious contenders for the hero character in Albert Camus' "The Guest": Daru and the Arab. In the course of the story neither of them do anything clearly immoral - the Arab's crime is known but never proven or even discussed beyond its mention. Daru provides the Arab with food and shelter, certainly a noble act, and does not force the Arab to live the rest of his life in prison. But in the end the Arab is the true hero because of his selfless decision to uphold justice.

    The Arab killed his cousin supposedly because of an issue with grain. Regardless of whether or not the cousin had done something wrong, murder is illegal in France, and the Arab knows this. Even though his village wanted to take him back (for punishment or protection, we do not know) his fate could not have been much worse than it would be under the French officials. But instead of going with the Nomads, where he could have lived a relatively good life, the Arab goes to the prison. A hero must always work for justice and improvement in society, and the Arab does just that, even if it means throwing away his own life.

  86. This is Allison on Sydney's account

    The true hero of "The Guest" is Daru, because of his generous, sympathetic character conveyed throughout the story. The reader can assume he genuinely cares about his students and his job because he worries about them receiving enough rations of food during the famine. He is also grateful, and is content with what he has - "in contrast with such poverty, he who lived almost like a monk in his remote schoolhouse, nonetheless satisfied with the little he had and with the rough life, had felt like a lord with his whitewashed walls, his narrow couch, his unpainted shelves, his well, and his weekly provision of water and food. "
    In the second half of the short story Daru is confronted with the issue of the future of the prisoner. He gives the man a choice of his future but in the end has to sacrifice for his good dead, "you will pay for this". This act makes him the tragic hero in that, for his good deed he is punished wrongly.

  87. In this passage, there are only three real characters. There is Daru, Balducci and the Arab. Everyone else is just used to set the scene. Out of this selection, the Arab is the true hero of this story. He is alleged to have committed a great wrong, and he is assumed guilty, both by Daru and Balducci. He does not fight or defend himself, but waits passively for justice. Even when he is given the option of escaping the consequences by Daru, he continues onto the authorities. Part of this may be fear of increased consequences if he is caught, but he must have an abundance of faith in society and the agreed upon order of things to sacrifice himself for the greater good. That is why I believe he is the real hero of the Guest.

    A great many other students have identified Daru as the hero, but I do not believe he is even eligible for the position. Daru is the teacher, and the neutral party. He thinks of himself as isolated and remote, and that is evidenced by his reluctance to become involved with Balducci and the Arab's situation. When his hand is forced, he is uncomfortable and torn. Eventually, he simply enforces his passiveness. He has no personal stake in the Arab's fate, one way or the other, but does not want the consequences of either choice on his hands. As a result, he gives the Arab two options and steps away. This is not the action of a hero, but the action of a true teacher. He cannot know all the facts of the situation, but is asked to deliver judgement. Thus, he steps out.

  88. The hero of "The Guest" is Daru because he demonstrates generosity and empathy even in a situation where it was not asked of him. Daru, schoolteacher, provides the poor families of the area with rations ("every day Daru would distribute a ration to the children") and treats the Arab as a human being (unlike Balducci, who compares the natives to "sheep"). Even Daru recognizes the "unmixed joy he derived from the mere thought ... that he would be alone with no decision to make", he makes a decision anyway.
    Daru has a moral code, shown when he says that "to hand him over ]the Arab] was contrary to honor". He sticks to this moral code throughout the story, distinguishing him from the two other characters, nether of whom have a strong moral code (one is a murderer and the other tied a man up like he was an animal).Because Daru did many things that other people (like Balducci) would have though unnecessary and beneath them, he is the hero of this story.

  89. Daru is the hero of Albert Camus' "The Guest" on account of his voluntary kindness (as Sophia has said as well.). A good example of this being the care package for the Arab: "He turned toward the Arab, who was looking at him blankly. Daru held out the package to him. 'Take it,' he said. 'There are dates, bread, and sugar. You can hold out for two days. Here are a thousand francs too.' The Arab took the package and the money but kept his full hands at chest level as if he didn't know what to do with what was being given him."

