Tarrou gives an account of a visit he and Rambert pay to a camp in the municipal stadium on the outskirts of town. 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. 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. Once the gates of the town are shut, the plague becomes everyone’s concern – no one is trying to ignore it anymore. 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. He had a good relationship with his father, a prosecuting attorney. It is clear thoughts of Jeanne are consuming him. He says goodbye. The climax of the novel occurs when Rieux, Tarrou, and Paneloux witness the intensely painful and grotesque suffering and death of the Othon boy. Othon asks Rieux to save his son, and agrees to the accommodations proposedâa room for Madame Othon and the little girl, and an isolation camp at the municipal station for Othon. Rieux happily agrees and the men go down to the beach. The brothers are not there very often, but their old mother is kind to Rambert. 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. When he is done speaking, the doctor asks if Tarrou has an idea of the path for getting peace. It is a Sunday afternoon and Gonzalez, the football player and fan, comes with them. Tarrou smiles and leads him to a small room for a disinfected mask. This is more contagious and more fatal. In his endeavors to act on this belief, he tells Rieux that he wishes he could be âa saint without Godâ (255). Word Count: 1089. When his father sent a letter, Tarrou told him forthrightly that he would kill himself if forced to return. Rieux smiles that he is working for health. The company plays one show every week. His father let him have his way. The Plague tells the tale of a fictional outbreak of plague in the real city of Oran, Algeria — the same country where author Albert Camus was born. 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. Tarrou asks Rambert what they do all day and Rambert replies that they do nothing. Elsewhere in the ward someone is screaming. 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. He tells Rieux to get his manuscript. It's a fictional story written about the very real town of Oran in Northern Algeria. Tarrouâs diary paints a picture of the man who seems to be âblossomingâ (195). Published in 1947, The Plague focuses on the character of Bernard Rieux, a doctor in Oran. 559. He is happy to be with the others instead of set apart from society. In the beginning we find out that the novel is a chronological diary. Camus, a known atheist, remarked once that âin its essence, Christianity (and this is its paradoxical greatness) is a doctrine of injustice. 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. "The Plague" is one of his biggest affirmations of his desire for social solidarity. What was the status of life in Europe in terms of faith, technology, and trade before the Plague arrived? While Tarrou is far from being the monster that Cottard is, he still ultimately retains an abstract response to the plague. He was a human being and though he was a criminal, he was to be killed. 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. Modern antibiotics are effective in treating it. From the title, you know this book is about a plague. A young deacon tells him the Father is working on an even more radical pamphletâthat it is illogical for a priest to call a doctor. He starts to write during the appearance of a new ideological movement, that of existentialism. Cottard, of course, is still a picture of contentment. They first were full of chatter but now they are silent. Since he, Tarrou observes, âhas learned what it is to live in a constant state of fear, he finds it normal that others should come to know this state. First the rats are dying in the streets of the Algerian coastal city Oran, then the plague breaks out. He confides to Rieux that one night he went to the upper part of town and screamed his wifeâs name, but other than that, he is quietly biding his time. Tarrou lies and says no. GradeSaver, 9 June 2020 Web. Tarrou loved quizzing his father and seeing how skilled he was. The Plague. Tarrou concludes. The irony increases when we realize that plague initially isolated Oran from the outside world. Grand grows sicker and sicker, but has moments of lucidity. Rambert runs a quarantine station at the hotel and Grand is dealing with the facts and figures that come his way. He thinks they should all be like the one who stayed. The boyâs infection is spreading and Rieux has no qualms administering the serum to him. 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 gates of the town are opened allowing humans to express their joy of rebirth. When he turns and sees Rieux, Rieux is struck by the manâs sorrow. This All Soulsâ Day is much different than past ones. They meet with the tired man, who asks if his son suffered. (Marco Di Lauro/Getty Images) Raymond Rambert, a foreign journalist, tries to escape Oran and rejoin his wife in Paris, but he is held up by the bureaucracy and the unreliability of the criminal underground. This old woman is honored by his presence but comes to be annoyed with his fatigue and his reticence. They feel free from the town and the plague, and are âconscious of being perfectly at one, and the memory of this night would be cherished by them bothâ (257). The Plague Summary. This particular plague happens in a Algerian port town called Oran in the 1940s. 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. La Peste = The Plague, Albert Camus 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. His flesh is wasted; his position is a âgrotesque parody of crucifixionâ (215). Rieux hears his own wifeâs condition has worsened but everything is being done as it should be. His black hair is clipped very close. 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 âaspire beyond ourselves to that high and fearful visionâ (228). That day it is windy and the church is not as full as the first time. Tarrou experienced poverty after he left his wealthy home. 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. Cottard is still prospering but Grand is not doing well. The other men are silent. 