It is an entertaining piece until the very end, when the actor playing Orpheus seems more and more overcome and falls grotesquely down. Osborne-Bartucca, Kristen. The Plague. The ward is stiflingly hot even though fans whir above. It asks a number of questions relating to the nature of destiny and the human condition. In the interim between sermons the people have become less religious and more superstitious. They would probably preserve the memory of sharing the same fight, the same sufferance, of finding the road to happiness which passes through charitable, unselfish love. He has to wait a fortnight, and continues his work indefatigably at the sanitation station. Tarrou says he is essentially trying to be a saint without believing in God. The Fall. The town is fully at the mercy of the plague, and there is nothing to do but mark time and try and cope with the immense fatigue. The motto of the novel quotes Daniel Defoe and it thus turns the events presented in the novel into a parable of the common man's fight with evil, which he defeats only temporarily. Rieux sees that same phrase and all of its changes and corrections, and Grand croaks at him to read it, and, when Rieux does, to destroy it. They float and drift, completely at peace. The camp manager comes up and tells Tarrou and Rambert that Othon wants to see them. The authorities finally arrange for the daily collection and cremation of the rats. And Rieux grapples with the nature of God, suffering, and love as the plague rages around him but then, by the end of the section, begins to wane. The author told us the events happening during the plague in the city Oran on the Algerian coast that counts only 200.000 citizens. Rambert decides to go out, and visits Rieux at the hospital. Paneloux joins Rieux and asks why there was anger in his voice, for what happened to the child was just as unbearable to him. Copyright © 1999 - 2021 GradeSaver LLC. The title refers to a terrible plague that strikes Oran, Algeria. by Albert Camus. The ordeal is the all or the nothing, and Rieux realizes from the pews that to some this must sound like heresy. Suffice it to say, they are all feared and despised. Introduced as a surgeon, and is one of the first urge action to be taken Outside, he feels like screaming curses. The loudspeakers announce that it is mealtime and the inmates shuffle to their tents. In this section we also come to know more about Tarrou, who expatiates on his history and his past and present motivations. Paneloux prepares a second sermon and tells Rieux he ought to come. Most of these men have seen children die before but not watched one’s agony minute by minute. In the first paragraph of the book, the ordinariness of Oran is contrasted with the extraordinary business of the plague, and on the surface the comment seems possibly only a bit of literary formula. Tarrou gives him the news when he asks for it, saying Paneloux is ready to replace Rambert at the quarantine station. The book actually presents us the evolution of the community as the terrifying disease spreads its poison. In short, the lesson's message cannot be erased and their new wisdom could be passed on to others, still in the name of social solidarity. He has no illusions anymore, and his four hours of sleep do not lend themselves to sentimentality. Thus, Doctor Bernard Rieux is one of the great fighters in the novel and at same time he is the narrator of the story. Paneloux is killed by an aporia.”. First the rats are dying in the streets of the Algerian coastal city Oran, then the plague breaks out. That day it is windy and the church is not as full as the first time. In the car, Rambert tells Rieux he does not want to go and wants to stay with him. Grand falls ill with the plague and anguishes over the futility of his manuscript. At first, everyone is in denial. They feel this abomination acutely, as this innocent child is literally dying in front of them. The gods watch the unfolding calamity with arms folded either unwilling or unable to do anything. 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. Rambert understands, but awkwardly repeats his request. People seem less interested in reading the news when they once clamored for every scrap of it. Rieux sighs that he does not know what is right, and he should do his bit for happiness. The diseases' victims stretch from March until December and then there are some cases that are curable. What was the status of life in Europe in terms of faith, technology, and trade before the Plague arrived? His mother came to live with him after his father died. Paneloux rues that he has not convinced him, and Rieux responds that it doesn’t matter and nothing can part them now. Rieux is baffled. Tarrou would visit his mother occasionally and saw his father, but they were not close. 