    Daru's ethical, kind behavior towards the Arab is illustrative of a general trend. Even though it has been suggested that, since Daru is the teacher and "neutral party," he is ineligible to be the hero, it would seem that going beyond that which is expected of him qualifies him in every modern sense as a hero. His reluctance is explained easily as a human response. Daru is the hero.

  90. The hero of "The Guest" is the schoolteacher Daru, both because he shows genuine care for his pupils and their families and because he allows the Arab a fair trial. Even with his meager existence, a life in a "frigid", one-room schoolhouse, Daru finds it "hard to forget that poverty" that the children experience. All that is required of Daru is to teach, yet he looks after his students personally.
    In the case of the Arab, instead of immediately assuming the Arab's guilt, Daru questions him to learn more. "'Why did you kill him?'" Daru asks, a contrast to Balducci's obviously uncaring attitude. And, unlike the other characters, Daru gives the Arab a just trial-he allows the man to decide his guilt for himself, instead of being forced to his fate by people who have no knowledge of his actions or character.

  91. [The Guest]

    A hero is "a man of distinguished courage or ability, admired for his brave deeds and noble qualities." Before Camus even gives his name, Daru is described as "the schoolmaster" (1), a position associated with values and moral code.

    Daru is shown to have a strong system of values. He "distribute[s] a ration [of grain] to the children" (3), his impoverished students, without receiving anything in return.

    Daru is no angel. It is apparent that Daru disgusted by the Arab "murdering his cousin" (11), and neither trusts nor respects him. He repeatedly compares the Arab to an "animal" (18). Regardless, Daru's moral code overpowers this animosity. He sends off the Arab with "dates, bread, and sugar [... and] a thousand francs" (27), enough to last the Arab for two days.

    By merely pointing in the direction of the police headquarters and giving him supplies, Daru allows the Arab to decide his own fate. When they are eating, the Arab asks Daru if he is "the judge" (17). Daru callously answers, "'No, I'm simply keeping you until tomorrow.'" Though Daru's answer is stoic, he does essentially become "the judge" of the Arab's fate. Daru's unwavering adherence to his own moral code is admirable, a crucial element of being a hero.

    //max timkovich

  92. Amanda Haight

    Albert Camus was an existentialist philosopher of the mid-twentieth century, therefore holding personal ideals of individualism, free choice, inner strength, authenticity, personal responsibility, and self-determination. In The Guest, Daru embodies many of these qualities, making him a model of the existentialist and consequently the hero of the story.

    After Daru refuses to hand over the prisoner, Balducci says “It’s an order, son, and I repeat it.” Though the society and government have demanded something of Daru, he replies with “Repeat to them what I’ve said to you: I won’t hand him over.” By refusing to perform a duty he disagrees with he is exercising the existentialist values of free choice and self determination.

    By providing the Arab with a shelter for the night, dinner, breakfast, and food for his journey, Daru exercises the value of personal responsibility. He also embodies this value by taking care of all the poor families in the region and providing them with living necessities.

    While contemplating the Arab’s crime, Daru resents the Arab for getting caught and putting him in this dilemma, “but to hand him over was contrary to honor.” Daru is provided with a paradoxical state (another theme in Camus’ writings on absurdity) where his honor conflicts with the values of society. Ultimately Daru exercises his authenticity and individualism by not directly turning in the Arab.

  93. The hero of The Guest is the school teacher, Daru. He has several qualities that make him the hero. First, he has made many contributions towards the school children and their families. Also, when Balducci gave him orders to take the prisoner to the jail, instead of following orders, which is all Balducci does, he allows the prisoner to go free. Daru says to the prisoner, "'There are dates, bread, and sugar. You can hold out for two days. Here are a thousand francs too.'"(27), which prove that he also cared for the well being of the prisoner, not just getting rid of him. While Daru is abhorred by how the prisoner killed his cousin, he still creates a fair trial for him and allows the prisoner to decide if he will walk himself to jail or not.

