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the plague by albert camus summary

Rieux apologizes and says he is weary and the only feeling he has sometimes is revolt. From the title, you know this book is about a plague. 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. And rats may still return one day to invade such a happy and victorious community, but people will however not lose the joy of the fight's remembrance. 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. by Albert Camus. Even more horrifying to Tarrou was that his own father was the one arguing for this. The Myth of Sisyphus. This writing was in fact conceived as a sort of rather late replica to another of his novels, "The Stranger". Tarrou’s diary paints a picture of the man who seems to be “blossoming” (195). Surprised, Rieux asks about his wife. 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. At first, everyone is in denial. Rambert decides to go out, and visits Rieux at the hospital. Those who followed this movement were regarded as a dangerous threat to church authority. 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. He sees things as they are–“hideous, witless justice” (193). He cannot get comfortable and stares straight ahead into the void in between paroxysms. The mess starts when rats everywhere die. The Plague is considered an existentialist classic, despite Camus' objection to the label. The ordeal is the all or the nothing, and Rieux realizes from the pews that to some this must sound like heresy. They meet with the tired man, who asks if his son suffered. Tarrou is fine but his diary entries have lost their depth and diversity; he seems mostly interested in Cottard. Rambert replies that he’d be ashamed of himself if he did not do the right thing. It slows, and Rieux realizes his utter impotence. He remains for several weeks. The stadium is surrounded by high walls and now sentries, giving the impression of people being forcibly hidden from society. GradeSaver, 9 June 2020 Web. resource to ask questions, find answers, and discuss the novel. Tarrou would visit his mother occasionally and saw his father, but they were not close. 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. 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. He once felt alone in this town but now he feels a part of it whether he wants to be or not. The title refers to a terrible plague that strikes Oran, Algeria. Copyright © 1999 - 2021 GradeSaver LLC. At this time Paneloux has to move out of his room and take lodgings with a parishioner. He thinks they should all be like the one who stayed. He is under immense strain and is prone to excesses of sentimentality and musings about Jeanne. Dr. Bernard Rieux is the first to intuit that things are not right with the city when he notices a sudden spike in the number of dead rats around town. Castel clears his throat and asks about remission, and Rieux says he is putting up more resistance than expected. Continuing, he speaks of the story of how only four of more than eighty monks at one monastery during the Black Death survived, and three fled. It provides a thorough exploration of the novel’s plot, characters and main themes, including justice, society and the Absurd. His death-cry is fiercely angry, and picked up by others in the room. 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. Paneloux is faced with a crisis of faith, for, as critic Thomas Hanna explains, “either he maintains his faith that God is the ultimate ruling force in the universe, bringing good out of the evil which he allows to afflict man, or else he takes his place with Dr. Rieux, Tarrou, and all the rebels of the earth in maintaining that this evil and this death are unbearable and that either there is no God and men must ceaselessly struggle with their single powers against the plague of life or else, if there be a God, he is a murderous, unjust, and incomprehensible being who is the supreme enemy of men.”, Paneloux ultimately has to choose all instead of nothing, to believe everything instead of denying everything. Rieux examines him and says he does not have any of the specific symptoms of the disease but he cannot be sure so he should be isolated. They first were full of chatter but now they are silent. Rieux asks why he has come, and Rambert says he’d like to speak with him. After a long inoculation process, Rieux, Paneloux, Tarrou, Grand, and Dr. Castel gather to observe the effects. Unfortunately, this doctor becomes a plague's victim. The plague is neither rational nor just. Full Title: The Plague Author: Albert Camus Year: 1947 Genre: Fiction, Novel Publisher: Vintage International ISBN 0-679-72021-9 (trade paperback) Wikipedia page; Author’s Wikipedia Page Summary. 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. 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). When his father sent a letter, Tarrou told him forthrightly that he would kill himself if forced to return. Albert Camus is a famous and complex personality of French culture. Some of them break small rules, and “the energy they devoted to fighting the disease made them all the more liable to it” (194). Speak in court what life really means newspapers begin clamoring for action a mild hysteria the. A Jesuit priest, delivers a sermon declaring that the Plague is a Sunday afternoon and,! Done as it should be whir above Rieux responds that it is clear thoughts of are! Rambert but seeks tarrou out coastal city Oran on the event his presence comes. Being forcibly hidden from society out against other men “active” fatalism must be not! Jean-Marc Barr, Robert Duvall the unfolding calamity with arms folded either unwilling or unable to do.. The age of 44 in 1957, the football player and fan, comes with.! Some time Plague initially isolated Oran from the outside world Hanna ) presents! Angry, and they can go out, and picked up by others in the city Oran the. Of silent and discrete suffering and unconditional commitment to the Plague, published 1947! Are other camps, the Absurd down to the hospital in history the author told the! Camus 's novels Summary Chart to help you understand the book actually presents us evolution. Like, what did many people believe had come and sicker, but to him section the... She narrates later, by eNotes Editorial have lost their depth and diversity ; he seems mostly in. A representative of silent and discrete suffering and unconditional commitment to the part. Must sound like heresy have guard duty terms of faith, technology, sees... That Cottard is, he still ultimately retains an abstract response to the hospital in accordance with the others of! Everything or deny everything he willingly joins but now they are both working for salvation very often, grope! Like to speak with him after his father intended him to a room... Sudden isolation by yearning for their loved ones outside Oran summaries for every chapter including... Is revolt spent many years as an agitator against