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. resource to ask questions, find answers, and discuss the novel. His works include The Stranger, The Plague, The Myth of Sisyphus, The Fall, and The Rebel. Published in 1947, The Plague focuses on the character of Bernard Rieux, a doctor in Oran. He won the Nobel Prize in Literature at the age of 44 in 1957, the second-youngest recipient in history. All night Rieux is tormented by the thought of Grand’s imminent death, but the next morning he is greatly improved. Rieux hears his own wife’s condition has worsened but everything is being done as it should be. The Plague study guide contains a biography of Albert Camus, literature essays, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis. Battle Against Crisis at the Conclusion of The Plague, The Absurd and the Concept of Hope in Camus's Novels. Before too long, thousands of the creatures are making their way to … He knew what those jubilant crowds did not know but could have learned from books: that the plague bacillus never dies or disappears for good; that it can lie dormant for years and years in furniture and linen-chests, that it bides its time in bedrooms, cellars, trunks and bookshelves...". Tarrou suggests that the two of them do something for friendship—take a swim in the sea. His flesh is wasted; his position is a “grotesque parody of crucifixion” (215). Tarrou notes that they all have vacant gazes and seem to have forgotten what life really means. 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. Rambert moves into the small Spanish house. For any kind of exile there is an unavoidable cause, and also a means of defeating it. 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. Tarrou’s diary paints a picture of the man who seems to be “blossoming” (195). Tarrou replies that it is the path of sympathy. As Tarrou and Rambert leave, Tarrou sighs that one feels like he must help Othon, but what can one do for a judge? He felt sick. The Plague Summary. However, the only thing Tarrou could focus on was the criminal, who was most definitively a man. Albert Camus is a famous and complex personality of French culture. It provides a thorough exploration of the novel’s plot, characters and main themes, including war, guilt and disease. Rambert is told he can move in with Louis and Marcel now, as they have guard duty. 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. The brothers are not there very often, but their old mother is kind to Rambert. The stadium is surrounded by high walls and now sentries, giving the impression of people being forcibly hidden from society. When his father sent a letter, Tarrou told him forthrightly that he would kill himself if forced to return. Castel clears his throat and asks about remission, and Rieux says he is putting up more resistance than expected. It provides a thorough exploration of the novel’s plot, characters and main themes, including justice, society and the Absurd. The cemeteries are unvisited, as the dead are no longer thought of as the forsaken who must be visited once a year; rather, they are intruders. He points to Rambert. When conditions in Europe suddenly changed at the beginning of the 14th century, what did many people believe had come? There are groans and cries and men in white moving from bed to bed. This is the case of the simple public officer named Grand. Grand turns his back. Dr. Benard Rieux- About 35 years. He was interested in the death penalty and became an agitator against it all over Europe. These papers were written primarily by students and provide critical analysis of The Plague. Summary Read a Plot Overview of the entire book or a chapter by chapter Summary and Analysis. 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. Monsieur Othon’s young son is sick and the family is quarantined again. He sits wearily on the bench. Things went well for him. He learns finally that he is to leave the following night at midnight. Finally the boy issues a terrible, long scream and clutches his blankets. The struggle, we are told, is a struggle between abstractions and happiness for each man. Rambert chooses to stay in Oran even though he can get out, realizing he needs to choose a love for the collective rather than a personal love. Albert Camus: The Plague - Summary and Commentary from an Existentialist and Humanist Point of View Bubonic plague is a disease caused by the bacterium, Yersinia pestis. As November ends, Tarrou goes with Rieux to visit the old asthma patient. By noon there is no change for the worse, and by nightfall it is clear he is fully out of danger. In the economy of the novel, plague acts as a character in itself alongside its human counterparts. 