6th hour (C14) English literature
Students are prepared to do an activity with their lockers. Tell them that I will be back on
Friday and that we will do it then instead.
Today, however they still have a Survivor Challenge. They are in teams and are
competing to earn the prize of not writing the Life of Pi paper…..so they are very
engaged in each competition.
We have been studying existentialism as we finish reading Life of Pi. Today they will
watch a video based on Albert Camus’ short story “The Guest.” Read the following to
them before the movie and then I have our instruction page pulled up on the computer.
Open it and read the bold print at the top aloud and the bold print at the bottom. Then,
you can take them to the Library computer lab to work.
Before the movie:
“The Guest” is a short story about a Daru, French school master who teaches in Algeria
to Arab children. He is well-known in the community and well liked by the towns people.
It is war time in 1949 however, so the locals are on edge and are constantly fighting with
One day, Daru sees a soldier arrive on horse with a prisoner chained up behind.
Daru asked the soldier and the prisoner to come inside. The soldier explains that he
cannot stay overnight and that Daru must bring the prisoner to the prison the next day.
Daru says that he is adamantly opposed to getting involved with the war, but the soldier
reminds him that we all must do “other” things during war time. The soldier explained
that if Daru did NOT bring the prisoner, this would be treason and he would be killed.
The soldier gives him a gun to protect himself telling Daru that the prisoner killed his
own cousin and cannot be trusted.
Daru, however, treats the prisoner like a guest: unchains him, offers him water,
cooks him dinner, gives him a comfortable bed. Daru represents the existentialist in that
he believes we are all responsible for our actions and that even though he is forced to do
this job of delivering the prisoner to prison, he must find a way to give the choice to the
prisoner…let him take responsibility..or not, for his actions.
Daru has a fitful night’s sleep worrying that the prisoner will escape, or worse try
to kill him. But by morning, all is well. Again Daru cooks him dinner. In the story…NOT
the movie we will see, the townspeople are very vocal about the way Daru is treating the
prisoner. They like that they are treating him well, some of them, but feel that Daru
should let him go. Others are upset that he is treating him like a guest. One townsperson
hides to observe Daru’s actions. Again, we do not see this part in the movie.
That morning after breakfast, Daru sets out to take the prisoner to the prison. They
go over a hill and on the downward slope, stops, and looks at the prisoner. He hands him
the food he packed telling him that this will last 2 days. He points to one path and says
that it will lead him to the prison and that they are waiting for him. He also points to
another path and says that this leads to nomads that will take care of him and that he can
easily be lost in the crowd. He then says goodbye. The prisoner interrupts and says that if
he chooses the nomads, Daru will be killed. Daru again says goodbye.
Watch to see what choice the prisoner makes.
In the story…not the movie, the townsperson watching comes back to Daru’s
classroom and writes on the board: You have just killed one of our brother’s. (knowing
what path the prisoner chose.)
So, watch the movie trying to see why Daru is considered the ultimate existentialist.
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
in Library Computer Lab