The Guest Essay, Research Paper
How does Camus generate suspense in The Guest ? Camus utilizes many different ways to generate suspense and the ways are affected by where and when the author wrote the story. Camus was a French author who was born and raised in Algeria and the country was in the middle of war while Camus was writing most of his stories. The war and Camus political beliefs play parts in most of his stories. Camus uses plot, characterization, and others to generate suspense in The Guest . Using suspense in the story helps the reader to become more interested in the story. The main character, as well as Camus himself, is a schoolteacher during the outbreak of a war.
The first way Camus uses suspense is with the plot. Daru, the schoolteacher, is watching two men approaching on horseback. He is not sure who is approaching and he is watching to find out. Daru returned to the window from which he had first seen the two men. They were no longer visible. (Camus 208) The story taking place right before war adds to the suspense because Daru has no idea whom would be coming to the schoolhouse during a storm. This type of suspense comes from the plot and works with the setting.
Later in the story, after Daru find out he is ordered to take a prisoner into town and hand him over to the police, Daru is faced with a decision. The prisoner is sleeping in the next room and Daru wants him to just escape, so Daru does not have to take the prisoner in. Daru dreams of the prisoner leaving in the middle of the night, but when he awakes the prisoner is still there. Daru does not know why the prisoner did not leave. This problem in the story generates a type of suspense known as anticipation of the unknown.
Throughout the story the characters show personalities, but the reader is never able to tell what Daru or the prisoner are thinking. The two characters also are faced with important decisions that could affect what happens to both of them. Daru must decide if he will take the prisoner into the town or let the prisoner go. Daru makes a decision but the reader can not tell what his decision is until Daru makes it. He leaves the prisoner in a fork in the middle of the road and explains where the two paths go. The prisoner must decide if Daru is telling the truth or not. The reader again does not know what the character is thinking until the decision is made.
Camus generates suspense various ways in the story and all of them work very well. Camus keeps the reader on edge with his many types of suspense. This keeps the reader interested and makes for a better plot. Camus uses his stories to get his ideas and thoughts out and in The Guest Camus shows personal experiences through his characters.