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. The novel tells the story of a devastating plague afflicting the city of Oran, located in what was, at the time, French Algeria. In April, thousands of rats stagger into the open and die. He is under immense strain and is prone to excesses of sentimentality and musings about Jeanne. He is profoundly against any suffering whatsoever: Lesic-Thomas notes, “He places himself always on the side of the victim and refuses to kill, directly or indirectly, under any circumstances.” For Tarrou, the plague is much more than the microbe—it is man’s inhumanity to man. Thus all of these characters undergo a process of initiation, of understanding the great implications of such a misfortune, until they decide to work together for their mutual benefit. The fraught woman calls Rieux, who hurries over. In the 1990s, a South American city is rocked by the imminent outbreak of a plague. Rieux says he is done, and they can go out together. She is struck, she narrates later, by his restlessness. It is the 1940s in Oran, a French-occupied Algerian colony. 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. The doctor understands, but replies that he has always felt more sympathy for the fellowship than the saints. "The Plague Part Four Summary and Analysis". After a long inoculation process, Rieux, Paneloux, Tarrou, Grand, and Dr. Castel gather to observe the effects. The story is narrated to us by an odd, nameless narrator strangely obsessed with objectivity, who tends to focus on a man named Dr. Bernard Rieux. The Question and Answer section for The Plague is a great The well-known French writer Albert Camus, expresses his deep concern and wish for social solidarity in his novel "The Plague" which depicts how people manage to survive together in the end, in spite of trials. Modern antibiotics are effective in treating it. This writing was in fact conceived as a sort of rather late replica to another of his novels, "The Stranger". When he was young he lived with a sense of his innocence and fortuitousness. 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. It the beginning, he is rather on the side of resignation and accepting the plague as a divine punishment, but he ends up joining the fight, also with the use of his spiritual weapons. Yet he is taken away by the plague, and the pneumonic version of the plague is spreading quickly. happiness is freedom... And the secret to freedom is courage” (Thucydides). His death-cry is fiercely angry, and picked up by others in the room. At one point he coughs up a clot of red stuff, which he’d been trying to get out for some time. 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. (Marco Di Lauro/Getty Images) The novel “The Plague” by Albert Camus is composed of 5 parts. With the wind howling outside, Paneloux says his choice is to believe everything so he does not deny everything. When a mild hysteria grips the population, the newspapers begin clamoring for action. 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. From the title, you know this book is about a plague. Albert Camus's The Plague Chapter Summary. Or perhaps it should be put like thus: fear seems to him more bearable under these conditions than it was when he had to bear its burden alone” (199). He remains for several weeks. 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. She does not care for herself she later says, but feels responsible for the Father. He once felt alone in this town but now he feels a part of it whether he wants to be or not. Since he, Tarrou observes, “has learned what it is to live in a constant state of fear, he finds it normal that others should come to know this state. Rieux is bending over a patient, lancing the groin. The people believed the Blacl Death signaled the Biblical apocolypse. Albert Camus’s novel The Plague (1947) is often cited as a classic of existentialism, though Camus himself refuted that classification. Tarrou asks Rambert what they do all day and Rambert replies that they do nothing. Surprised, Rieux asks about his wife. The plague represents this absurdity. Within the prison of Oran, if a man burns his home, he is legally imprisoned and, once behind bars, certain of death, for nowhere is plague so thorough as it is in the prison house. Tarrou smiles and leads him to a small room for a disinfected mask. Summary. At this same time, such a pattern repeats in a girl at the hospital: she has all the symptoms of pneumonic plague and seems fated to die, but recovers miraculously. Once they do become aware of it, they must decide what measures they will take to fight the deadly disease. It is a Sunday afternoon and Gonzalez, the football player and fan, comes with them. His black hair is clipped very close. That Christmas is a mournful one for the town. 559. He tells Rieux how he came to see the death penalty as a fundamental evil and thus spent many years as an agitator. Tarrou asks if Rieux might take an hour off for friendship, and Rieux smiles yes. 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. 