Cuizon, Gwendolyn. The other doctors refuse to draw conclusions or make an attempt to consider the cases. Again, as in Chapter 1, he uses an extreme contrast — here, to point to the absurdity of the symptoms: rats can't be seeping out of houses and sewers for a reason — rats' deaths can't be beautiful. Perhaps Camus' several years of newspaper writing were the genesis of this style or helped formulate his ideas concerning the need for careful, documented truthfulness. This illness is … But what interests him most about Oran? Rieux seems isolated — in miniature, a situation akin to the total isolation which the plague will eventually impose upon Oran. And since Camus has lamented that man's imagination has ceased to function, perhaps the reader would do well to expand it here in this trapped, sizzling, "normal" situation of death and imagine the eventual effect of the plague. Language is living. His determination to be simply efficient and thorough is his answer for the present — doing one's job as it should be done. He lacks almost all sense of commercial survival. Grand, in contrast, does not. Once he set the novel in the hot region of North Africa and had captured our belief in its existence, he began recreating Oran and its people in Western terms. Another character, although her part in the book is small, is introduced in this first chapter and is important because she exhibits a general Oranian attitude toward the plague's symptoms. Word games are ridiculous now. On the contrary, he appears to be much more concerned with words than he does with people. In the face of such a seemingly meaningless choice, between death and death, the fact that they make a choice to act and fight for themselves and their community becomes even more meaningful; it is a note of defiance thrown against the wind, but that note is the only thing through which someone can define himself. Camus' The Plague is an uncannily prescient description of the world of COVID-19, giving us reasons for reflection, and finally for hope. Richard, the telephoned colleague of Dr. Rieux, exhibits an oft-used approach of intellectuals toward problems. Rieux notes his sense of humor, his love of swimming, and his fondness for the company of dancers and musicians. But he is not alone. An atheist, Camus did not believe that death, suffering, and human existence had any intrinsic moral or rational meaning. of the past? It is bound, perhaps even strangling itself, with habits. Camus' philosophy is an amalgam of existentialism and humanism. Marina Warnerhas noted the lack of female characters and th… Lulu Haroutunian has discussed Camus' own medical history, including a bout with tuberculosis, and how it informs the novel. Finally Rieux seems at a loss for an answer. Most of Oran talks, scribbles, and muscles their days into ample financial rewards. It describes the bloated corpse of a rat. This isolation of Rieux and of Oran is buttressed by one of Camus' exacting images. There is a breakdown in communication between Rieux and other men. As the plague gently begins its slaughter, Dr. Rieux discovers in Chapter 4 that he must battle another plague-like phenomenon — the so-called red tape of bureaucracy. The sea, of course, is a striking symbol for life, richly and lushly lived. Rieux notices the sudden appearance of dying rats around town, and … Another colleague of Rieux's loudly supports the Prefect's stand on the issue, explaining away the fever in vague, medical-book sounding generalities. His novel The Plague has recently garnered much worldwide attention do to the pandemic of 2020. Oran turns its back on nature, on sincerity, and truth; its concern is with the materialistic and the habitual. Only then can they perform responsibly and efficiently. With his wife away, he is left in a perspective larger than any plagued romantic tragedy. The Plague is a novel written by Albert Camus, an ultimately bleak story about a terrible illness that swept through an unprepared town. Further, he says he will ask, as a favor for the man, that the police inspector hold up the inquiry for a couple of days. His uneasy glances over his shoulder and his question about patients being arrested concern Rieux. Albert Camus’ ‘The Plague’ and the Philosophy of Suffering, 2007. Studying his reaction to the dead rats — the symptoms of the plague — we find him to be a common-sense type of "hero." The journalist Rambert seems, at this point, only a foil for Rieux. Perhaps, it is hoped, the plague will then take care of itself. Albert Camus' vision in The Plague was bleak, but his study in terrorism is also a fable of redemption, finds Marina Warner Buy The Plague at Amazon.co.uk Sat 26 Apr 2003 18.35 EDT He wonders about wasting time, for example, and his present answer is "by being fully aware of it," one does not waste it. He muses on the dimensions of Grand's character — measurements which are unexceptional, but important in their implications. It should be especially noted here that the doctor is attempting an emotional response to the advent of plague. While reading this novel, one should remember that Camus has an initial prerequisite