  94. Daru and the Arab man are essentially the same character in "The Guest".
    Daru and the Arab share many characteristics, but the most important is that each one is a prisoner. While Daru is not under any sort of guard, he is "trapped" in a desert town in the middle of nowhere. His schoolhouse is even described like a jail cell, "Daru had spent long hours in his room, leaving it only to go to the shed and feed the chickens or get some coal,". The Arab man is, in fact, a prisoner because he has committed a crime. The two are so similar that Daru thinks of them in a brotherly way as soldiers who go to war together: "Men who share the same rooms, soldiers or prisoners, develop a strange alliance as if, having cast off their armor with their clothing, they fraternized every evening". After Daru has deserted the man at the end of the story the writing on the blackboard even says "you have handed over your brother".
    Because these two share so many characteristics, their defining moment would be the individual decision(s) made at the end that might separate the two and distinguish the Arab hero from the school teacher.
    Unfortunately, the decision is essentially the same for each character. The Arab is on his way to a prison cell, and Daru returns to his schoolhouse - his personal prison.Each character begins and ends the narrative as a prisoner.
    Because the two main characters undergo absolutely no change throughout the story there is no hero in "The Guest".

  95. Though the hero of "The Guest" by Albert Camus may seem like the schoolteacher Daru, the real hero is the supposed delinquent Arab. Perhaps the previous actions taken by the Arab creates the difficult situation that now faces the Arab, but his subsequent actions merit him the title of "hero" of the story. Even though the Arab "killed his cousin" (10), he did not seek to escape the consequences of his actions. He is faced with the easy possibility of escaping captivity when Daru releases him to go live with the nomads, who would "take [him] in and shelter [him] according to their law" (27). The Arab took responsibility for his actions and sought to pay his consequences in adherence to his honor and the laws of society.
    The other possible hero, Daru, does not qualify because of his constant thoughts of ridding himself of his responsibility. He complains to Balducci that prisoner escorting is "not [his] job" (8) and that "every bit of this disgusts [him] and first of all the [Arab]" (12). Even while he is treating the Arab, he wishes that the Arab would just run away. In the middle of the night, as the Arab walks outside Daru believes that "he is running away... good riddance" (22). After all the care and good treatment that Daru has given to the Arab, suspicions arise about Daru's true goals. He seems to just want to get rid of the Arab, and avoiding responsibility is certainly not a quality of a hero. Maybe the moral issues the Daru seems to have over human life proves that he has the potential to become a hero, but in the story he shows no distinct heroism.

  96. The generosity and compassion for the prisoner, "an arab who was walking behind [Balducci] with hands bound and head lowered" (5), are a few heroic qualities of Daru.

    Daru is a man who fulfils his duties on behalf of society. When is asked to lead the prisoner on his journey, Daru is hesitant to accept his purposed duty but the fact that it is an "order" changes his mind.

    While housing the Arab, Daru cannot help but feel " a sort of brotherhood" (21) relationship. "Men who share the same rooms, soldiers or prisoners, develope a strange alliance" (21). Despite the prisoners sin, Daru is not quick to judge. In fact, when talking about the killing, Daru asks the Arab if "[He is] sorry" (18), indicating a sense of compassion and understanding for the prisoners current predicament.

  97. There is no hero in the guest. Neither of the two main charachters do particulary heroic things in the story. Daru lets a prisoner go free essentially trusting that he will make his way to the police station. The Arab shows constraint in terms of not running away and possibly heading towards the police station, we never know if he actually decides to go there. And although the Arab chose not to run away when Daru was sleeping, that doesn't necessarily qualify him as a hero. Besides he still killed a man and just because he decided to stay possibly due to guilt but more likely due to kinship doesn't make him a hero. Similarly, Daru gave a muderrer every chance he could to escape.