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. It is founded on the sacrifice of the innocent and the acceptance of this sacrifice” (quoted in Hanna). Of moderate height, dark skinned, and broad-shouldered; he has dark steady eyes, a big, well-modeled nose, and thick, tight-set lips. Find summaries for every chapter, including a The Plague Chapter Summary Chart to help you understand the book. With William Hurt, Sandrine Bonnaire, Jean-Marc Barr, Robert Duvall. Even more horrifying to Tarrou was that his own father was the one arguing for this. During the season, Grand does not make an appearance, so Tarrou and Rieux go to find him. He is rather aloof from Rieux and Rambert but seeks Tarrou out. The newspapers promote optimism at all costs, and seeing the true heroes and reality of the plague is only possible when going to quarantine depots or isolation camps. The company plays one show every week. 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. Father Paneloux, a Jesuit priest, delivers a sermon declaring that the plague is a divine punishment for Oran’s sins. He is happy to be with the others instead of set apart from society. "...Rieux remembered that such joy is always imperiled. When he is done speaking, the doctor asks if Tarrou has an idea of the path for getting peace. Paneloux also falls ill, having come to terms with his views on turning fully to God even though the problem of evil is overwhelming. Ultimately, they must love God or hate Him, and who would choose to hate Him? Rambert runs a quarantine station at the hotel and Grand is dealing with the facts and figures that come his way. Rieux takes the boy’s pulse and silently urges it to match his own. He then dies, and is marked as “Doubtful case.”. The Myth of Sisyphus. For the Christian, he says, the ultimate choice is to believe everything or deny everything. While Tarrou is far from being the monster that Cottard is, he still ultimately retains an abstract response to the plague. This is more contagious and more fatal. Priest Paneloux gives us the religious perspective on the event. Rambert replies that he’d be ashamed of himself if he did not do the right thing. He sees things as they are–“hideous, witless justice” (193). They undress and jump into the water. Analysis. The Plague Summary. 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. Summary. The Plague is a novel by Albert Camus that was first published in 1947. In his endeavors to act on this belief, he tells Rieux that he wishes he could be “a saint without God” (255). Tarrou now assumes that his father intended him to be impressed and want to become an attorney. When he turns and sees Rieux, Rieux is struck by the man’s sorrow. He speaks of how all trials work together for good for the Christian, how nothing on earth is more horrible than the suffering of a child and we naturally seek to understand it and reason with it. The announcement of death is paramount in Camus' philosophy and in his novels. Once the gates of the town are shut, the plague becomes everyone’s concern – no one is trying to ignore it anymore. The old asthma patient gleefully tells him the rats are back. He says goodbye. The Plague Summary. Albert Camus (/ k æ ˈ m uː / kam-OO, US also / k ə ˈ m uː / kə-MOO, French: [albɛʁ kamy] (); 7 November 1913 – 4 January 1960) was a French philosopher, author, and journalist. by Albert Camus. Rieux hesitates but Grand repeats his request in an agonized tone, so Rieux complies. The curve has seemingly flattened, and Dr. Richard proclaims this a high-water mark. Unlike the characters from "The Stranger", which are rather individualistic, free to accuse and even kill each other, in "The Plague" we encounter characters that unite to fight together the great curse of plague. Some of them break small rules, and “the energy they devoted to fighting the disease made them all the more liable to it” (194). They should not give up, but grope their way through the dark if they must and do what good they can. The Plague Summary: A Novel by Albert Camus Claudia Miclaus Feb 23, 2020 The well-known French writer Albert Camus, expresses his deep concern and wish for social solidarity in his novel "The Plague" which depicts how people manage to survive together in the end, in spite of trials. The Plague is considered an existentialist classic, despite Camus' objection to the label. He sees their reactions to the plague as ones he already had when he was condemned; he feels their superstitions, their fears, their panics, their stretched nerves. What was the philosophy of the “flagellants”? He is happy to be swept with the herd toward pleasure, happy to live in the present moment. "The Plague" is one of his biggest affirmations of his desire for social solidarity. They first were full of chatter but now they are silent. Rieux suggests they go home, but Grand frantically runs away, then falls onto the ground, clearly ill. 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