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The Plague

Albert Camus
by

Abby Bell

on 14 November 2012

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Transcript of The Plague

By Albert Camus The Plague Themes in both The Stranger and The Plague A brief summary of The Plague Albert Camus, using the motif of an epidemic, explored human nature and how humans responded to what he called "the absurd" in The Plague. Faced with ruthless illness, some chose to flee, some to fight, and some chose to act like nothing was wrong. Each reaction reveals something about the nature of humans. Philosophy Camus wrote The Stranger in the early 1940s and wrote The Plague in 1947, so both books are centered around the World War II atmosphere and were influenced by the changes and realizations that came from that environment. A little bit of Background... Camus wrote The Stranger about our endless search for meaning, and The Plague was his personal allegory of the spread of facsim and revolt in the face of the absurd.

There is also speculation that the "plague" represented the German occupation of France during WWII from 1940-1944, where Oran, the small town and setting of the novel, represented France, and the rats were the Germans . The confrontation of human suffering
Personal choices
The struggle for freedom
The obstacles of choices
The responsibilities of citizens in difficult times
The essence of human nature
The desire for meaning and logic in the universe Hordes of rats start dying and when people start to notice, they begin to get fevers. When the consierge of his apartment dies, the main character, Dr. Rieux , declares it to be the plague.
The rest of the doctors and authorities deny it is an epidemic because they don't want to accept that this has happened to their city and they want to avoid taking drastic action.
Only after the increasing number of sick cases and deaths become too obvious to hide, the authorities place the city under quarantine. Many are angry that they can't leave and go back to their families.
Father Paneloux says it's God's punishment for the sins of the city (Oran), and many turn to religion to be saved. A brief summary of The Plague
Father Paneloux's son dies, and Paneloux says it is a test of faith. Several days later, Paneloux becomes ill and though his symptoms don't match those of the plague, he dies, choosing to leave his fate up to god instead of consulting a doctor.
By winter the plauge is in full retreat and the city gates are opened to allow outsiders to reunite with their loved ones. Rambert's wife joins him at the gates once the city is reopened,
Despite his heroism and the decreasing number of deaths, Tarrou dies
Dr. Rieux's wife dies, and reveals that he is the narrator of the novel
In the end, he concludes that there is more to admire than to despise about humans A man named Rambert tries to escape to meet his wife in Paris, but the attempt fails .
Cottard, a criminal with constant fear of being arrested, welcomes the plague because he no longer feels alone in his fearful suffering and is made wealthy by becoming a smuggler
A vacationer named Tarrou, who is staying to help treat the sick with civil servant Grand, tells Rambert that Dr. Rieux is also seperated from his wife.
Rambert becomes sympathetic and stays to help.
The plague worsens and less and less respect is shown for the dead and the families of the deceased as deaths increase A brief summary of The Plague Albert Camus A plague doctor But don't worry. There's only been about 9 cases in the US in the last ten years.
Full transcript