for an understanding of his philosophy of the absurd: a realization and recognition of the fact of one's own death. Lebesque, Richard. Although, most of the cultural points in this novel are based off of the authors own traditions and culture, the major things to focus on are the differences between history, culture, and religious beliefs between the novel and Oran, Algeria. A modern alternative to SparkNotes and CliffsNotes, SuperSummary offers high-quality study guides that feature detailed chapter summaries and analysis of major themes, characters, quotes, and essay topics. In his 1947 novel, The Plague, Albert Camus tells the riveting story of the quarantined city of Oran, Algeria, that suffers a vicious outbreak of the plague.The plague increasingly and randomly kills the young and the old, the rich and the poor. He now eats in luxury restaurants and flourishes grand tips. Oran turns its back on the bay. In fact, Camus says later that the rats were coming out in long swaying lines and doing "a sort of pirouette." He describes the blood puddles around their noses as looking like red flowers. Why does Cottard have an irrational fear of the police? Guilt? Learn more about The Plague with a detailed plot summary and plot diagram. His dictionaries, his blackboard, the crammed full portfolio, his study of Latin to perfect his French — all this — his search for the basic, the Ur-origins — is admirable, but he seems, thus far, neglecting the people who speak the language he delves into. New York: Penguin Classics, 2006. Again, this is a marvelous sort of endeavor, but the result will be too perfect. There is more, though, to Tarrou than a seemingly morbid curiosity. His result has the tone of precision — much the same as Truman Capote's nonfiction novel In Cold Blood. His novel can be seen as an allegory about French resistance to the Nazi’s during World War 2. The plague today is an invisible monster, but it gives birth to a better world. Camus' The Plague is an uncannily prescient description of the world of COVID-19, giving us reasons for reflection, and finally for hope. The Prefect sounds like a Liberal, but is an arch Conservative; he imagines himself encompassing each of his city's crises with sage wisdom and acting accordingly. As yet, Grand has to show us any real sympathy. The chapter begins with Dr. Rieux's discovering a dead rat and a crotchety concierge's indignant and comic fussings and it ends with a total of several thousands of dead rats, plus the plague's first death — M. Michel, the concierge. Note: This is a summary and analysis of The Rebel and not the original work.The Rebel is a 1951 book-length essay by Albert Camus, which treats both the metaphysical and the historical development of rebellion and revolution in societies, especially Western Europe. Camus was not, however, to faithfully render Oran much further than geographically locating it for the reader. Plague is proclaimed. Two things are done here with Grand. Is the man going to insist that definitions and clinical reports be compiled and printed? A man only begins living, according to Camus, when he announces in advance his own death to himself and realizes the consequences. In earlier works—notably the play Caligula (pb. This Study Guide consists of approximately 75 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Plague. He is announcing the deaths of many people, common people, and as spectators, we will wait, watch, hear, and perhaps learn from the consequences of the everyday Oedipuses and Creons of Oran — citizens warned again and again of their fate to die, yet who choose to be unbelieving, antagonistic, and indifferent to the warning. But because he shows little concern for the rats, but is sufficiently fascinated by Oran to record its idiosyncrasies, he is excellent for Rieux's purpose — a substantiation in presenting as accurate a picture as possible about the first days of the plague. The mention of a "normal" dying man, "trapped behind hundreds of walls all sizzling with heat," suggests the mazes of Dante's hell, mazes which must be traversed before the plague's thousands of deaths are tolled. from your Reading List will also remove any Previous Perhaps he is looking for an epitome of modern foulness. Rieux responds immediately to the old man's call for help — help for a neighbor who has tried to hang himself. (Camus 44) Rieux stays, faces his fear of death, and stays altruistic to fill the duty of being a doctor. Analysis Of Albert Camus 'BookThe Plague' 1424 Words | 6 Pages. Albert Camus's novel The Plague is about an epidemic of bubonic plague that takes place in the Al-gerian port city of Oran.When the plague first arrives, the residents are slow to recognize the mortal danger they are in. I have little doubt he was guilty, of … His role will enlarge as the story develops. In the 14th century, the bubonic plague, also known as the “Black Death” killed almost a third of the One should question, at this point, whether Rieux is wholly to be trusted. His defense is with a semantic shield. The doctor gives Grand credit for being a man of feelings. Rieux includes a brief