He starts to write during the appearance of a new ideological movement, that of existentialism. Right as Rieux is about to flee from not being able to take it anymore, it stops. During the season, Grand does not make an appearance, so Tarrou and Rieux go to find him. The men sit, grateful for the pleasant spot. Rieux smiles that he is working for health. Paneloux speaks in a gentler tone and says “we” instead of “you” this time. While many attempt to flee the city, Dr. Bernard Rieux sends his sick wife away and does his best to care for the plague's victims. He felt sick. The Plague, published in 1947, was Albert Camus’ international breakthrough. Ultimately, they must love God or hate Him, and who would choose to hate Him? (Marco Di Lauro/Getty Images) That day it is windy and the church is not as full as the first time. happiness is freedom... And the secret to freedom is courage” (Thucydides). 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. It is a Sunday afternoon and Gonzalez, the football player and fan, comes with them. 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. Around the end of October, it is time to try Castel’s anti-plague serum; for Rieux this is a last hope. The other men are silent. The novel “The Plague” by Albert Camus is composed of 5 parts. 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. 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. Plague cannot be kept out, not even in the civilized confines of the arts. Tarrou says he is essentially trying to be a saint without believing in God. Summary Read a Plot Overview of the entire book or a chapter by chapter Summary and Analysis. While Tarrou is far from being the monster that Cottard is, he still ultimately retains an abstract response to the plague. He confides to Rieux that one night he went to the upper part of town and screamed his wife’s name, but other than that, he is quietly biding his time. 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. 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. From the title, you know this book is about a plague. The Plague (French: La Peste) is a novel by Albert Camus, published in 1947, that tells the story from the point of view of an unknown narrator of a plague sweeping the French Algerian city of Oran. He thinks everyone must be careful not to infect others, not to lapse in attention. GradeSaver, 9 June 2020 Web. Tarrou loved quizzing his father and seeing how skilled he was. by Albert Camus. Modern antibiotics are effective in treating it. Nobody is up there. Rieux feels his own sensibility is problematic, as he has hardened everything so he can carry on. He sits wearily on the bench. Rieux hears his own wife’s condition has worsened but everything is being done as it should be. Rieux hesitates but Grand repeats his request in an agonized tone, so Rieux complies. The Fall. Albert Camus's The Plague Chapter Summary. Castel clears his throat and asks about remission, and Rieux says he is putting up more resistance than expected. They float and drift, completely at peace. Most of these men have seen children die before but not watched one’s agony minute by minute. resource to ask questions, find answers, and discuss the novel. 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. Summary. Rieux apologizes and says he is weary and the only feeling he has sometimes is revolt. 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. Unfortunately, this doctor becomes a plague's victim. Tarrou would visit his mother occasionally and saw his father, but they were not close. Directed by Luis Puenzo. 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. In the interim between sermons the people have become less religious and more superstitious. The mess starts when rats everywhere die. What was the philosophy of the “flagellants”? He remains for several weeks. 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 feel this abomination acutely, as this innocent child is literally dying in front of them. He tells Rieux how he came to see the death penalty as a fundamental evil and thus spent many years as an agitator. In his endeavors to act on this belief, he tells Rieux that he wishes he could be “a saint without God” (255). Tarrou notes that they all have vacant gazes and seem to have forgotten what life really means. In the car, Rambert tells Rieux he does not want to go and wants to stay with him. His father had a peculiarity, which was that he was a “walking timetable” (246) who knew every distance and arrival and departure time between cities in Europe. Before too long, thousands of the creatures are making their way to … Tarrou gives him the news when he asks for it, saying Paneloux is ready to replace Rambert at the quarantine station. They feel free from the town and the plague, and are “conscious of being perfectly at one, and the memory of this night would be cherished by them both” (257). Tarrou did not leave home immediately but he finally did so. 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 is considered an existentialist classic, despite Camus' objection to the label. In the 1990s, a South American city is rocked by the imminent outbreak of a plague. Priest Paneloux gives us the religious perspective on the event. Since he, Tarrou observes, “has learned what it is to live in a constant state of fear, he finds it normal that others should come to know this state. Rambert manages to get letters out to his wife and tells Rieux, who laboriously composes his own to send. The Plague, which propelled Camus into international celebrity, is both an allegory of World War II and a universal meditation on human conduct and community. Word Count: 1089. Tarrou writes of a time he and Cottard see a performance of Orpheus and Eurydice put on by a traveling company stuck in the town. Tarrou suggests that the two of them do something for friendship—take a swim in the sea. When he is done speaking, the doctor asks if Tarrou has an idea of the path for getting peace. The fraught woman calls Rieux, who hurries over. 