It entertains the fantasy that a loved one can be reclaimed from the jaws of death. When his period of quarantine ends, Othon volunteers to remain in the camp to help out with the anti-plague effort because it would make him feel "less separated" from his son. First the rats are dying in the streets of the Algerian coastal city Oran, then the plague breaks out. Camus implies that the people of Oran can break the alienation and isolation produced by their fear of the plague by putting up a collective resistance against it. During Christmas, Grand is overcome with depression because it reminds him of his courtship with Jeanne. He declares to his congregation that each of them should choose to be the one who stays behind. During the plague, everyone craves this same contact, but they must also distrust everyone as a possible carrier of the deadly plague. The Plague concerns an outbreak of bubonic plague in the French-Algerian port city of Oran, sometime in the 1940s. Find summaries for every chapter, including a The Plague Chapter Summary Chart to help you understand the book. Grand often talks about Jeanne to Rieux; he, in turn, unburdens his worries about his own wife. Camus' philosophy borrows a lot of ideas from the Existentialist movement. In a sense, Paneloux asks his congregation to accept a condition of ignorance. The Plague Introduction + Context. Tarrou's sympathy for the defendant was very much like that which Camus felt for a boatload of prisoners he saw in the Algerian port in 1938. Paneloux cannot produce a moral or rational explanation for an innocent child's horrible death. Plot Summary. He argues against mute resignation because there is no excuse to give up the struggle. The Plague Character Analysis | LitCharts. Camus implies that the people of Oran can break the alienation and isolation produced by their fear of the plague by putting up a collective resistance against it. Meanwhile, Castel finishes the first batch of serum, and Othon's small son is the first to receive it. Albert Camus's The Plague Chapter Summary. The Plague Introduction. By Albert Camus. Get free homework help on Albert Camus' The Plague: book summary, chapter summary and analysis, quotes, essays, and character analysis courtesy of CliffsNotes. The Plague Summary. Rieux lashes out at Paneloux, shouting that the boy was an innocent victim. His father was killed in World War I at the battle of Marne. The actor playing the role of Orpheus forces his audience to recognize the real dangers facing them. Tarrou writes of a performance of Gluck's Orpheus. In the deadly grip of the plague, the public has turned its attention from religion to superstition. When reality creeps into the fabric of the public's fantasy world, they react with disorganized terror. Complete summary of Albert Camus' The Plague. On January 4, 1960, he was killed in an automobile accident in Southern France. The Plague Part 5 Summary & Analysis | LitCharts. Check out our revolutionary side-by-side summary and analysis. His second sermon is an interesting variation on Rieux's "all or nothing" response to the plague. The child suffers terribly before dying as Paneloux, Rieux, and Tarrou watch in horror. Camus often challenged the validity of accepted moral paradigms, but he did not view the human character as a moral vacuum. During World War II, Camus went to Paris and joined the anti-Nazi resistance movement. Now that everyone suffers from a constant sense of fear, Cottard feels less alone. Everyone in Oran must distrust everyone else as a possible carrier of the plague. The Plague Albert Camus was born on November 7, 1913, in Mondovi, Algeria. Similar to the Existentialists, Camus asserted that there is no intrinsic rational or moral meaning in human existence. Rieux is amazed to see gentleness in Othon's character because he has always regarded him as a steely, inflexible man. The Plague study guide contains a biography of Albert Camus, literature essays, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis. The desire for human contact is a powerful human need, especially in times of suffering. As a philosopher familiar with Camus’ thought, I’d like to highlight the book’s main philosophical themes. The plague is often considered an allegory for war and military occupation, and Camus drew from his own experience to describe the isolation and struggle of the novel. And then the worst is over. The Plague study guide contains a biography of Albert Camus, literature essays, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis. Escaping to a performance of Orpheus is merely surrender to and denial of these dangers. It is also true that he hardens his heart against the suffering of the plague victims, but it is not true that he is indifferent to their suffering. Camus presents Religion versus Plague. Rieux verifies his suspicion that her health is failing with the sanitarium authorities. The Plague (French: La Peste) is a novel by Albert Camus, published in 1947, that tells the story from the point of view of a narrator of a plague sweeping the French Algerian city of Oran. Meanwhile, Tarrou devotes a great deal of attention to Cottard in his notebooks. The first-person narrator is unnamed but mostly follows Dr. Bernard Rieux. This represents the doubtful nature of Paneloux's understanding of human existence. The Plague study guide contains a biography of Albert Camus, literature essays, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis. Indifference is a state of inaction or denial in response to other people's suffering. The plague itself is based on several cholera and plague epidemics that swept through Oran during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. It was in wartime Paris that Camus developed his philosophy of the absurd--the assertion that life ultimately has no rational meaning. The Plague, published in 1947, was Albert Camus’ international breakthrough. Rieux notices the sudden appearance of dying rats around town, and soon thousands of … The absurd hero is a hero because he achieves the ultimate rebellion--that which resists the illusion of a rational order while also resisting despair. When the city can withstand no more, the plague begins to level off. 