physical description of himself written by Tarrou, and then ends the chapter which seems, on the whole, somewhat fragmentary. Fear of the future? The Plague study guide contains a biography of Albert Camus, literature essays, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis. Why does anyone attempt suicide? The announcement of death is paramount in Camus' philosophy and in his novels. He did not discover Cottard as a result of his coming for a friendly visit. The central irony in The Plague lies in Camus' treatment of "freedom." (Camus 44) Rieux stays, faces his fear of death, and stays altruistic to fill the duty of being a doctor. Tarrou says he is only interested in acquiring peace of mind. Albert Camus's The Plague Plot Summary. His thoughts of fellow Athenians fighting one another centuries ago for burial rite space for their dead foreshadows a like battle he will fight when he attempts to properly care for the sick and dying. The citizens of Oran become prisoners of the plague when their city falls under total quarantine, but it is questionable whether they were really "free" before the plague. and suggested a Samaritan attitude. Rieux's observation of Grand has Oran as relief, a town which becomes uneasy at the suggestion of affection. Why Tarrou singles out this particular instance to comment on is fairly obvious. The Outsider, The Plague, And The Fall By Albert Camus Analysis 1774 Words | 8 Pages. And a snail's shell of indifference and ignorance is hiding the townspeople and even Rieux's colleagues from the truth. And, if up to now he has been one step ahead of the townspeople in conscientiously trying to isolate and arrest this mysterious virus, he has never completely stopped and considered the panorama of torment which will be in store for the prey of the plague. of being alone? He lists his data and where he got them. Still, it had decimated the city in the 16th century and the 17th. Where Tarrou has come from is a mystery, but after several days of minute observation of the city, he writes: "At last!" First, Rieux considers Grand's occupation as clerk. Are you sure you want to remove #bookConfirmation# This impression is now modified. For Meursault, that time is spent swimming, going to the movies, and making love. Then, from this confrontation, new values regarding living will emerge. In Chapter 8, the plague and municipal efforts play tick-tack-toe. Chapter I is written in a sum-up style by a narrator who slips us occasional asides throughout his short discourse. Consider, too, the fact that Grand has a "finical anxiety" about his speech. Once they do become aware of it, they must decide what measures they will take to fight the deadly disease. Before Oran is finally quarantined, Dr. Rieux confronts one more tangle in the local snarl of red tape. Once they do become aware of it, they must decide what measures they will take to fight the deadly disease. And if fatality is wretched normally, imagine what discomfort will be encountered during the pages of this long chronicle of death. The characters in the book, ranging from doctors to vacationers to fugitives, all help to show the effects the plague has on a populace. "It's like that sometimes," says Rieux's mother, suggesting a seen-much, lived-through-much mind. Non-American Author Research: The Plague by Albert Camus The Plague by Albert Camus is a novel that forms themes around human suffering, greed, and religion. Margaret Betz is an assistant teaching professor of philosophy at Rutgers University – Camden and is the author of the book The Hidden Philosophy of … While The Plague is a tale of absurdist philosophy, it is also a novel with living characters and a deeply human story, and Camus’ writing is potent in its imagery of suffering, despair, and courage. Rieux considers: none of these people matter, yet such a major tragedy as plague — what possible reason could there be for its singling out Oran? This minute — now — this is what matters. The first dead rat begins the chapter; the first victim ends it. This is, in a sense, what Camus is doing in the opening scenes of The Plague. The mess starts when rats everywhere die. Camus’ The Plague shows us the worth of “the path of sympathy” in these troubling times or, as Rieux says, that “a loveless world is a dead world”. Moreover, it is questionable whether they were really alive. This is a question to speculate about after we know Tarrou more thoroughly. He will tell, he says, "what happened." Camus wrote early on, in an essay entitled Le Desert, about “repugnant materialism”. A snail's pace is exactly the tempo that the town has taken concerning the investigation of the curious fever deaths. The Plague-Novel Analysis, 2004. So that the book will not have a one-viewpoint narrative, the author of the chronicle offers the notebooks of — not an Oranian — but those of an outsider, Jean Tarrou. An older doctor is present and urges him to admit it. The casual mention here is being heavily underplayed. Cleanliness is to be observed. Tarrou continues to observe, the old man spits on the cats, Grand writes, Cottard goes his way, the Spaniard counts his peas. He