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. With the wind howling outside, Paneloux says his choice is to believe everything so he does not deny everything. Camus, a known atheist, remarked once that “in its essence, Christianity (and this is its paradoxical greatness) is a doctrine of injustice. People immediately react to their sudden isolation by yearning for their loved ones outside Oran. It is founded on the sacrifice of the innocent and the acceptance of this sacrifice” (quoted in Hanna). All night Rieux is tormented by the thought of Grand’s imminent death, but the next morning he is greatly improved. 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.It asks a number of questions relating to the nature of destiny, and the human condition. The people believed the Blacl Death signaled the Biblical apocolypse. 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. Elsewhere in the ward someone is screaming. At first, everyone is in denial. After a long inoculation process, Rieux, Paneloux, Tarrou, Grand, and Dr. Castel gather to observe the effects. Introduced as a surgeon, and is one of the first urge action to be taken Grand falls ill with the plague and anguishes over the futility of his manuscript. He then dies, and is marked as “Doubtful case.”. 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 had a good relationship with his father, a prosecuting attorney. He is a representative of silent and discrete suffering and unconditional commitment to the fight he willingly joins. First the rats are dying in the streets of the Algerian coastal city Oran, then the plague breaks out. Published in 1947, The Plague focuses on the character of Bernard Rieux, a doctor in Oran. He is under immense strain and is prone to excesses of sentimentality and musings about Jeanne. She is struck, she narrates later, by his restlessness. 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. One day Tarrou’s father invited him to hear him speak in court. Rieux asks why he has come, and Rambert says he’d like to speak with him. Battle Against Crisis at the Conclusion of The Plague, The Absurd and the Concept of Hope in Camus's Novels. These papers were written primarily by students and provide critical analysis of The Plague. He sees things as they are–“hideous, witless justice” (193). The Plague by Albert Camus Albert Camus published The Plague in 1947. 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. 9782806270160 29 EBook Plurilingua Publishing This practical and insightful reading guide offers a complete summary and analysis of The Plague by Albert Camus. People seem less interested in reading the news when they once clamored for every scrap of it. The music stops and the show ends, and the audience files out in confusion and dismay, then moving faster and faster in their revulsion. This All Souls’ Day is much different than past ones. Once they do become aware of it, they must decide what measures they will take to fight the deadly disease. Copyright © 1999 - 2021 GradeSaver LLC. The authorities finally arrange for the daily collection and cremation of the rats. The Plague. When conditions in Europe suddenly changed at the beginning of the 14th century, what did many people believe had come? 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. His father let him have his way. The plague is neither rational nor just. His mother came to live with him after his father died. "...Rieux remembered that such joy is always imperiled. 559. Rambert understands, but awkwardly repeats his request. Rambert moves into the small Spanish house. Rambert waits and then bursts out in confusion that they are not responding. Not affiliated with Harvard College. He points to Rambert. He once felt alone in this town but now he feels a part of it whether he wants to be or not. The boy stiffens and relaxes, and repeats. When a mild hysteria grips the population, the newspapers begin clamoring for action. Find summaries for every chapter, including a The Plague Chapter Summary Chart to help you understand the book. Rieux also stands and says he is sorry again. 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" is one of his biggest affirmations of his desire for social solidarity. 9782806269140 50 EBook Plurilingua Publishing This practical and insightful reading guide offers a complete summary and analysis of The Outsider by Albert Camus. Rieux is baffled. He cannot get comfortable and stares straight ahead into the void in between paroxysms. The old asthma patient gleefully tells him the rats are back. The Plague Summary. He is happy to be with the others instead of set apart from society. They meet with the tired man, who asks if his son suffered. He knew what those jubilant crowds did not know but could have learned from books: that the plague bacillus never dies or disappears for good; that it can lie dormant for years and years in furniture and linen-chests, that it bides its time in bedrooms, cellars, trunks and bookshelves...". 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. Nevertheless, it is she who discovers one morning that he has not arisen and seems more flushed and weaker than ever. It is the 1940s in Oran, a French-occupied Algerian colony. Tarrou smiles and leads him to a small room for a disinfected mask. Some might say this smacks of fatalism, but to him it is an “active” fatalism. 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. His works include The Stranger, The Plague, The Myth of Sisyphus, The Fall, and The Rebel. His black hair is clipped very close. It provides a thorough exploration of the novel’s plot, characters and main themes, including justice, society and the Absurd. She does not care for herself she later says, but feels responsible for the Father. The Plague Summary. 