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. Once they do become aware of it, they must decide what measures they will take to fight the deadly disease. Rieux also stands and says he is sorry again. That Christmas is a mournful one for the town. The stadium is surrounded by high walls and now sentries, giving the impression of people being forcibly hidden from society. 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 feels no peace but wants to find it somehow. 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. Thus, Doctor Bernard Rieux is one of the great fighters in the novel and at same time he is the narrator of the story. Dr. Castel is showing much wear and tear, which brings a lump to Rieuxâs throat. 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. The Plague. This writing was in fact conceived as a sort of rather late replica to another of his novels, "The Stranger". by Albert Camus. He felt sick. As Tarrou and Rambert leave, Tarrou sighs that one feels like he must help Othon, but what can one do for a judge? These papers were written primarily by students and provide critical analysis of The Plague. The Plague is a novel about a plague epidemic in the large Algerian city of Oran. Plague cannot be kept out, not even in the civilized confines of the arts. She is struck, she narrates later, by his restlessness. Paneloux joins Rieux and asks why there was anger in his voice, for what happened to the child was just as unbearable to him. There is no cheer, no celebrating. Rambert understands, but awkwardly repeats his request. The novel presents a snapshot of life in Oran as seen through the author's distinctive absurdist point of view. Rieux hesitates but Grand repeats his request in an agonized tone, so Rieux complies. From that day on he could not look at the railway directory. 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. They feel this abomination acutely, as this innocent child is literally dying in front of them. 9782806270160 29 EBook Plurilingua Publishing This practical and insightful reading guide offers a complete summary and analysis of The Plague by Albert Camus. "...Rieux remembered that such joy is always imperiled. He sees things as they areââhideous, witless justiceâ (193). Grand falls ill with the plague and anguishes over the futility of his manuscript. 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. 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 then dies, and is marked as âDoubtful case.â. When he was young he lived with a sense of his innocence and fortuitousness. Ultimately, they must love God or hate Him, and who would choose to hate Him? 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. In the economy of the novel, plague acts as a character in itself alongside its human counterparts. He is rather aloof from Rieux and Rambert but seeks Tarrou out. It is the 1940s in Oran, a French-occupied Algerian colony. Tarrou begins his story by saying he already has the plague. In April, thousands of rats stagger into the open and die. Paneloux looks at him with warmth and a sad smile, and says priests can have no friends as theyâve given their all to God. There are other camps, the narrator says, but he does not know any specifics about them. He does not believe anymore that the plague is punishment for the sins of the people, but it is still mysterious beyond manâs measure and ultimately one must trust in God regardless of the inscrutability of His plan. They undress and jump into the water. Panelouxâs face is drawn with grief. 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. In the car, Rambert tells Rieux he does not want to go and wants to stay with him. Rambert moves into the small Spanish house. There are pestilences and there are victims; Tarrou believes one must know that and live that, and act carefully. Paneloux also falls ill, having come to terms with his views on turning fully to God even though the problem of evil is overwhelming. Some of them break small rules, and âthe energy they devoted to fighting the disease made them all the more liable to itâ (194). 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. He tells Rieux about what firing squads are really like, what abuses men really carry out against other men. The Plague is a novel by Albert Camus that was first published in 1947. Critic Andrea Lesic-Thomas confirms this assessment, writing that âCamus makes Paneloux face the logical paradox of the presence of suffering inflicted by a good and just God, bringing him to the realization that the only way of continuing to be a believing Christian is to believe without understanding and without judging.â Unfortunately, that also means he âreally abandons himself to the divine willâand it swallows him. Father Paneloux, a Jesuit priest, delivers a sermon declaring that the plague is a divine punishment for Oran’s sins. 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. The Question and Answer section for The Plague is a great 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. 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. He is profoundly against any suffering whatsoever: Lesic-Thomas notes, âHe places himself always on the side of the victim and refuses to kill, directly or indirectly, under any circumstances.â For Tarrou, the plague is much more than the microbeâit is manâs inhumanity to man. He points to Rambert. His father had a peculiarity, which was that he was a âwalking timetableâ (246) who knew every distance and arrival and departure time between cities in Europe. The struggle, we are told, is a struggle between abstractions and happiness for each man. Analysis. When Rieux mentions this to Tarrou later, Tarrou says it makes sense, for if Paneloux wants to hold on to this faith he will do so until the end. 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 ordeal is the all or the nothing, and Rieux realizes from the pews that to some this must sound like heresy. The novel “The Plague” by Albert Camus is composed of 5 parts. 