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Commentary on The Guest

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Introduction

Morgan Gose Andrew Plattner September 19, 2012 A Little Insight on ?The Guest? A book that is set in a secluded French colony, near Algeria, has given me much to think about. The scenery is bland and the characters are even more so. The absolute measure of the stories intrigue is something to be lacking. Of course, that is what I took from it when I first ventured into the pages. As I encountered more of the plot, I felt myself being pulled into the underlying symbolism that eventually made this story gratifying. There were many examples of symbolism in this story that gave me the opportunity to think, in comparison to the main character Daru, as to why he is living as he is and what he would do about it. As the story opens, I was given a tour of the landscapes surrounding the schoolhouse, which Daru lived in. This setting plays its role throughout the story as it is depicted through the main character?s eyes. Daru lives in a small schoolhouse where he is accompanied by a few chickens that live out by the shed. He can see, on a clear day, the peaks of the mountains off in the distance. ...read more.

Middle

Balducci was to follow orders by bringing the Arab to Daru and then returning to his post. Daru was ordered to take the Arab to the police headquarters but Daru offended Balducci by wanting nothing to do with it. This is characteristic of Daru because he is seen as a loner. He just wants to be by himself. I thought that Daru?s character was a little hard to read because I could tell that he didn?t like being alone, but yet he never really motivated himself to open up to others. After Balducci left in a fit, Daru had the choice of taking the Arab to be imprisoned, or to just let him flee. Later that night, he was able to feel less alone because of the Arab?s presence. Hesitantly, Daru was giving in to the change and feeling more like a host by make food and setting up a place to sleep for the Arab. He was not threatened by the man because Daru thought he could, ?Break him in two.? That being said, Daru was still feeling vulnerable in the situation he was in because of the unfamiliarity he was forced to go through. ...read more.

Conclusion

It originally had the drawing of four French rivers running into an estuary. At the end of the story, anonymously, the river drawing had been replaced with a message, ?You have turned in our brother, you will pay.? The meaning behind the change on the blackboard was a little difficult to figure out. I may be looking too far into it but I feel it is very symbolic. As the rivers represent the many paths or decisions that Daru could make, they still only meet at one point, the estuary. This was like a fate of sorts, where no matter what he chose to do with the Arab, his fate was already decided. Also, changing the contents on the board at the end of the story was only pointing out that no matter what choice he made, there will always be consequences. This story was captivating in a symbolic kind of way. There were many parts of the story that I could have related to the characters or the changing environments and that was what made it a good read. The setting was not distractive enough to pull away from the characters actions, and the characters held their identity true to the nature of the story. By linking these properties together, I was able to find the side of me that enjoyed divulging my senses into a multisided story. ...read more.

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