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. Rather, since Camus does not draw a direct correlation between the lack of hope and despair, his philosophy can best be characterized as a form of optimism without hope . Albert Camus (1913 – 1960) was a French author and philosopher who won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1957. They have denied the possibility of their own deaths by indulging in fantasies about absent loved ones. At first, everyone is in denial. He declares that the unanswerable question of an innocent child's suffering is God's way of placing the Christian's back to a wall. The plague strikes people from all social classes and positions, which only highlights the absurdity and arbitrariness of such hierarchies. He maintains that his first sermon is still relevant. Study Guide. He chose to passively accept death, something that the novel argues against. Set in the North African French colony of Oran, the novel chronicles a recrudescence of the bubonic plague and the various ways … Camus does not fully answer the problem of human isolation. Jean Tarrou The best friend of Rieux. A modern alternative to SparkNotes and CliffsNotes, SuperSummary offers high-quality study guides that feature detailed chapter summaries and analysis … Even Dr. Rieux, you should remember, although he had treated victims for several months, had not fully experienced the plague's death throes until he watched the process take place within Jacques Othon. It's a fictional story written about the very real town of Oran in Northern Algeria. The Plague Introduction + Context. He came very close to accusing Rieux of indifference. When a definite time for his escape is finally set, Rambert chooses to stay because he is too ashamed to leave during such a crisis. His writing is greatly influenced by the poverty and illness of his youth. Most of the papers concern the opening line to Grand's book, but one sheet contains an unfinished opening to a letter addressed to Jeanne. Camus won the Nobel Prize in literature in 1957. Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory. For other uses, see Plague (disambiguation). In The Plague, Camus addresses the collective response to catastrophe when a large city in Algeria is isolated due to an outbreak of the bubonic plague. Although the effort to alleviate and prevent human suffering seems to make little or no difference in the ravages of the plague, Camus asserts that perseverance in the face of tragedy is a noble struggle even if it ultimately fails to make an appreciable difference. Throughout his life, Camus was deeply concerned with the problem of human suffering in an indifferent world. Paneloux believes that the suffering of innocents is not explicable in terms that human beings can understand. The Plague is a novel by Albert Camus that was first published in 1947. The announcement of death is paramount in Camus' philosophy and in his novels. It tests his faith because it requires him to either deny everything or believe everything. Camus moves from the general to the less general and then to various lengths of specifics before presenting again a full chapter of action. The actor playing Orpheus collapses on the stage in the manner of a plague victim just as Eurydice is taken back to the Underworld. It is true that Rieux dispensed with sentimental pity. Rats. Had it continued its killing, Rieux projects, carloads of bodies would have been dumped into the sea. Analysis Of Albert Camus 'BookThe Plague' 1424 Words | 6 Pages. Fear and denial are both responsible for the isolation that Oran's people suffer during the epidemic. Such catastrophes test the tension between individual self-interest and social responsibility. It is interesting that in 1941, when Camus was jotting ideas for the novel in his notebooks, he had decided to have a sea full of corpses. However, the symptoms of his illness do not match those of the plague. Therefore, Rieux marks him as a "doubtful case" after his death. Thanks for exploring this SuperSummary Plot Summary of “The Plague” by Albert Camus. He falls ill with the plague and Rieux burns his papers at his request. A wanderer who comes innocuously to Oran, he stays to help Rieux battle the plague and becomes its last victim. From the title, you know this book is about a plague. The actor's collapse forces the audience to confront the false illusion this play creates. Cottard has always lived with a constant sense of fear. Although his family was impoverished, Camus went on to attend university in Algiers. Rieux's asthma patient gleefully declares that the rats are back. Fighting the plague is an affirmation of the human will to survive while the paralysis of fear and escapism are acts of surrender. His symptoms do not conform to those of the plague, so when he dies, Rieux marks him as a "doubtful case.". Soon thereafter, Paneloux falls ill, but he refuses to consult a doctor. 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