The music stops and the show ends, and the audience files out in confusion and dismay, then moving faster and faster in their revulsion. 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. He was a human being and though he was a criminal, he was to be killed. The characters in the book, ranging from doctors to vacationers to fugitives, all help to show the effects the plague has on a populace. The Plague study guide contains a biography of Albert Camus, literature essays, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis. Tarrou replies that it is the path of sympathy. Grand turns his back. The Plague. Yet he is taken away by the plague, and the pneumonic version of the plague is spreading quickly. The Plague Summary. The Fall. The mess starts when rats everywhere die. The Plague is a novel by Albert Camus that was first published in 1947. People seem less interested in reading the news when they once clamored for every scrap of it. "...Rieux remembered that such joy is always imperiled. 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. What was the philosophy of the “flagellants”? Albert Camus’s novel The Plague (1947) is often cited as a classic of existentialism, though Camus himself refuted that classification. 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. The irony increases when we realize that plague initially isolated Oran from the outside world. Dr. Castel is showing much wear and tear, which brings a lump to Rieux’s throat. In this section, nearly all of the characters undergo psychological and/or physical crises. Rieux hears his own wife’s condition has worsened but everything is being done as it should be. The company plays one show every week. He knows nothing is worth turning down love but he himself is doing it and he does not know why. What was the status of life in Europe in terms of faith, technology, and trade before the Plague arrived? Around the end of October, it is time to try Castel’s anti-plague serum; for Rieux this is a last hope. 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. Paneloux also falls ill, having come to terms with his views on turning fully to God even though the problem of evil is overwhelming. He was interested in the death penalty and became an agitator against it all over Europe. 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. Castel clears his throat and asks about remission, and Rieux says he is putting up more resistance than expected. It is a Sunday afternoon and Gonzalez, the football player and fan, comes with them. He has no illusions anymore, and his four hours of sleep do not lend themselves to sentimentality. He thinks everyone must be careful not to infect others, not to lapse in attention. This is more contagious and more fatal. 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. He cannot get comfortable and stares straight ahead into the void in between paroxysms. She does not care for herself she later says, but feels responsible for the Father. Those who followed this movement were regarded as a dangerous threat to church authority. Tarrou suggests that the two of them do something for friendship—take a swim in the sea. 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. There are other camps, the narrator says, but he does not know any specifics about them. The camp manager comes up and tells Tarrou and Rambert that Othon wants to see them. These papers were written primarily by students and provide critical analysis of The Plague. Rieux is baffled. The boy often gasps and has tremors, then sinks back into his languor. Rieux takes the boy’s pulse and silently urges it to match his own. Directed by Luis Puenzo. This old woman is honored by his presence but comes to be annoyed with his fatigue and his reticence. Rieux says he is done, and they can go out together. Paneloux is killed by an aporia.”. 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 climax of the novel occurs when Rieux, Tarrou, and Paneloux witness the intensely painful and grotesque suffering and death of the Othon boy. Rieux checks the mortality figures that are released every Monday, and sees that they have decreased. He tells Rieux how he came to see the death penalty as a fundamental evil and thus spent many years as an agitator. The title refers to a terrible plague that strikes Oran, Algeria. The doctor understands, but replies that he has always felt more sympathy for the fellowship than the saints. The Plague, published in 1947, was Albert Camus’ international breakthrough. Tarrou did not leave home immediately but he finally did so. It is an entertaining piece until the very end, when the actor playing Orpheus seems more and more overcome and falls grotesquely down. No is even allowed to write letters lest the plague spread through the mail. She suggests calling a doctor but he refuses. Tarrou’s diary paints a picture of the man who seems to be “blossoming” (195). Word Count: 1089. The old asthma patient gleefully tells him the rats are back. Modern antibiotics are effective in treating it. At the hospital Paneloux submits weakly to observation but still seems undiagnosable. Surprised, Rieux asks about his wife. In the economy of the novel, plague acts as a character in itself alongside its human counterparts. Published in 1947, The Plague focuses on the character of Bernard Rieux, a doctor in Oran. 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. He had a good relationship with his father, a prosecuting attorney. Monsieur Othon’s young son is sick and the family is quarantined again. Some of them break small rules, and “the energy they devoted to fighting the disease made them all the more liable to it” (194). The boy’s infection is spreading and Rieux has no qualms administering the serum to him. 559. She is struck, she narrates later, by his restlessness. Unfortunately, this doctor becomes a plague's victim. Rambert is told he can move in with Louis and Marcel now, as they have guard duty. However, there are characters who avoid the mundane and the disease, by discovering new aesthetic interests. In the 1990s, a South American city is rocked by the imminent outbreak of a plague. There are groans and cries and men in white moving from bed to bed. It asks a number of questions relating … The Question and Answer section for The Plague is a great The gates of the town are opened allowing humans to express their joy of rebirth. At first, everyone is in denial. They espy him standing in front of a shop window, tears coursing down his face. Rambert runs a quarantine station at the hotel and Grand is dealing with the facts and figures that come his way. Nobody is up there. One day Tarrou’s father invited him to hear him speak in court. Analysis. Of moderate height, dark skinned, and broad-shouldered; he has dark steady eyes, a big, well-modeled nose, and thick, tight-set lips. Thus, Doctor Bernard Rieux is one of the great fighters in the novel and at same time he is the narrator of the story. 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. They float and drift, completely at peace. The old woman at the home tells them to check out the roof terrace, from where they can get a lovely view and fresh air. The fraught woman calls Rieux, who hurries over. Camus, a known atheist, remarked once that “in its essence, Christianity (and this is its paradoxical greatness) is a doctrine of injustice. The novel presents a snapshot of life in Oran as seen through the author's distinctive absurdist point of view. He felt sick. The diseases' victims stretch from March until December and then there are some cases that are curable. 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. Tarrou says he is essentially trying to be a saint without believing in God. 