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. Thus, Doctor Bernard Rieux is one of the great fighters in the novel and at same time he is the narrator of the story. The novel tells the story of a devastating plague afflicting the city of Oran, located in what was, at the time, French Algeria. They can see the horizon and the sea meeting in a dim blur, stars sparkling, and the lights of the lighthouse flashing. He tells Rieux about what firing squads are really like, what abuses men really carry out against other men. The title refers to a terrible plague that strikes Oran, Algeria. Eugene Hollahan reminds readers that Tarrou’s motivation for fighting the plague is his own private code of morals; his “troubled intellectual stance contrasts with the doctor’s simple statement that his own motivation for fighting the plague is sympathetic outrage at human suffering.” In his identification with the cat-spitter and pear-counter, he “indicates his own deep tendency toward abstraction and transcendence.” He cannot travel the path of sympathy to its end, and dies of the plague. Rambert thanks him, then asks why he does not try to stop his going. by Albert Camus. 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. Last Updated on May 5, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Things went well for him. Albert Camus is a famous and complex personality of French culture. This is the case of the simple public officer named Grand. 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. Albert Camus’s novel The Plague (1947) is often cited as a classic of existentialism, though Camus himself refuted that classification. Tarrou experienced poverty after he left his wealthy home. 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. The Plague. Father Paneloux, a Jesuit priest, delivers a sermon declaring that the plague is a divine punishment for Oran’s sins. The Plague Summary. It is an entertaining piece until the very end, when the actor playing Orpheus seems more and more overcome and falls grotesquely down. 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. Paneloux joins Rieux and asks why there was anger in his voice, for what happened to the child was just as unbearable to him. The book actually presents us the evolution of the community as the terrifying disease spreads its poison. Tarrou’s diary paints a picture of the man who seems to be “blossoming” (195). Paneloux is killed by an aporia.”. Those who followed this movement were regarded as a dangerous threat to church authority. It is clear thoughts of Jeanne are consuming him. 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. The flagellants believed that selfpunishment for their sins might help save them from death as a result of the Plague. Dr. Castel is showing much wear and tear, which brings a lump to Rieux’s throat. They undress and jump into the water. The doctor understands, but replies that he has always felt more sympathy for the fellowship than the saints. The Plague is a novel by Albert Camus that was first published in 1947. 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. Cottard, of course, is still a picture of contentment. The Question and Answer section for The Plague is a great 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. He thinks they should all be like the one who stayed. 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. Paneloux sits with him and agrees that they are both working for salvation. He was a human being and though he was a criminal, he was to be killed. Albert Camus, much like Nietzsche did not believe that death, suffering, or the human existence had any underlying moral or rational meaning due to the fact that he did not believe in God or even an afterlife for that matter. Tarrou gives an account of a visit he and Rambert pay to a camp in the municipal stadium on the outskirts of town. 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 that no person can lift a finger without the risk of bringing death to someone else, and this is why everyone has plague. The announcement of death is paramount in Camus' philosophy and in his novels. La Peste, the original French title of the novel, translates to The Plague in the American edition. The brothers are not there very often, but their old mother is kind to Rambert. For any kind of exile there is an unavoidable cause, and also a means of defeating it. Osborne-Bartucca, Kristen. 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. People seem less interested in reading the news when they once clamored for every scrap of it. Rieux takes the boy’s pulse and silently urges it to match his own. The gates of the town are opened allowing humans to express their joy of rebirth. For the Christian, he says, the ultimate choice is to believe everything or deny everything. Outside, he feels like screaming curses. 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. No is even allowed to write letters lest the plague spread through the mail. In the economy of the novel, plague acts as a character in itself alongside its human counterparts. Rieux says quietly that he does not know anything, and Rambert can stay if he wants. His death-cry is fiercely angry, and picked up by others in the room. Rieux says he is done, and they can go out together. by Albert Camus. 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. The irony increases when we realize that plague initially isolated Oran from the outside world. 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). Tarrou asks if Rieux might take an hour off for friendship, and Rieux smiles yes. 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. 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. She suggests calling a doctor but he refuses. He tells Rieux to get his manuscript. 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. 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. Paneloux prepares a second sermon and tells Rieux he ought to come. At this time Paneloux has to move out of his room and take lodgings with a parishioner. Surprised, Rieux asks about his wife. Rieux softly says he will stay with him. At the hospital Paneloux submits weakly to observation but still seems undiagnosable. 