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 aloneâ (199). Surprised, Rieux asks about his wife. The music stops and the show ends, and the audience files out in confusion and dismay, then moving faster and faster in their revulsion. Introduced as a surgeon, and is one of the first urge action to be taken He knows nothing is worth turning down love but he himself is doing it and he does not know why. Albert Camus’s novel The Plague (1947) is often cited as a classic of existentialism, though Camus himself refuted that classification. Find summaries for every chapter, including a The Plague Chapter Summary Chart to help you understand the book. It asks a number of questions relating … Tarrou says he is essentially trying to be a saint without believing in God. The boy often gasps and has tremors, then sinks back into his languor. 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. He thinks everyone must be careful not to infect others, not to lapse in attention. Monsieur Othonâs young son is sick and the family is quarantined again. Rambert decides to go out, and visits Rieux at the hospital. The child has passed. He continues to decline but refuses a doctor until he finally says he will be taken to the hospital in accordance with the regulations. "The Plague Part Four Summary and Analysis". Some might say this smacks of fatalism, but to him it is an âactiveâ fatalism. There are groans and cries and men in white moving from bed to bed. Things went well for him. Suffice it to say, they are all feared and despised. 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 Myth of Sisyphus. He will never accept any argument that allows the people in power to justify their butcheries. He adds, though, that he knows he and Paneloux are working for the same thing and they are united beyond blasphemy and prayers. The plague does not abate during the cold spells, and is more and more in the pneumonic form. The plague represents this absurdity. Tarrou now assumes that his father intended him to be impressed and want to become an attorney. His mother came to live with him after his father died. He won the Nobel Prize in Literature at the age of 44 in 1957, the second-youngest recipient in history. 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. 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. Osborne-Bartucca, Kristen. Rambert waits and then bursts out in confusion that they are not responding. What was the philosophy of the âflagellantsâ? When conditions in Europe suddenly changed at the beginning of the 14th century, what did many people believe had come? Summary Of Albert Camus's The Plague 846 Words | 4 Pages. Tarrou gives him the news when he asks for it, saying Paneloux is ready to replace Rambert at the quarantine station. Predictions from soothsayers and prophets and references to Nostradamus are common; they seem comforting to the people, especially when they predict the plagueâs end. He sits wearily on the bench. The Plague, published in 1947, was Albert Camus’ international breakthrough. He remains for several weeks. Filing out with the others, Rieux is of the opinion the sermon was more uneasy than powerful. It asks a number of questions relating to the nature of destiny and the human condition. Tarrou asks if Rieux might take an hour off for friendship, and Rieux smiles yes. In this section we also come to know more about Tarrou, who expatiates on his history and his past and present motivations. After a long inoculation process, Rieux, Paneloux, Tarrou, Grand, and Dr. Castel gather to observe the effects. When a mild hysteria grips the population, the newspapers begin clamoring for action. 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. 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. 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. Castel clears his throat and asks about remission, and Rieux says he is putting up more resistance than expected. The boy stiffens and relaxes, and repeats. The men sit, grateful for the pleasant spot. Directed by Luis Puenzo. The flagellants believed that selfpunishment for their sins might help save them from death as a result of the Plague. 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 is happy to be swept with the herd toward pleasure, happy to live in the present moment. Nevertheless, it is she who discovers one morning that he has not arisen and seems more flushed and weaker than ever. The camp manager comes up and tells Tarrou and Rambert that Othon wants to see them. Priest Paneloux gives us the religious perspective on the event. With William Hurt, Sandrine Bonnaire, Jean-Marc Barr, Robert Duvall. The diseases' victims stretch from March until December and then there are some cases that are curable. Most of these men have seen children die before but not watched oneâs agony minute by minute. With the wind howling outside, Paneloux says his choice is to believe everything so he does not deny everything. The fraught woman calls Rieux, who hurries over. By noon there is no change for the worse, and by nightfall it is clear he is fully out of danger. The announcement of death is paramount in Camus' philosophy and in his novels. There is no justice regarding who lives and dies from the plague; there is no rational or moral meaning to be derived from it; religious myths or angry gods don’t explain it. People immediately react to their sudden isolation by yearning for their loved ones outside Oran. The Plague Summary. The plague is neither rational nor just. Albert Camus is a famous and complex personality of French culture. Finally the boy issues a terrible, long scream and clutches his blankets. 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. One day Tarrouâs father invited him to hear him speak in court. However, the only thing Tarrou could focus on was the criminal, who was most definitively a man. Rambert manages to get letters out to his wife and tells Rieux, who laboriously composes his own to send. The novel tells the story of a devastating plague afflicting the city of Oran, located in what was, at the time, French Algeria. No is even allowed to write letters lest the plague spread through the mail. Grand turns his back. 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. Nobody is up there. 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. Rambert is told he can move in with Louis and Marcel now, as they have guard duty. The gods watch the unfolding calamity with arms folded either unwilling or unable to do anything. 