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. Filing out with the others, Rieux is of the opinion the sermon was more uneasy than powerful. 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. He is under immense strain and is prone to excesses of sentimentality and musings about Jeanne. Rieux smiles that he is working for health. GradeSaver, 9 June 2020 Web. Tarrou experienced poverty after he left his wealthy home. Rieux asks why he has come, and Rambert says he’d like to speak with him. by Albert Camus. He tells Rieux about what firing squads are really like, what abuses men really carry out against other men. 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. 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. From that day on he could not look at the railway directory. Plague cannot be kept out, not even in the civilized confines of the arts. Finally the boy issues a terrible, long scream and clutches his blankets. They can see the horizon and the sea meeting in a dim blur, stars sparkling, and the lights of the lighthouse flashing. Paneloux rues that he has not convinced him, and Rieux responds that it doesn’t matter and nothing can part them now. The author told us the events happening during the plague in the city Oran on the Algerian coast that counts only 200.000 citizens. The loudspeakers announce that it is mealtime and the inmates shuffle to their tents. 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. The people believed the Blacl Death signaled the Biblical apocolypse. Paneloux sits with him and agrees that they are both working for salvation. 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. Tarrou is fine but his diary entries have lost their depth and diversity; he seems mostly interested in Cottard. Things went well for him. His death-cry is fiercely angry, and picked up by others in the room. He then dies, and is marked as “Doubtful case.”. 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 slows, and Rieux realizes his utter impotence. Rieux meets with Othon after he gets out of the isolation camp, and the magistrate shocks him by saying he wants to return as a government volunteer, for it would be the only way to be close to his little boy. He says goodbye. He has to wait a fortnight, and continues his work indefatigably at the sanitation station. "The Plague Part Four Summary and Analysis". 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. 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. Tarrou asks if Rieux might take an hour off for friendship, and Rieux smiles yes. All night Rieux is tormented by the thought of Grand’s imminent death, but the next morning he is greatly improved. The announcement of death is paramount in Camus' philosophy and in his novels. 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. By noon there is no change for the worse, and by nightfall it is clear he is fully out of danger. 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. As Tarrou and Rambert leave, Tarrou sighs that one feels like he must help Othon, but what can one do for a judge? Tarrou smiles and leads him to a small room for a disinfected mask. Tarrou begins his story by saying he already has the plague. He won the Nobel Prize in Literature at the age of 44 in 1957, the second-youngest recipient in history. During the season, Grand does not make an appearance, so Tarrou and Rieux go to find him. The majority of the people are sitting on the stands, while others loll about or walk around listlessly. For any kind of exile there is an unavoidable cause, and also a means of defeating it. Rieux happily agrees and the men go down to the beach. As November ends, Tarrou goes with Rieux to visit the old asthma patient. The people of the town, especially Rieux’s friends and associates, are more prone than ever to “slackness and supineness” (194) and have no interest in making any move that is not entirely necessary. The Plague, a novel written by Albert Camus and published in 1947 has a large cast of colorful characters that help tell the story of people dealing with plague and quarantine in the town of Oran. 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. (Marco Di Lauro/Getty Images) At this time Paneloux has to move out of his room and take lodgings with a parishioner. Paneloux’s face is drawn with grief. 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. 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. It is clear thoughts of Jeanne are consuming him. Cottard, of course, is still a picture of contentment. 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. 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. His works include The Stranger, The Plague, The Myth of Sisyphus, The Fall, and The Rebel. 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. Life can only be stopped for a short while although it is always in peril. He sits wearily on the bench. 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. 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. He is happy to be with the others instead of set apart from society. Cottard is still prospering but Grand is not doing well. Raymond Rambert, the journalist is separated from his beloved lady, and the death illustrated by the omnipresence of rats makes this character do anything to try to save himself from this disease. Tarrou gives an account of a visit he and Rambert pay to a camp in the municipal stadium on the outskirts of town. They meet with the tired man, who asks if his son suffered. With William Hurt, Sandrine Bonnaire, Jean-Marc Barr, Robert Duvall. Paneloux hesitates, and stands. The Plague is considered an existentialist classic, despite Camus' objection to the label. Some might say this smacks of fatalism, but to him it is an “active” fatalism. It is the 1940s in Oran, a French-occupied Algerian colony. In April, thousands of rats stagger into the open and die. The Myth of Sisyphus. Paneloux prepares a second sermon and tells Rieux he ought to come. In 1947, when he was 34, Albert Camus, the Algerian-born French writer (he would win the Nobel Prize for Literature ten years later, and die in a car crash three years after that) provided an astonishingly detailed and penetrating answer to these questions in his novel The Plague. Grand falls ill with the plague and anguishes over the futility of his manuscript. Rieux sighs that he does not know what is right, and he should do his bit for happiness. Rieux also stands and says he is sorry again. From the title, you know this book is about a plague. This All Souls’ Day is much different than past ones. When a mild hysteria grips the population, the newspapers begin clamoring for action. 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. It's a fictional story written about the very real town of Oran in Northern Algeria. 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). Rambert moves into the small Spanish house. The book actually presents us the evolution of the community as the terrifying disease spreads its poison. In the car, Rambert tells Rieux he does not want to go and wants to stay with him. resource to ask questions, find answers, and discuss the novel. He is happy to be swept with the herd toward pleasure, happy to live in the present moment. Summary. Grand grows sicker and sicker, but has moments of lucidity. It provides a thorough exploration of the novel’s plot, characters and main themes, including war, guilt and disease. The authorities finally arrange for the daily collection and cremation of the rats. by Albert Camus. In the beginning we find out that the novel is a chronological diary. 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