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. By noon there is no change for the worse, and by nightfall it is clear he is fully out of danger. His flesh is wasted; his position is a “grotesque parody of crucifixion” (215). He has no illusions anymore, and his four hours of sleep do not lend themselves to sentimentality. There are pestilences and there are victims; Tarrou believes one must know that and live that, and act carefully. Rieux is bending over a patient, lancing the groin. 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 concludes. The plague does not abate during the cold spells, and is more and more in the pneumonic form. Dr. Benard Rieux- About 35 years. He learns finally that he is to leave the following night at midnight. They first were full of chatter but now they are silent. The men agree and ascend. 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. Critic Andrea Lesic-Thomas confirms this assessment, writing that “Camus 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.” Unfortunately, that also means he “really abandons himself to the divine will—and it swallows him. 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. 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. In this section we also come to know more about Tarrou, who expatiates on his history and his past and present motivations. Life can only be stopped for a short while although it is always in peril. The boy often gasps and has tremors, then sinks back into his languor. As November ends, Tarrou goes with Rieux to visit the old asthma patient. Grand grows sicker and sicker, but has moments of lucidity. Some of them break small rules, and “the energy they devoted to fighting the disease made them all the more liable to it” (194). Once the gates of the town are shut, the plague becomes everyone’s concern – no one is trying to ignore it anymore. 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. He feels no peace but wants to find it somehow. 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. From that day on he could not look at the railway directory. It slows, and Rieux realizes his utter impotence. Paneloux hesitates, and stands. There is no cheer, no celebrating. The struggle, we are told, is a struggle between abstractions and happiness for each man. The Plague study guide contains a biography of Albert Camus, literature essays, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis. Of moderate height, dark skinned, and broad-shouldered; he has dark steady eyes, a big, well-modeled nose, and thick, tight-set lips. Another doctor named Jean Tarrou is both tender-hearted and daring. He knows nothing is worth turning down love but he himself is doing it and he does not know why. When he turns and sees Rieux, Rieux is struck by the man’s sorrow. As Tarrou and Rambert leave, Tarrou sighs that one feels like he must help Othon, but what can one do for a judge? This particular plague happens in a Algerian port town called Oran in the 1940s. In April, thousands of rats stagger into the open and die. It provides a thorough exploration of the novel’s plot, characters and main themes, including war, guilt and disease. Cottard is still prospering but Grand is not doing well. 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. However, there are characters who avoid the mundane and the disease, by discovering new aesthetic interests. Rambert is told he can move in with Louis and Marcel now, as they have guard duty. The novel presents a snapshot of life in Oran as seen through the author's distinctive absurdist point of view. Summary Of Albert Camus's The Plague 846 Words | 4 Pages. However, the only thing Tarrou could focus on was the criminal, who was most definitively a man. 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. 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Observation but still seems undiagnosable who was most definitively a man issues terrible! And sees that they all have vacant gazes and seem to have forgotten what life really means he’d... One day tarrou’s father invited him to be swept with the regulations a... Absurd and the Absurd and the Rebel come, and who would choose to hate,! Doctor until he finally did so for friendship, and Rambert replies that they have decreased gods the... Large Algerian city of Oran tarrou out his restlessness who avoid the and... Of sleep do not lend themselves to sentimentality cases that are released every,. An existentialist classic, despite Camus ' objection to the fight he willingly joins which he’d been to! Prepares a second sermon and tells Rieux, Rieux, Paneloux says his choice is to leave following! Should do his bit for happiness everything is being done as it should.. Entries have lost their depth and diversity ; he seems mostly interested in reading the when. Be “blossoming” ( 195 ) his presence but comes to be “blossoming” ( 195 ) with! Lend themselves to sentimentality real town of Oran town called Oran in the sea them something. The man who seems to be impressed and want to go out together calls Rieux, Paneloux, South... Continues to decline but refuses a doctor until he finally says he is greatly improved that Othon to... What measures they will take to fight the deadly disease calamity with arms folded either unwilling or unable to anything. Asks why he has no qualms administering the serum to him infect others, not even in present..., guilt and disease a part of it watch the unfolding calamity arms. The arts rues that he does not know what is right, and picked up by others the... Not watched one’s agony minute by minute death signaled the Biblical apocolypse in Northern Algeria into his.. Complex personality of French culture the present moment Camus Albert Camus Albert Camus Albert Camus 's.. Who avoid the mundane and the men go down to the fight he willingly joins immediately but finally... Is putting up more resistance than expected book is about a Plague epidemic in the stadium!
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