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. Why does anyone attempt suicide? Thus, it seems as though he is searching for an endpoint or goal of some sort — and has found it in Oran. Camus himself loved the sea; when he swam in it, he encountered it nakedly and boldly, in a way virtually impossible to encounter society. Rieux responds immediately to the old man's call for help — help for a neighbor who has tried to hang himself. Examining the city more closely, the narrator says that love is particularly repulsive in Oran. The Plague. This idea of disgorging is similar to the disgorging of the bloodied, bloated rats from beneath the town — another parallel image-idea of Camus'. Fleeing the city or otherwise avoiding the anti-plague effort is tantamount to surrendering to the absurd death sentence under which every human being lives. His novel The Plague has recently garnered much worldwide attention do to the pandemic of 2020. Rieux has proven himself to be a man of logic; this pondering is quite in character. Tarrou says he is only interested in acquiring peace of mind. 559. Their lives were strictly regimented by an unconscious enslavement to their habits. Rieux admits that he is afraid. Language is living. His coming-to-terms with whatever has invaded Oran must be accomplished soon, but with reason and observation. Here again we see Rieux as quite the opposite of a wily Odysseus hero-type or an undaunted chivalric figure. The plague today is an invisible monster, but it gives birth to a better world. In this first chapter, then, he has rather formally given us the setting, almost dryly discoursed on its features, and finished his brief, journalistically sounding framework for the action to follow. The character focus of the book is not wholly on Dr. Rieux, but because he is, in disguise, the narrator, he assumes a kind of early main character or hero focal point. Is he wasting time? This is a small point, for there is much description of the rats as repulsive and rotting, but Camus' occasional contrasts of appearance versus reality in his description is exactly what the chapter is concerned with. 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. Oran turns its back on nature, on sincerity, and truth; its concern is with the materialistic and the habitual. 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. The authorities finally arrange for the daily collection and cremation of the rats. The symbol is that of the German occupation of France against which Camus fought so heroically during the war. Camus and The Plague - Articles from The School of Life, formally The Book of Life, a gathering of the best ideas around wisdom and emotional intelligence. Is it, however, Grand who has admirable feelings toward his fellow men or is it Rieux? This narrator slips out of Chapter 2 and the book moves forward with conventional plot interest and the introduction of several main characters, yet it retains Chapter I's sense of structural completeness. This illness is … To both men, their leisure time is of prime importance. Is the old man aware of what he is doing? Why Tarrou singles out this particular instance to comment on is fairly obvious. By Ivan Spencer. 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. The tale is highly allegorical, meaning that it uses concrete characters, places, and events to symbolize non-literal or abstract principles. The casual mention here is being heavily underplayed. Where Tarrou has come from is a mystery, but after several days of minute observation of the city, he writes: "At last!" 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. 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. Although it is too early for me to advance any far-fetched arguments, I can say that Joseph is very much similar to Sisyphus; he becomes accustomed to the routine nature of daily life, and his existence reminds us of Sisyphus’ attempts to roll a rock to the top of the mountain. Consider, too, the fact that Grand has a "finical anxiety" about his speech. 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. 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. In spite of their greed and thrift, there are no millionaires in the city, there are no artists of repute, no statesmen or politicians — there is actually no one known outside the city walls. The characters in the book, ranging from doctors to vacationers to fugitives, all help to show the effects the plague has on a populace. Camus, however, had good reason for beginning his work with just such a contrast. Considering now Chapter 3, we find yet another kind of "package" chapter than either I or 2. 9782806270160 29 EBook Plurilingua Publishing This practical and insightful reading guide offers a complete summary and analysis of The Plague by Albert Camus. Camus has often been characterized as a godless Christian, meaning that he expounds all the Christian virtues, but only in terms of man. 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. Of course, Rieux, the doctor-narrator is, as nearly as possible, scientifically objective in his reporting, but the account of Tarrou aids and insures even greater honesty in the finished statement concerning this period. The concern with love gone wrong is a symptom of an illness within Oran even before the plague of death strikes. There is a breakdown in communication between Rieux and other men. 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. Camus delineates some of the manifestations of a guilty conscience, but does not yet answer all the why's of Cottard's behavior. Why does Cottard have an irrational fear of the police? 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. Marina Warnerhas noted the lack of female characters and th… Camus' philosophy is an amalgam of existentialism and humanism. 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. And a snail's shell of indifference and ignorance is hiding the townspeople and even Rieux's colleagues from the truth. In contrast to his quandary in this chapter, the natural beauty of the outside beams healthily. He merely replied "a secret grief," and refused to look at the officer. The story centers on a physician and the people he works with and treats in an Algerian port town that is struck by the plague. Guilt? It should be especially noted here that the doctor is attempting an emotional response to the advent of plague. This idea of not wasting time and of infusing the utmost consciousness into the present moment is an important existential tenet. Because he did not believe in God or an afterlife, Camus held that human beings, as mortals, live under an inexplicable, irrational, completely absurd death sentence. Nevertheless, Camus did believe that people are capable of giving their lives meaning. He is sure that he is a good neighbor, but is he? 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. 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. He wonders about wasting time, for example, and his present answer is "by being fully aware of it," one does not waste it. It is the story of a plague epidemic in the city of Oran in the 1940's and tells of the individual destinies of some of its inhabitants, who all react to the situation in a different way. 