Daru, the schoolteacher in a remote area of Algeria, is torn between duty and what he believes is the right thing to do when he is suddenly forced in the middle of a situation he does not expect.
He must escort an Arabic prisoner to the nearest town. It is not that Daru has much sympathy for the man; in fact, he does not, and actually finds himself disliking the Arab for disrupting so many lives. "Daru felt a sudden wrath against the man, against all men with their rotten spite, their tireless hates, their blood lust." Unfortunately, Daru loves his homeland, and cannot bear to think of leaving, despite the chaos that is raging around him between France and the Algerian natives. I believe that Daru makes the right choice in letting the prisoner choose his own fate. Daru has reasons to believe that his safety might be jeopardised, since there is a war going on and he doesn’t really know the Arab to well. Also, Daru could be avoiding his responsibility to take the Arab to Tinguit, perhaps out of personal weakness, perhaps because he doesn't want the fate of another man to rest, even partially, on his shoulders.
This represents Daru as an existentialist. He sees that his decisions are affected by what society expects. In this case its to escort the Arab to a prison in a near by town. Society expects Daru to see the Arab as a criminal and take him to jail to fulfil his sentence for his crime. As an existentialist, Daru believes that the Arab should be able to make his own choice.Daru’s feelings seem to change.
He is intrigued by the individual and shows compassion while offering the Arab food and drink. Daru's choice begins to.