    That's why I think that the message that the poem is trying to convey is that neither one of these men is trying to be a hero or do the right thing. Everything they do is because of the kinship they feel towards one another as Daru relfects that "it bothered him also by imposing on him a sort of brotherhood"(21). The Arab shows a similar affection towards Daru when he says "come with us"(19) implying that the Arab does like Daru in some sense possibly because he was the first person to be kind to him because in the beginning of the story Daru offers the Arab food and treats him like a fellow human being rather than animal and this is why the Arab doesn't escape when he has the chance. Again this does not make the Arab a hero. In my opinion if the Arab had a chance to escape while he was with Balduci he probably would have taken it.

  98. "The Guest" by Albert Camus

    The hero or the protagonist, rather, in "The Guest" is Daru. Daru is the person which the audience is supposed to identify with. He holds the values of most members of society and the story is also written where he is the main character.
    At the end, "Daru looks at the sky, the plateau and beyond the invisible lands stretching all the way to the sea. In this vast landscape he had loved so much, he was alone." Daru is left alone and we as an audience still follow him because more of the story has yet to be told. It is his story, not the story of The Arab or Balducci. The Arab and Balducci are only other characters, the story does not follow them, and thus they are not the heroes.
    Also, The reader can tell that Daru is the hero because of his values. Daru is a hero in that he realizes that it is not right to hand this man over, and he acts on those actions and gives the man a choice. Daru even suggests that the Arab flee as Daru knows that the nomads will, "take you in and shelter you according to their law." Acting on moral values and not what someone tells you to do in order to save someone's life constitutes a hero.

  99. The hero of the story is the Arab. He has the classic traits of a hero: courage, idealism, and self-sacrifice. These are all displayed in the Arab’s final act of the story. When he continues of his own accord towards the prison, he is facing great hardship, but he does it anyway. He is brave enough to face prison and he is willing to sacrifice his freedom to do the right thing. The setting of the story also helps to portray the Arab as a hero. Camus starts the tale after the murder, so all we read of the Arab is his good behavior.
    At the beginning of the story, Daru seems to be the heroic one. He stands up to Balducci, telling him he “won’t hand [the Arab] over” (Camus), which seems to put Daru at risk of punishment. This would show his willingness to self-sacrifice. However, this risk is eliminated when Balducci shies away from revealing Daru’s refusal, saying he “won’t tell them anything” and will “not denounce [him].” Throughout the rest of the story, Daru shows an unwillingness to put himself at risk, preferring to stay out of conflicts. When his captive might be running away, he simply thinks it is a “good riddance.” He also shows contempt and disrespect to the Arab, who has not harmed him in any way. These factors demonstrate that the Arab is the hero of “The Guest.”

  100. In Camus'"The Guest" is the Arab. Not only does he hold good morals but when allowed to go free, he is only done so on the idea that he will go where Daru has asked him to go. What makes a person a hero is not whether or not he makes solely good choices throughout his life, but whether or not he makes choices for the better of a community. He is given the choice to run or go to the nomads, where they would "take [him] in and shelter [him] according to their law" (27).
    Here, the Arab knows what he has done was wrong, and accepts his fate to be taken in by the nomads. A real hero, no matter their outward showings or life, is a person who is willing to go to prison because of what he has done, one who respects laws, and one who will ultimately do good. This is what the Arab does.
    Although the schoolteacher Daru is altogether a hero in his own right, he is not faced with prison, but merely the loss of his honor. Instead of doing what is right by taking him to the nomads, he avoids a smudge on his honor by allowing the Arab to make his own choice. The Arab makes the right one, and no one looses honor, and justice is paid.

