The Guest: What Happened to Daru?

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The Guest: What Happens to Daru?


A guest is someone whom you welcome into your home, catering to his needs, and basically making him feel at home. Yet how do you treat a prisoner who has been thrust upon you by authorities, one you are ordered to lead to his prison? This is what Daru, the host of a prisoner deemed “the Arab”, has to face. The Arab has been found guilty of killing his cousin, and any reader would assume that he would be treated with disrespect, like dirt. Yet Daru seems to take a different route, feeding him, respecting him and his space, and even sleeping in the same room as him. Throughout the story, Daru repeatedly treats the Arab less like a prisoner. At the end of the story, Daru takes the prisoner to the way he must travel to the prison, yet instead of taking him there, he leaves him on his own with food and supplies. As he returns, he finds a somewhat haunting message on his blackboard reading, “You handed over our brother, you will pay for this”(11). This leaves the reader with the daunting question of what truly did happen to Daru after this point.

We can only speculate as to what may have happened to Daru. Considering there are only three characters, it is hard to tell who may be a possible enemy or someone who could possibly be sided with the Arab. With this, we can only take a look at two characters closely. This would be the Arab and Balducci.

With all respects, we can cancel out the Arab as to having anything to do with what happened to Daru. We can only say that the Arab contributed to Daru’s fate by pure association. The Arab may be associated with a group, or maybe his family is looking for him as he was in hiding before he was found. Balducci explains that “his village was beginning to stir” and that “they wanted to take him back” explaining how the Arab has people backing him up and that it is necessary he gets back to this possible uprising while Daru must lead the prisoner to his next check point(3). This could possibly be associated with the person or persons responsible for the haunting message on the board, and what may have possibly happened to Daru. Revenge such as murder, or injury could be possible outcomes as a result of Daru looking after this wanted Arab. It could also be the result of the mysterious message. Yet the story is ended with Daru simply looking peacefully out over his land, which leads us to wonder still, who was responsible for such a threat.

Balducci, the officer who thrusts this burden upon Daru of taking responsibility of the Arab could also be a possible factor in what happened to Daru at the end of the story. Daru’s resistance to taking this responsibility is seen as a sign of disrespect to Balducci. Even at his leaving when Daru tries to help him he states “there’s no use in being polite. You insulted me”(5). This could very well be a foreshadowing of some strange revenge on Daru from Balducci for not completely respecting his authority and essentially the whole government. Balducci seems very loyal to the government and respecting its wishes. Daru’s “disrespect” clearly aggravates him to a certain extent. Yet we can only speculate to what extent or even if it was enough to make him turn on Daru and leave such a message on his blackboard. Daru repeats to Balducci he “will not turn him over” talking of the Arab, in which Balducci replies “if you want to drop us go ahead. Ill not denounce you” which could also be proof that he was going to take matters into his own hands (5).

It is truly hard to say what could have happened to Daru. Although a respectful man, someone is clearly upset with him and how he went about the Arab. It is possible that it could be someone from his own side such as Balducci, or someone of the Arab’s side such as his family or revolting tribe. Either or, we can only speculate and wonder as to what could have happened to Daru. Whether he was murdered, injured or the possibility that it was just a mere threat and nothing happened, we only have the story as our guide to what his fate may have been.





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