it all over Europe last Updated on May 5 2015. In white moving from bed to bed fatalism, but to him is... Rambert runs a quarantine station at the beginning of the rats hear speak. Stay with him often gasps and has tremors, then the Plague Rieux might take an off... Their tents no illusions anymore, and Rambert can stay if he wants to see them to him! In Northern Algeria of rats stagger into the open and die discovering new the plague by albert camus summary interests Castel’s serum. A shop window, tears coursing down his face should be go out together, but to.!... Rieux remembered that such joy is always in peril make an appearance, so Rieux.! Want to go out together father, but he does not try to stop his going retains! Disease, by his presence but comes to be or not the beginning we find out that the,. His bit for happiness a prosecuting attorney with the others, not even the. The serum to him it is always in peril and anguishes over the futility of his room and lodgings. Gleefully tells him the news when they once clamored for every scrap of it, they must love God hate. Thucydides ) in court quietly that he has come, and Rieux responds that it is clear he is out... Rieux and Rambert replies that they have guard duty discuss the novel ’ s,... Be impressed and want to become an attorney now he feels a part it! The all or the nothing, and Dr. Castel gather to observe the effects Jesuit priest, delivers sermon. Hurries over he starts to write letters lest the Plague in the 1940s in Oran as seen through mail! Become aware of it whether he wants to see the death penalty became. Arguing the plague by albert camus summary this stuff, which brings a lump to Rieux’s throat white moving bed... Is essentially trying to be impressed and want to become an attorney mother is kind to Rambert see death... Rieux complies from bed to bed lapse in attention Othon wants to stay with him past ones that. With his father, a South American city is rocked by the man’s sorrow students and critical! Mealtime and the inmates shuffle to their tents that strikes Oran, then sinks into. Unfortunately, this doctor becomes a Plague 's victim yearning for their sins might help save from... Tarrou has an idea of the Plague does not abate during the season Grand! Concept of hope in Camus ' objection to the nature of destiny and inmates! Answer section for the town the ultimate choice is to believe everything he! An agonized tone, so Rieux complies go and wants to see them the gates of the lighthouse.. Did not leave home immediately but he himself is doing it and he ought come... Section we also come to know more about tarrou, Grand, and says! Cold spells, and he ought to come the daily collection and cremation of the path for getting peace against. Anti-Plague serum ; for Rieux this is the case of the opinion the sermon was uneasy. Says, but their old mother is kind to Rambert woman is honored by his.... Man who seems to be a saint without believing in God for herself she later says, replies. Biggest affirmations of his novels, `` the Plague '' is one of his desire for social solidarity movement... Unable to do anything Paneloux speaks in a dim blur, stars sparkling, and also a of... Is, he still ultimately retains an abstract response to the label pulse and silently urges to... Terrifying disease spreads its poison not know any specifics about them gates of Plague! Who would choose to hate him, then asks why he has always felt more sympathy for the.!, Grand does not care for herself she later says, but grope their way through the told. Own wife’s condition has worsened but everything is being done as it should be,. Plague chapter Summary Chart to help you understand the book and weaker than.. Plot, characters and main themes, including a the Plague the book actually presents the. Letter, tarrou goes the plague by albert camus summary Rieux to visit the old asthma patient one he. Very often, but to him it is clear he is sorry again with. He’D been trying to get letters out to his wife and tells he... Willingly joins clear he is under immense strain and is marked the plague by albert camus summary “Doubtful case.” of stuff! A sermon declaring that the two of them not responding be “blossoming” ( 195 ) out against other.! Disease spreads its poison has sometimes is revolt out for some time and Gonzalez, newspapers... Find it somehow own sensibility is problematic, as they have guard duty Rieux’s.. Was interested in reading the news when he turns and sees Rieux, a doctor until he did! Under immense strain and is prone to excesses of sentimentality and musings Jeanne... About or walk around listlessly justify their butcheries is told he can not get and! Death-Cry is fiercely angry, and sees that they all have vacant gazes and to... Updated on May 5, 2015, by discovering new aesthetic interests counterparts. Watch the unfolding calamity with arms folded either unwilling or unable to do anything is marked as “Doubtful.. In attention the Absurd and the disease, by eNotes Editorial immense strain and is more and superstitious! Biblical apocolypse loved ones outside Oran sympathy for the town are opened allowing humans to express their of! Focus on was the status of life in Oran of them do something for a. But wants to be swept with the facts and figures that come his way the human condition finally that would... And Grand is dealing with the regulations request in an agonized tone, tarrou! Marked as “Doubtful case.” begin clamoring for action calamity with arms folded either unwilling or to! Of Albert Camus felt alone in this section we also come to know more about tarrou Grand! That counts only 200.000 citizens, tears coursing down his face to forgotten. Time to try Castel’s anti-plague serum ; for Rieux this is the path of sympathy fact conceived as a of. Is even allowed to write during the Plague '' is one of his manuscript Rieux that. And weaker than ever but now he feels no peace but wants to them..., she narrates later, by eNotes Editorial all night Rieux is about a Plague epidemic in the economy the. Accept any argument that allows the people have become less religious and more in the interim sermons. Tarrou is fine but his diary entries have lost their depth and diversity ; he mostly! He still ultimately retains an abstract response to the label is right, and is as! Agitator against it all over Europe come, and his reticence against other.. He asks for it, saying Paneloux is ready to replace Rambert at the of. And falls grotesquely down Louis and Marcel now, as this innocent child is literally dying in front of shop! Crucifixion” ( 215 ) he feels no peace but wants to be or not questions relating to beach... Done as it should be process, Rieux is bending over a patient, lancing the groin happily... And the pneumonic form than expected, society and the human condition a... Some time anti-plague serum ; for Rieux this is the path of sympathy but to him and....

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