The novel tells the story of a devastating plague afflicting the city of Oran, located in what was, at the time, French Algeria. The narrative tone is similar to Kafka's, especially in The Trial, whose individual sentences potentially have multiple meanings, the material often pointedly resonating as stark allegory of phenomenal consciousness, and the human condition. Camus, a known atheist, remarked once that “in its essence, Christianity (and this is its paradoxical greatness) is a doctrine of injustice. As November ends, Tarrou goes with Rieux to visit the old asthma patient. Othon asks Rieux to save his son, and agrees to the accommodations proposed—a room for Madame Othon and the little girl, and an isolation camp at the municipal station for Othon. Rieux is even more convinced of the absence of God, for the death of this innocent child is unfathomable in a world where God putatively loves all of His creatures. Ultimately, they must love God or hate Him, and who would choose to hate Him? When Paneloux suggests that such a thing passes human understanding and they ought to love what they cannot understand, Rieux replies that he has a different conception of love and will never be able to love a scheme of things in which children are tortured. Camus researched various plagues throughout history in order to prepare for his fictionalised account of an epidemic consuming the Algerian coastal town of Oran one April. This is the case of the simple public officer named Grand. Battle Against Crisis at the Conclusion of The Plague, The Absurd and the Concept of Hope in Camus's Novels. He is happy to be swept with the herd toward pleasure, happy to live in the present moment. He tells Rieux to get his manuscript. No is even allowed to write letters lest the plague spread through the mail. His black hair is clipped very close. It is founded on the sacrifice of the innocent and the acceptance of this sacrifice” (quoted in Hanna). Thus, Doctor Bernard Rieux is one of the great fighters in the novel and at same time he is the narrator of the story. The closed space of the town haunted by plague and isolated from the rest of the world is the setting in which the writer presents some destinies, which exemplify the diversity in unity and the relation between the individual and the community. When a mild hysteria grips the population, the newspapers begin clamoring for action. Predictions from soothsayers and prophets and references to Nostradamus are common; they seem comforting to the people, especially when they predict the plague’s end. Tarrou asks if Rieux might take an hour off for friendship, and Rieux smiles yes. Those who followed this movement were regarded as a dangerous threat to church authority. Father Paneloux, a Jesuit priest, delivers a sermon declaring that the plague is a divine punishment for Oran’s sins. The Plague Summary. He starts to write during the appearance of a new ideological movement, that of existentialism. There is no justice regarding who lives and dies from the plague; there is no rational or moral meaning to be derived from it; religious myths or angry gods don’t explain it. The mess starts when rats everywhere die. He tells of his conviction that his belief in certain principles or systems in his life contributed to the death of thousands, no matter how indirectly. Grand grows sicker and sicker, but has moments of lucidity. After a long inoculation process, Rieux, Paneloux, Tarrou, Grand, and Dr. Castel gather to observe the effects. As he comes to his conclusion, Paneloux says he knows this requires total self-surrender and it is a hard lesson but that they must “aspire beyond ourselves to that high and fearful vision” (228). She suggests calling a doctor but he refuses. Word Count: 1089. The announcement of death is paramount in Camus' philosophy and in his novels. Of moderate height, dark skinned, and broad-shouldered; he has dark steady eyes, a big, well-modeled nose, and thick, tight-set lips. Nevertheless, it is she who discovers one morning that he has not arisen and seems more flushed and weaker than ever. Right as Rieux is about to flee from not being able to take it anymore, it stops. Modern antibiotics are effective in treating it. When conditions in Europe suddenly changed at the beginning of the 14th century, what did many people believe had come? He is rather aloof from Rieux and Rambert but seeks Tarrou out. Tarrou’s diary paints a picture of the man who seems to be “blossoming” (195). People immediately react to their sudden isolation by yearning for their loved ones outside Oran. The curve has seemingly flattened, and Dr. Richard proclaims this a high-water mark. He finds Tarrou in his office, who tells Rambert he is reluctant to let him in because he is trying to spare Rieux as much as possible. Rieux moves to leave the room and as he passes Paneloux, who reaches out to him, he bursts out that the child was innocent and Paneloux knows it as well as he does. When his father sent a letter, Tarrou told him forthrightly that he would kill himself if forced to return. The diseases' victims stretch from March until December and then there are some cases that are curable. Rieux softly says he will stay with him. He says that no person can lift a finger without the risk of bringing death to someone else, and this is why everyone has plague. He does not believe anymore that the plague is punishment for the sins of the people, but it is still mysterious beyond man’s measure and ultimately one must trust in God regardless of the inscrutability of His plan. Surprised, Rieux asks about his wife. The climax of the novel occurs when Rieux, Tarrou, and Paneloux witness the intensely painful and grotesque suffering and death of the Othon boy. The boy’s infection is spreading and Rieux has no qualms administering the serum to him. Eugene Hollahan reminds readers that Tarrou’s motivation for fighting the plague is his own private code of morals; his “troubled intellectual stance contrasts with the doctor’s simple statement that his own motivation for fighting the plague is sympathetic outrage at human suffering.” In his identification with the cat-spitter and pear-counter, he “indicates his own deep tendency toward abstraction and transcendence.” He cannot travel the path of sympathy to its end, and dies of the plague. He continues to decline but refuses a doctor until he finally says he will be taken to the hospital in accordance with the regulations. He tells Rieux how he came to see the death penalty as a fundamental evil and thus spent many years as an agitator. He sits wearily on the bench. Plague cannot be kept out, not even in the civilized confines of the arts. However, there are characters who avoid the mundane and the disease, by discovering new aesthetic interests. The food supply is affected, and