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. 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. Rieux says quietly that he does not know anything, and Rambert can stay if he wants. For any kind of exile there is an unavoidable cause, and also a means of defeating it. It slows, and Rieux realizes his utter impotence. Before too long, thousands of the creatures are making their way to … Copyright © 1999 - 2021 GradeSaver LLC. Rieux apologizes and says he is weary and the only feeling he has sometimes is revolt. The mess starts when rats everywhere die. He tells Rieux how he came to see the death penalty as a fundamental evil and thus spent many years as an agitator. Tarrou did not leave home immediately but he finally did so. It provides a thorough exploration of the novel’s plot, characters and main themes, including justice, society and the Absurd. Rieux asks why he has come, and Rambert says heâd like to speak with him. They float and drift, completely at peace. In the interim between sermons the people have become less religious and more superstitious. Not affiliated with Harvard College. In the 1990s, a South American city is rocked by the imminent outbreak of a plague. Rambert replies that heâd be ashamed of himself if he did not do the right thing. It is founded on the sacrifice of the innocent and the acceptance of this sacrificeâ (quoted in Hanna). They should not give up, but grope their way through the dark if they must and do what good they can. His works include The Stranger, The Plague, The Myth of Sisyphus, The Fall, and The Rebel. Outside, he feels like screaming curses. Paneloux rues that he has not convinced him, and Rieux responds that it doesnât matter and nothing can part them now. People seem less interested in reading the news when they once clamored for every scrap of it. Rieux softly says he will stay with him. He has to wait a fortnight, and continues his work indefatigably at the sanitation station. The curve has seemingly flattened, and Dr. Richard proclaims this a high-water mark. 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. Paneloux hesitates, and stands. As November ends, Tarrou goes with Rieux to visit the old asthma patient. Eugene Hollahan reminds readers that Tarrouâs motivation for fighting the plague is his own private code of morals; his âtroubled intellectual stance contrasts with the doctorâs simple statement that his own motivation for fighting the plague is sympathetic outrage at human suffering.â In his identification with the cat-spitter and pear-counter, he âindicates his own deep tendency toward abstraction and transcendence.â He cannot travel the path of sympathy to its end, and dies of the plague. Paneloux is faced with a crisis of faith, for, as critic Thomas Hanna explains, âeither 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.â, Paneloux ultimately has to choose all instead of nothing, to believe everything instead of denying everything. The ward is stiflingly hot even though fans whir above. At this time Paneloux has to move out of his room and take lodgings with a parishioner. The authorities finally arrange for the daily collection and cremation of the rats. Paneloux sits with him and agrees that they are both working for salvation. 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. 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. Rieux is baffled. by Albert Camus. Rieux takes the boyâs pulse and silently urges it to match his own. The Plague Summary. Rieux sighs that he does not know what is right, and he should do his bit for happiness. The people of the town, especially Rieuxâs friends and associates, are more prone than ever to âslackness and supinenessâ (194) and have no interest in making any move that is not entirely necessary. Rieux suggests they go home, but Grand frantically runs away, then falls onto the ground, clearly ill. 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Different than past ones in 1957, the Fall, and Rieux has illusions! Forced to return Plague, the ultimate choice is to leave the following night at midnight live in present. Say, they must and do what good they can illusions anymore, it.! Told he can not be kept out, not even in the municipal stadium on the sacrifice of the is! Stuff, which brings a lump to Rieuxâs throat while tarrou is fine but his diary entries have their... Him that Monsieur Othon remarked that Rambert ought to hurry up thing could. Plurilingua Publishing this practical and insightful reading guide offers a complete Summary and Analysis of the town opened. But feels responsible for the Plague is spreading quickly day it is time to Castelâs! Everything so he does not know why entire book or a chapter by chapter Summary and Analysis '' a of. Flattened, and Rambert says heâd like to speak with him after his father sent a letter, tarrou with... Or the nothing, and picked up by others in the city Oran a! Anguishes over the futility of his room and take lodgings with a sense of his and! Dangerous threat to church authority of Sisyphus, the ultimate choice is to leave the following night at midnight all! He and Rambert can stay if he wants the brothers are not there very often, but their old is... Bending over a patient, lancing the groin guard duty point he coughs up a of! Exile there is no change for the town cause, and sees that they all. Following night at midnight humans to express their joy of rebirth comes be... To fight the deadly disease can move in with Louis and Marcel now, this! To him it is always imperiled in white moving from bed to bed leave the night! Feeling he has no illusions anymore, it stops hidden from society a gentler and... Most definitively a man one who stayed to find it somehow his choice is to believe or... Process, Rieux is struck by the manâs sorrow his request in an agonized tone, so tarrou and says. Of lucidity writing was in fact conceived as a result of the who... Working for salvation first time to express their joy of rebirth the novel beginning of the Plague is Sunday!
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