  101. The hero in Camus' story, "The Guest" is Daru. Daru is a man of principles and a person who abides by justice. The school teacher is genuine in his displays of kindness and truthfully its not so much that Daru attempts at being kind because his character just seems to so naturally do the right thing. Daru takes the Arab in and even though he is aware of the crime that he (the Arab) committed he behaves like good person. Daru is not only a fair person in that he does treat the Arab in a human manner but also in the third paragraph where it mentions the Daru helping the children, "Everyday Daru would distribute a ration to the children".
    Heros are people who go out of their way to do the right thing, the just ting. Daru simply fits into the role of a hero, he without judging the actions of the Arab instead trying to find a reason and make some sort of understanding from it. He also feels a responsibility to the people around him, and cares for those in his community. Daru is a super being, a hero!

  102. Although Daru is portrayed with the many qualities of a protagonist by Albert Camus, the Arab man can also be seen as a protagonist, as he shares many qualities with Daru.

    One of the largest things that Daru and the Arab man have in common is their ability to follow a strong system of moral values. The only possible exception to this would be the Arab man's original crime of "killing his cousin", but this is never elaborated on, and only there for the purpose of initiating the story. Daru is a schoolmaster, which can be associated with the teacher of ethics and moral code, while the Arab man shows many individual practices consistent with this throughout the story. Daru also provides the Arab man with food and shelter for the night, which demonstrates his personal responsibility and good nature as a host.

    Their similarities are proven when Daru also feels that him and the Arab have a connection with each other telling how "Men who share the same rooms, soldiers or prisoners, develop a strange alliance as if, having cast off their armor with their clothing, they fraternized every evening". These similarities in turn develop sympathy on Daru's part, which shows his protagonist qualities to the reader.

    In the end, Daru's moral values take precedence over his personal beliefs and well being, showing the true qualities of a hero.

  103. In Albert Camus' "The Guest", there is a lack of a definitive hero. This is mostly due to the fact that the conception of a hero brings forth images of sacrifice and duty. In "The Guest" these traits are somewhat hidden in two characters, Daru and the Arab.
    One could argue that either of these two characters is the "hero" of the story. Yet it is Daru who most embodies a hero for me. He is steadfast in his beliefs and he is just in a way that suggests that he is morally uncorrupted. He does not make the decision to send the Arab to jail but allows the Arab to make the decision himself. Additionally,Daru is filled with remorse and" with heavy heart made out the Arab walking slowly on the road to prison"(Camus).
    Daru is the hero because he cannot condemn the Arab to death, even though he thinks the Arab's crime is terrible. This shows Daru is truly noble in his way of thought and his morality.

  104. Many different arguments can be made for who the hero in this story is. One could also argue that there is no hero at all, or that every character in the story is a hero, just under different circumstances.

    My first thought was to say that Daru was the hero, but Daru wasn't even sure what he wanted to do, and a hero always stands for one side of a cause. Turning over the Arab might make him a hero since the Arab was a killer to begin with, but leading him to freedom might also make him a hero since there is no proof that this man is guilty.

    I decided that the Arab was the hero. Daru gives him the choice of going to prison or running away to a nomad camp. He leaves the Arab to make up his mind, and as he turns around for the last time to see if he is still there, he "...with heavy heart made out the Arab walking slowly on the road to prison." Clearly Daru would have rather him run in the other direction, but he had to accept the choice the Arab made, for in the end he really had no control.

    When he returns to the schoolhouse, he finds "You handed over our brother. You will pay for this" written on the board. Again, he has no control over the situation. Although they believe Daru is the one responsible, the Arab still did the right thing in turning himself in...well, as far as we know. If he really did kill a man, it would be the right thing.


