• Madison White

A Story a Day #50: Albert Camus

April 8th, 2020

"The Guest"

Albert Camus

A schoolmaster in Algeria sees two men coming towards him, odd because none of his students are coming because of the blizzard. One is transporting an Arab prisoner. The schoolmaster, Daru, says he will not take the prisoner to the prison and the other man leaves. He feeds him, gives him a bed, and gives him a sum of money. Daru gives the prisoner a choice to walk east, towards the prison, or south where he can hide with the nomads. The prisoner leaves and goes east. On the board behind him, Daru finds the phrase, "You have turned in our brother, you will pay."

This story didn't capture me immediately and I mostly skimmed it. After looking into a summary analysis and historical context, I can definitely appreciate it more. I think it is interesting that the man who is "good" will eventually pay the price for something he didn't do. He also tries to remain neutral throughout the situation by giving the prisoner the choice, but ultimately this ends up making him not neutral. I think it is interesting to ponder if neutrality exists or if being neutral, or pursuing it, automatically makes you partial. I also think this story presents a lot of food for thought with relatively little action happening.

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