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. He is somewhat of an oddity in Tarrou's album of sketches. Rieux, of course, is intolerant of such a situation and abruptly ends their conversation. The townspeople of Oran insist that the rats are surely meaningless, whereas the rats are extremely meaningful. The situation of the rats may or may not be considered "normal," he says. This is the careful, exact quality in Rieux that we have seen previously. Grand, too, seems to furnish a foil-like situation for a deeper insight into Rieux's character. As the plague begins to abate, though, he becomes more and more paranoid that he is going to be arrested and his freedom forever curtailed. The emphasis on the habits which have been formed and cultivated by the "soulless" people of Oran are significant. Further delving into Albert Camus and his life, he was a French philosopher, author, and journalist. It is only when they are separated by quarantine from their friends, lovers and families that they most intensively love them. Camus has said in one of his essays that the absurd is often encountered when one is suddenly aware that habits have strangled natural responses and reactions, that habits have simplified one into simplemindedness. One should question, at this point, whether Rieux is wholly to be trusted. Two things are done here with Grand. Here is a point, brief as it is, of normalcy to weigh later against the extreme. Rieux notices the sudden appearance of dying rats around town, and … He lacks almost all sense of commercial survival. Vital living can be stifled by habits: in Oran, love-making is relegated to the weekends. Studying his reaction to the dead rats — the symptoms of the plague — we find him to be a common-sense type of "hero." Albert Camus’ ‘The Plague’ and the Philosophy of Suffering, 2007. from your Reading List will also remove any The Plague's first chapter is a rather neat, concise package of setting and background, and Chapter 2 is, in a sense, another such block of writing, somewhat like a second solid step taken into the novel, but with a difference. This speculation of Rieux's turns into musings throughout Chapter 6. But when he says that prompt action should be taken but "don't attract attention," he is pitifully similar to the civil rights fighter who supports protest marches as long as they are done in good taste and don't "attract attention." Analysis The Plague Albert Camus English Literature Essay “Through a core of characters, Camus describes their fear, their confusion, their isolation from the loved ones and the outside world, their self-sufficiency, their compassion, and their ultimately inherent humanism as a … As an actual Algerian town in North Africa, it functions as an anchor of reality for the reader. Before Oran is finally quarantined, Dr. Rieux confronts one more tangle in the local snarl of red tape. As he watches and listens, it is the sea he hears most clearly as it murmurs with unrest, affirming "the precariousness of all things in this world." Later the Oranians become vaguely uneasy. Here is a man who challenges death in this repulsive setting and accomplishes what he desires most — making music. Finally Rieux seems at a loss for an answer. Being poor, Grand is not charged for the doctor's visits. 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. Rieux says that Grand "confesses" to dearly loving his nephews and sisters. His role will enlarge as the story develops. 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. In Chapter 8, the plague and municipal efforts play tick-tack-toe. Cottard's character now takes on greater significance. Rieux's observation of Grand has Oran as relief, a town which becomes uneasy at the suggestion of affection. Moreover, it is questionable whether they were really alive. Once they do become aware of it, they must decide what measures they will take to fight the deadly disease. 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. All of this can be an exercise, if done consciously, to revolt against time's silent, sure murder of the body. Rieux seems isolated — in miniature, a situation akin to the total isolation which the plague will eventually impose upon Oran. Cuizon, Gwendolyn. "It is impossible to see the sea," the narrator tells us. Camus, however, had good reason for beginning his work with just such a contrast. Grand struggles over perfecting the beginning of a manuscript. Before, they simply took their loved ones for granted. The mercantile air of Oran also pleases Tarrou. 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. 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. 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. It is Tarrou who will supply the details to fill in the broader narrative outlines of Rieux. the doctor's several instances of demonstrated humanity are now even more clearly emphasized. Action is the only answer. Spring's heavy perfume is in extreme contrast to the heavy smell of death. Albert Camus' gritty philosophical masterpiece, The Plague, tells of the horror and suffering that accompanied a plague as it swept through 1940s Algeria. The Plague Summary. This is a question to speculate about after we know Tarrou more thoroughly. Now, when the plague is eroding the town's edges, he has a new surge of life. (Camus 44) Rieux stays, faces his fear of death, and stays altruistic to fill the duty of being a doctor. Then, from this confrontation, new values regarding living will emerge. and any corresponding bookmarks? 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. He now eats in luxury restaurants and flourishes grand tips. Complete summary of Albert Camus' The Plague. His uneasy glances over his shoulder and his question about patients being arrested concern Rieux. He does not undergo here a metamorphosis and emerge something much grander than before. Word games are ridiculous now. It describes the bloated corpse of a rat. He describes the blood puddles around their noses as looking like red flowers. Character List. The Plague, on the other hand, is more satisfying on the literal level because of its specifically placed setting, and, in addition, the literal level has more concern for the human condition than, say, the literal level of Gulliver's Travels. Camus and The Plague. 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. There is more, though, to Tarrou than a seemingly morbid curiosity. He even admits that his heart responds whenever he recalls his deceased parents. Oran turns its back on the bay. I have little doubt he was guilty, of … Camus refutes this armchair attitude; he characterizes the town as filled with bored people, people who have cultivated habits, people whose chief interest is "doing business." The sea, of course, is a striking symbol for life, richly and lushly lived. The Plague literature essays are academic essays for citation. 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. Nature seems indifferent to the mushrooming fungus of destruction. Why, then, would he come to Oran? He takes particular delight in regularly watching an old man coax cats beneath his balcony then, ecstatically, spitting on them. A man only begins living, according to Camus, when he announces in advance his own death to himself and realizes the consequences. In fact, Camus says later that the rats were coming out in long swaying lines and doing "a sort of pirouette." And Camus proves as facile with the paradoxical. One knows what he encounters when he swims. Having briefly illuminated Oran's life and love, the next focus is naturally enough on the other end of the human cycle — death. Cleanliness is to be observed. ' descriptions of the plague dealings with the plague significant action of novel. 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