    Of the three characters in "the Guest," the Arab, Balducci and Daru, Daru stands as the hero in the story because he faces a challenge and has to make a noble and heroic action that is crowd pleasing, or at least justified.
    Even Daru falls short of being the hero though, because he does not actually make the ultimate decision about the fate of the Arab, but instead throws the weight of the fate onto the Arab's own shoulders. Balducci is only a messenger, and is merely completing tasks assign to him, so he is not in the running for the hero. If now the weight is transferred onto the Arab's shoulders, then the Arab himself is the hero because he has the final say in whether he turns himself in or lives a free life as an escaped convict. The Arab is heroic in his decision to turn himself in, but because he killed someone from his own bloodline he is not the hero. Since one must always make a decision and not have the choice bounce around from one person to the next(as is happening between Daru and the Arab), the hero ultimately lands on Daru, not due to his final choice for the Arab's fate, but due to his character.
    Daru has been given all of the typical dilemmas to face that are commonly associated with heroes. He must decide the fate of a man he has just met, which is his problem he must solve. He is almost saint like in his job as a school teacher and in his actions, as he gives out food rations to the needy families without thinking of what he will get out of it. He feels pity and compassion towards the Arab when he "[hesitates] at the sight of his bound hands. 'He might perhaps be untied.'" These sympathetic human emotions make Daru easier to relate to. The story is also told from the perspective of Daru, so you are able to clearly see the complex emotions he feels towards his guest, his home and his life and how he reacts to his surroundings.

  106. In "The Guest" by Albert Camus The Arab that Daru encounters is the hero. Although the Arab has murdered another human, his final decision to enter Tinguit, to meet with the authorities, confirms that he is infact the hero. Because the Arab by his own will chooses to turn himself in, it is clear that he is the hero of the story. It is ultimately up to him to make the decision of whether or not to run away from his punishement. Daru does not make this decision for him.

    Daru treats the Arab as a guest in his humble home rather than the prisoner Balducci presents him with. Daru's simple gestures towards his guest are ones that he might practice towards any strange person in his home. His actions are not heroic, he behaves in a practical manner. It is near the end of the story, when Daru sets the Arab off on his own, that he may falsely be percieved as the hero. Daru simply presents the Arab with two choices and allows the Arab to determine which one is right.

  107. The story of Camus' "The Guest" is over quickly, with actions that pass so fast they seem to go by without you noticing at all. Prisoner is handed off to a schoolteacher. They spend the night in one house. Schoolteacher lets the prisoner choose his fate. Prisoner chooses prison. Story's over. Daru, the story's protagonist and host to the titular guest, does not have the trappings of a traditional hero. Yet in the context of the story, his role is made clear through his actions, which speak volumes in a tale with so few spoken words.
    Daru is introduced as a teacher who becomes an unwilling host after the gendarme, Balducci, stops by to transfer an Arab prisoner. Though Daru feels repulsed at the Arab's crime - murder of a kinsman - he nevertheless places some kind of trust in the Arab. He doesn't bother to protect himself at night, rationalizing his actions by proclaiming his strength; he even talks to the Arab like an equal despite knowing his crime. furthermore, though he feels uncomfortable with it, the Arab's night spent in Daru's home creates "a sort of brotherhood" between the two, simply by way of sharing a room as they sleep, "as if, having cast off their armor with their clothing, they fraternized every evening, over and above their differences..." This respect for humanity, its flaws notwithstanding, is what makes Daru a true hero.
    By the end of the story, Daru has led his guest to a hill and given him provisions and an ultimatum: he can either take a day-long trip back to his people or a short walk to prison. Daru walks away, but turns back to see which way the Arab has chosen. And "with heavy heart," he sees the prisoner, the Arab, the guest, "walking slowly on the road to prison." Daru offered no opinion on which way the Arab should go; it was entirely his own decision. But by offering the Arab a choice, the option to make his own destiny, Daru reasserts the faith in humanity which Balducci lacks. This quality makes him the hero of the story, as his actions define the fellowship he shared with the Arab, and which each one of us should share with the rest of mankind.

