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September 20, 2005

Intro To Politics

Estrangement and Unity

One of the most important elements in Albert Camus final Novel, "The First Man" is the portrayal of Estrangement and Unity. This same element was also very important in a movie that we watch a few weeks ago. This movie was called Rwanda: History of a Genocide. The portrayal is both similar and at times different. Although Camus was never able to finish this novel because he died in a car accident, while still in the process of writing the novel. He still managed, in what he did finish, to express some of his views of Estrangement and Unity, especially when it comes to the former French colony, now free country, Algiers.

Although Algiers is located in Africa, it is located in the northern part where there is a large population of Arabs. I believe that the Arabs out numbered the French colonist, but I am not sure. Some of whom have been there for many years, still were able to suppress the Arab people. When some of the more militant Arabs started to rebel against the control of the French. Many of the French began to discriminate and blame each and every Arab for the crimes that only a few were committing. A good example in the novel is when James is sitting in his mothers home and he hears a bomb go off outside of where his mother live. Since James is a curious person, he must go out and explore the situation. He witnesses many of the Arabs running and trying to hide since they know what is likely to happen next. For one of the Arabs who wasn't able to hide, he is approached by a group of angry men who blame him for what someone else did. One of the men in the angry group said "That filthy Race"(pg75) towards an Arab who wasn't able to hide. The Arab replied "I didn't do anything"(pg75). To this the worker said "YouÐ''re all in it together you fucking sons of bitches"(pg75). It was soon after this that James ran towards the Arab and helped him get to safety. He then went back to the group of men and tried to calm them down by saying "He hasn't done anything" (pg 75). After another anger driven comment by one of the workers James says "That's what you say when you're angry. Think it over" (pg 75). For some strange reason this one comment was able to somewhat calm the man down and back off. Of course after James made the comment the worker made another smart comment about the situation. This event only showed that the man was trying to find someone to blame when the real perpetrator was not around. I believe that the situation is somewhat similar to the situation that many Muslim-Americans are facing today. Many Americans are discriminating Muslims based on the actions of a extreme minority. Just like many Americans, the French colonist actions are based on anger, frustration and sometimes ignorance of what actually a happened and who did it. Most of the elements of estrangement in the novel are based on fear , frustration and not out of pure hatred for the Arabs.

The portray of estrangement in the novel, in my opinion, is the complete opposite of the way that it is portrayed in the movie: Rwanda: History of a Genocide. The estrangement that is occurring in Rwanda is the opposite of the kind that was experience in Algiers. The two groups in Rwanda that are fighting, for the most part truly hate each other. Through political and social affairs the Tutsi completely enraged the Hutus. After decades

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