Daru's Attitude

May 14, 2008
By scott klotzbeecher, Braintree, MA

Throughout the short story “The Guest”, Daru changes. In the beginning, Daru’s attitude toward the prisoner is negative. In the end, his attitude has changed from negative to positive. Daru hears from Balducci the story of what the prisoner has done. Balducci tells Daru that the prisoner has killed his cousin. Daru’s expression shows that he is shocked that the prisoner would commit this crime and then he starts to feel unsafe around the prisoner. When Balducci leaves the school house, he trusts that Daru will turn the Arab over to the police station in a nearby town. Throughout this experience, Daru feels very uncomfortable with the Arab in his presence, so he treats this Arab like a prisoner. Daru leaves him in another room and he carries a revolver so he can guard the prisoner. Towards the middle of the story, Daru does not support what the Arab has done but he lets him get untied and he puts the revolver into his desk even though he still feels threatened. Daru and the prisoner have tea and Daru gave some of his rations to the Arab so the prisoner won’t be hungry. Camus also shows the reader that Daru cares for the prisoner when Daru gives the Arab a bed to sleep on and also a blanket so that he will keep warm. When the two characters talk they start to form a friendship. This shows that Daru is starting to care about the prisoner, as he does not even acknowledge what the Arab has done

Soon Daru’s attitude changes once again and he just doesn’t care what the prisoner does anymore. He does anything he can so that the prisoner will escape and will leave him alone. Daru decides to leave the door open and goes into the other room so he does not have to take care of the Arab. The next morning, Daru gets up and he wants to bring the Arab to the prison, so he tells the Arab to get ready and during this he packs food for him and the Arab.

Daru’s has changed by treating the Arab like a family member and he starts respect the Arab. They start to walk and Daru tells the Arab to walk in front of him but he does not want to; the Arab wants to wait for Daru. When Daru and the Arab get to the fork in the road, Daru gives the Arab two Daru says “Now look toward the east there is Tinguit the administration of police is waiting for you” (10).
The other option he says is “The trail across the plateau …and pastureland with nomads that will take you in for shelter according to their law” (10). When Daru says this, the Arab is shocked at what he has said and the Arab starts to get nervous and also he starts to get sad because Daru starts to walk back to the school house. Daru says, “I am leaving you” (10). This again shows that Daru does not care about the Arab. Then all of a sudden the author shows the reader that Daru really does care because he tells us that Daru keeps looking back at the Arab when he is walking up the plateau toward the school house. When Daru gets back at the schoolhouse he feels bad that he did that to the Arab and he starts to think about what he has done. Daru looks at his chalk board, and it says “You handed over our brother” (11). This really touches Daru and he starts to look out at the plateau. Now he is alone at the schoolhouse and there is no one to keep him company. The author at the end shows Daru’s attitude by him having a negative attitude to a positive attitude to show Daru really cares about the Arab.

I think at the very end of the short story, Daru really does care about the Arab prisoner. He treated him like a convict, but through time, since he was so lonely, he treated him like a friend and like a brother. It is hard for Daru to deal with letting go a person that he develops a small relationship with, even though Daru knows what horrible crime the Arab committed.

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