is sure that he is a good neighbor, but is he? This is far from the romantic Mediterranean town we might expect on the shores of the sea. 9782806270160 29 EBook Plurilingua Publishing This practical and insightful reading guide offers a complete summary and analysis of The Plague by Albert Camus. Rieux, of course, is intolerant of such a situation and abruptly ends their conversation. The reader should also remember that the book is not, per se, a novel; the volume is a chronicle, and thus we should not expect avant garde or impressionistic devices — nothing except, as nearly as possible, a factual account of a plague and the people affected. Madame Rieux The mother of Dr. Rieux. The plague today is an invisible monster, but it gives birth to a better world. Camus and The Plague. Rieux counters his introductory remarks by debunking them. The chronicle’s unknown narrator eventually reveals himself as Dr. Rieux, who has been trying to take a more detached view of the plague. He insists on being left in peace, yet now he effects a change. When Camus wrote this novel, there was no epidemic of plague in Oran. These people Camus describes are recognizable as Americans and as western Europeans. The final and short scene of the woman dripping with blood, stretching her arms in agony toward Rieux, is another incident to help us see Rieux as a man who is aware of human cries for help. Knowing, of course, that he (the narrator) is Dr. Rieux, we can see a kind of scientific detachment to his style, in addition to his hope to be objectively truthful. In social waters, swimming is done blindly. if there is a God and die to find out there isn't, than live as if there isn't and to die to find out that there is.” -Albert Camus, The Fall In Albert Camus’ novel The Plague, the author employs three main characters -- the narrator, Tarrou, and Father Paneloux -- to represent extremist views on religion and science in culture. Rieux is also convinced that the victims of the unidentified fever should be put in isolation, yet he is stopped because of his colleagues' insistence that there is no definite proof that the disease is dangerously infectious. These papers were written primarily by students and provide critical analysis of The Plague. (There was a monthlong outbreak in Oran in 2003.) His hopes for a natural cessation of the plague are of course futile. Albert Camus’s novel The Plague is set in Oran, a French port on the Algerian coast in the 1940s. To both men, their leisure time is of prime importance. It is also underscored in the first chapter. This study guide and infographic for Albert Camus's The Plague offer summary and analysis on themes, symbols, and other literary devices found in the text. Love, for Camus, is a mixture of "desire, affection, and intelligence." In addition, Camus is striving for an esthetic distance between the reader and the novel which will keep the reader an observer. Analysis Of The Plague By Albert Camus 1101 Words5 Pages The novel, The Plague, written by Albert Camus, will be the focal point of the Multicultural essay. These details are the gears and wheels of Rieux's project of truth; they are the bits of conversation, street-corner portraits, the city's nerve ends. This is, in a sense, what Camus is doing in the opening scenes of The Plague. He even admits that his heart responds whenever he recalls his deceased parents. Rieux has proven himself to be a man of logic; this pondering is quite in character. © 2020 Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. In any case, the reader should note that Camus does not single out lovers clinging together during a plague situation to snare his readers' attention. The tragedy of a plague is announced in the book's title. As he does, Rieux is staring at the cliffs, the piece of bay, the sky — at nature, at creativity; he says "plague" to himself, and his thoughts of impending death create a polar contrast with the free, natural scene before him. He takes particular delight in regularly watching an old man coax cats beneath his balcony then, ecstatically, spitting on them. Camus conceived of the universe in terms of paradoxes and … At present, he admits that he works for a newspaper that compromises with truth. Here also we know in advance the horrible fate in store for the characters, and we watch as the scenes unfold the familiar fate and the agony of, say, Oedipus or Creon. The atmosphere is as oppressive as a sickroom. Camus himself loved the sea; when he swam in it, he encountered it nakedly and boldly, in a way virtually impossible to encounter society. And outside nature is serenely blue, brilliantly golden. The Plague Summary. It is at this point that one should revolt against his stultifying pattern of living. Nevertheless, Camus did believe that people are capable of giving their lives meaning. Ironically, Rieux remarks, just such insignificant people often escape plague. Tarrou's suggestion that one might profitably remain on a balcony during a Sunday afternoon is reminiscent of what Meursault of Camus' The Stranger does on Sunday afternoon — watching, looking, seeing. Action is the only