Teaching, Learning and Ethical Dilemmas: Lessons from Albert Camus
Over the past half century, Albert Camus's story 'The Guest' has attracted a great deal of scholarly attention. 'The Guest' focuses on the ethical dilemmas faced by Daru, a school teacher in Algeria, and the two visitors he receives one day: Balducci, a gendarme, and an unnamed Arab prisoner. This paper addresses Camus's text from an educational point of view. The first section outlines the position taken by Daniel Muhlestein, who analyses 'The Guest' in the light of Louis Althusser's distinction between Repressive State Apparatuses (RSAs) and Ideological State Apparatuses (ISAs). The second section provides an alternative educational reading of the text - one based on the moral complexity of the three principal characters. It is argued that the ethical questions raised by 'The Guest' are similar to those faced by many teachers, and that this is a story worthy of continuing educational engagement.