  108. The here of Camus' "The Guest" is Daru. A hero is someone who upholds what is right above all other things. When confronted with the Arab and the question of whether or not to deliver him to prison, he has two options of direct intervention. The first, to deliver the man to prison, "was contrary to honor." and "Merely thinking of it made him smart with humiliation." The other option, to deliver him to safety, was also contrary to honor because the Arab's "stupid crime revolted him" and he felt that the man deserved to be punished. Faced with a lose-lose situation, Daru makes the only honorable choice, to not intervene, but leave the decision up to the Arab. By presenting the choice to the Arab without telling him what to do, he gives the man an opportunity not only to decide his fate but also to define his character.

  109. By the way, the reason this is so incredibly late, is because i was sick last thurs and friday, and my internet hasnt been working this week until now.

  110. I believe the hero in “The Guest” is Daru. In my mind, a hero is a person who works for the good of humanity. Daru, although given orders to turn the Arab in, chooses to let Arab go free and decide his own fate. Although he knows that the Arab is “guilty” of the crime he was accused of because the Arab says as much, he realizes, however unconsciously, that there may be more to the murder than just the physical act. There is a murderer’s mentality, the malice intent that he just does not see in the Arab. “He looked at him…trying to imagine his face bursting with rage. He couldn't do so” (The Guest). Daru wishes to comply with the dictates of society, but at the same time has this nagging feeling that the Arab does not deserve the punishment for the crime—he feels he has a moral obligation to help the Arab. In deciding to let the Arab go, the man refutes societal guidelines and follows his conscience. He helps humanity.

    However, my entire interpretation of this situation is based on my beliefs and the truths of modern society. Nowadays, the moral line is slightly more universally defined with the help of technological communication and advanced government structures. With today’s law system, the case of the Arab would be tried in court and his mentality would be brought into question. The verdict would be based on his motives as well as his physical actions. Because of this, Daru would probably not have had any qualms about delivering the prisoner, as he would have been certain of a fair trial. Perhaps this is why it seems obvious to me who the hero is, because he acted morally and with modern ethics. However, in that time period, with such different laws, it’s hard to say who actually did the “right” thing, both ethically and morally. Still, I believe that in giving the Arab the benefit of the doubt and having an “innocent until proven guilty” mentality, Daru is the hero of “The Guest.”

  111. The hero in "The Guest" is Daru. The focus of the story is on him the entire time, and at the very least he takes some action in being compassionate towards the prisoner.
    Although not as stalwart in completing the task that has been handed off to him by Balducci, he still does what he thinks is for the best. He trusts the man, and decides that he has learned, or at least realized, what he has done is wrong. Daru lets the Arab choose his own fate because the Arab had the chance to kill Daru when they were sleeping, but he made no such attempt. He also could have run away or done something of that sort, but again, made the conscious choice not to.
    Having read "the Stranger" as well, i realize that the Arab has been given the chance that Meursault wanted at the end of the book. The Arab's fate is not as sealed as Meursaults, and instead of having a group of strangers who have already judged him from the first time they laid eyes on him, Daru has no prejudice towards the man, even though he says he disgusts him. He at least gives him a chance, and when the Arab proves himself to be a decent man, he lets him put his fate in his own hands.
    The Arab could also be considered the hero in the story for turning himself in, but really cannot be because he is completely at the whim of Balducci and Daru, and had it not been for Daru's action, he would have had no say in the story whatsoever.

    I apologize for the extreme lateness.


    I feel that the hero of Camus' "The Guest" is indefinitely Daru the school teacher. The other characters do not have the morals nor the lifestyle of a hero. The Arab may of had a change in his bad ways, but only after Daru let him change his fate. And Balducci only does what his job entitles thus it is not a heroic act. Daru shows his community how to forgive and as well as share with those around him, like feeding some of the famished school children. Daru goes beyond his job entitlement and changes lives, not only of his students, but of criminals as well. The Arab could not be the hero because he is a criminal and criminals may make good decisions and be heroic at times, however over all, it is the morals of Daru which over rule the few good decisions which the Arab makes.

    I too apologize for the lateness...