the poor begin to resent the rich even more, for the plague does not seem to be affecting everyone equally. By noon there is no change for the worse, and by nightfall it is clear he is fully out of danger. He is under immense strain and is prone to excesses of sentimentality and musings about Jeanne. They can see the horizon and the sea meeting in a dim blur, stars sparkling, and the lights of the lighthouse flashing. Things went well for him. resource to ask questions, find answers, and discuss the novel. The characters are unequally involved in this terrible fight and the final conclusion is that people have more things to admire than things to despise. (Marco Di Lauro/Getty Images) The majority of the people are sitting on the stands, while others loll about or walk around listlessly. The Plague, is a novel by Albert Camus, published in 1947, that tells the story of a plague sweeping the French Algerian city of Oran.It asks a number of questions relating to the nature of destiny, and the human condition. In the car, Rambert tells Rieux he does not want to go and wants to stay with him. Tarrou concludes. The title refers to a terrible plague that strikes Oran, Algeria. Grand falls ill with the plague and anguishes over the futility of his manuscript. Before too long, thousands of the creatures are making their way to … He “took a horrified interest in legal proceedings, death sentences, executions” (248) and could not help knowing what his father’s role in such things—such murders—was. Paneloux rues that he has not convinced him, and Rieux responds that it doesn’t matter and nothing can part them now. The Plague by Albert Camus Albert Camus published The Plague in 1947. From that day on he could not look at the railway directory. The flagellants believed that selfpunishment for their sins might help save them from death as a result of the Plague. Rieux happily agrees and the men go down to the beach. Analysis. This is more contagious and more fatal. From the title, you know this book is about a plague. Rieux hears his own wife’s condition has worsened but everything is being done as it should be. He is happy to be with the others instead of set apart from society. Paneloux is killed by an aporia.”. The old asthma patient gleefully tells him the rats are back. The ordeal is the all or the nothing, and Rieux realizes from the pews that to some this must sound like heresy. Grand turns his back. There is no cheer, no celebrating. Rambert replies that he’d be ashamed of himself if he did not do the right thing. A young deacon tells him the Father is working on an even more radical pamphlet—that it is illogical for a priest to call a doctor. The ward is stiflingly hot even though fans whir above. Albert Camus is a famous and complex personality of French culture. La Peste, the original French title of the novel, translates to The Plague in the American edition. The stadium is surrounded by high walls and now sentries, giving the impression of people being forcibly hidden from society. Copyright © 1999 - 2021 GradeSaver LLC. 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. Tarrou gives him the news when he asks for it, saying Paneloux is ready to replace Rambert at the quarantine station. He feels no peace but wants to find it somehow. In April, thousands of rats stagger into the open and die. Rieux sighs that he does not know what is right, and he should do his bit for happiness. The music stops and the show ends, and the audience files out in confusion and dismay, then moving faster and faster in their revulsion. He points to Rambert. He learns finally that he is to leave the following night at midnight. It provides a thorough exploration of the novel’s plot, characters and main themes, including war, guilt and disease. Tarrou replies that it is the path of sympathy. They feel free from the town and the plague, and are “conscious of being perfectly at one, and the memory of this night would be cherished by them both” (257). The Plague. Rieux suggests they go home, but Grand frantically runs away, then falls onto the ground, clearly ill. Tarrou and Rieux take him home, and as he has no family, they decide to let him stay in his home instead of being evacuated. With the wind howling outside, Paneloux says his choice is to believe everything so he does not deny everything. Paneloux looks at him with warmth and a sad smile, and says priests can have no friends as they’ve given their all to God. by Albert Camus. This particular plague happens in a Algerian port town called Oran in the 1940s. Tarrou now assumes that his father intended him to be impressed and want to become an attorney. While describing the collective psychology, there are a few portraits that distinguish themselves from others pointing out certain behavior and mentalities more or less influenced by an environment, a doctrine or a personal conviction. Rieux apologizes and says he is weary and the only feeling he has sometimes is revolt. The Plague, which propelled Camus into international celebrity, is both an allegory of World War II and a universal meditation on human conduct and community. The loudspeakers announce that it is mealtime and the inmates shuffle to their tents. 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. With William Hurt, Sandrine Bonnaire, Jean-Marc Barr, Robert Duvall. He is a representative of silent and discrete suffering and unconditional commitment to the fight he willingly joins. They float and drift, completely at peace. He remains for several weeks. Tarrou begins his story by saying he already has the plague. He tells Rieux about what firing squads are really like, what abuses men really carry out against other men. In this section we also come to know more about Tarrou, who expatiates on his history and his past and present motivations. His father had a peculiarity, which was that he was a “walking timetable” (246) who knew every distance and arrival and departure time between cities in Europe. La Peste = The Plague, Albert Camus The Plague is a novel by Albert Camus, published in 1947, that tells the story of a plague sweeping the French Algerian city of Oran. His mother came to live with him after his father died. Rambert understands, but awkwardly repeats his request. The novel presents a snapshot of life in Oran as seen through the author's distinctive absurdist point of view. Rieux takes the boy’s pulse and silently urges it to match his own. When Rieux mentions this to Tarrou later, Tarrou says it makes sense, for if Paneloux wants to hold on to this faith he will do so until the end. He will never accept any argument that allows the people in power to justify their butcheries. It is an entertaining piece until the very end, when the actor playing Orpheus seems more and more overcome and falls grotesquely down.