The Guest

The Guest (2)

In the story, "The Guest", what would you say is the theme or main idea? (Moral of the story etc.)

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There are a number of themes you might consider. Daru's sense of cultural indentity and moralty are both important. Daru faces a moral dilemma when he is ordered to turn in the Arab. Like all the themes in the narrative, morality is treated with ambiguity. Daru's course of action leads him into moral trouble: he does not know whether the Arab deserves to be punished or let go, and he allows this uncertainty to overwhelm him. He fails to choose at all, instead allowing the Arab to choose either freedom or trial. Daru's ensuing moral despair should be understood in the light of Camus's philosophy. Camus believed that once a decision was reached, it should be stuck to, and that the freedom to choose one's action gives meaning to human life. Daru certainly believes that turning in the Arab was wrong, yet he fails to simply release the prisoner. He fails to make a decision, and as a result he is left in complete moral solitude.