answer. Why, then, would he come to Oran? Death is a "discomfort." This idea of not wasting time and of infusing the utmost consciousness into the present moment is an important existential tenet. Spring's heavy perfume is in extreme contrast to the heavy smell of death. Plague never enters his head. if there is a God and die to find out there isn't, than live as if there isn't and to die to find out that there is.” -Albert Camus, The Fall In Albert Camus’ novel The Plague, the author employs three main characters -- the narrator, Tarrou, and Father Paneloux -- to represent extremist views on religion and science in culture. The first-person narrator is unnamed but mostly follows Dr. Bernard Rieux. Leaving Grand, Rieux tends more patients. The man is a coward, afraid of indiscreet remarks, and is actually very frightened of Rieux's charges of epidemic. He has considered, speculated, yet returned to his familiar role of the dedicated, commonsense doctor. Use up and down arrows to review and enter to select. Even before the crises that the plague will create, here is a crisis of major importance — a crisis for truth. The emphasis on the habits which have been formed and cultivated by the "soulless" people of Oran are significant. Referring once more to Oran's position on the sea, he says that it is humped "snail-wise" on the plateau. He has, then, created a city far enough away esthetically and geographically for his artistic purposes, but one which has the tempo and coloring of our own environment. Shortly thereafter, when a rat comes from the sewer it is described as spinning on itself with a little squeal, a sort of miniature ballet before death. Perhaps because he is so near death himself, he enjoys with relish the instinctive feeling that he will not die alone but with numerous companions. All rights reserved. Rieux is a doctor; throughout the book, he doctors. He shrugs away the matter, saying "it'll pass." Here is a man who challenges death in this repulsive setting and accomplishes what he desires most — making music. She has seen depression, a loss of her husband, has surely even seen war; besides, she's with her son. eNotes plot summaries cover all the significant action of The Plague. Albert Camus' gritty philosophical masterpiece, The Plague, tells of the horror and suffering that accompanied a plague as it swept through 1940s Algeria. That the rats themselves mean something more serious is ignored by the general population. This technique, it is worth noting, is somewhat similar to that of a Greek tragedy. The doomed citizens, shut off and abandoned to die, cope with various strategies as the months drag on their languished souls. Albert Camus's novel The Plague is about an epidemic of bubonic plague that takes place in the Al-gerian port city of Oran.When the plague first arrives, the residents are slow to recognize the mortal danger they are in. “The Plague” takes place in Oran, a city that Camus, as a son and partisan of its rival, Algiers, found tacky, shallow, commercial; treeless and soulless. Societies too often contain hypocrisy and jealousy; there is seldom honesty and directness. Thus, it seems as though he is searching for an endpoint or goal of some sort — and has found it in Oran. Is the old man aware of what he is doing? CliffsNotes study guides are written by real teachers and professors, so no matter what you're studying, CliffsNotes can ease your homework headaches and help you score high on exams. In his volume of essays, The Myth of Sisyphus, published five years before The Plague, he says that contrasts between the natural and the extraordinary, the individual and the universal, the tragic and the everyday are essential ingredients for the absurd work. In April, thousands of rats stagger into the open and die. He speculates on a musician who continues to play his trombone after he knows that his lungs are dangerously weak. Nature seems indifferent to the mushrooming fungus of destruction. The emergency measures are insufficient. The Plague is a novel about a plague epidemic in the large Algerian city of Oran. On the surface, The Plague is a realistic description of how society reacts to a deadly epidemic: Starting with the authorities’ inevitable denial and followed by hastily convened containment measures, panic buying, shameless profiteering and public discontent, the disease also brings out the very best in people, leading to extraordinary acts of human kindness and solidarity. Oran is not the typical Mediterranean town described in guidebooks as having a "delightfully sunny complexion and charming little balconies overhanging narrow streets, with delightful glimpses of shady courtyards." Both men are, strictly speaking, nobodies — statistics, figuratively; actually, counters of statistics. And, at this point, Rieux has pronounced the word "plague," but has not wholly adjusted to its revolting reality. Father Paneloux A priest in Oran.. Raymond Rambert A Paris journalist trapped in Oran.. Joseph Grand A petty official, also a writer.. Cottard A criminal who hides from arrest in Oran.. 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