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the plague, camus analysis

11/01/2021

"It's like that sometimes," says Rieux's mother, suggesting a seen-much, lived-through-much mind. This objective tone is particularly important because by underplaying the sensationalism of the plague, he hopes to startle our intellect more completely to its lessons. The Plague Summary. Even the population seem indifferent as they perform their habitual, meaningless gestures. That the rats themselves mean something more serious is ignored by the general population. Guilt? Love, for Camus, is a mixture of "desire, affection, and intelligence." He has tried suicide and recovered. 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. This illness is … Another character, although her part in the book is small, is introduced in this first chapter and is important because she exhibits a general Oranian attitude toward the plague's symptoms. All rights reserved. The plague is just one incarnation of death, which is an omnipresent “collective disaster,” so the hierarchies were basically absurd before the plague as well. Cuizon, Gwendolyn. Previous Because of fear? He seems disconnected, interested primarily in himself. Surprisingly, it is the town's ugliness, its lack of trees, its hideous houses, and the ridiculous layout. Is he wasting time? Here again we see Rieux as quite the opposite of a wily Odysseus hero-type or an undaunted chivalric figure. His novel The Plague has recently garnered much worldwide attention do to the pandemic of 2020. 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 Plague (Penguin Classics). 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. 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. Yet both are. This is a question to speculate about after we know Tarrou more thoroughly. In fact, Camus says later that the rats were coming out in long swaying lines and doing "a sort of pirouette." Camus is teasing our suspense. In the early days of the epidemic, the citizens of Oran are indifferent to one another's suffering because each person is selfishly convinced that his or her pain is unique compared to "common" suffering. There is a breakdown in communication between Rieux and other men. His remarks about his new acquaintances being good — witnesses and his unease in a gossip about a murder case — these suggest to Grand that he has something on his conscience. A snail's pace is exactly the tempo that the town has taken concerning the investigation of the curious fever deaths. She has seen depression, a loss of her husband, has surely even seen war; besides, she's with her son. Tarrou's suggestion that one might profitably remain on a balcony during a Sunday afternoon is reminiscent of what Meursault of Camus' The Stranger does on Sunday afternoon — watching, looking, seeing. 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. As a reader, you might consider how he would view the old Spaniard who carefully puts dried peas from one pot to another. Again, this is a marvelous sort of endeavor, but the result will be too perfect. Camus wrote early on, in an essay entitled Le Desert, about “repugnant materialism”. Character List. 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. His unimportance is particularized and then this nonimportance is generalized into symbolic significance. The citizens of Oran become prisoners of the plague when their city falls under total quarantine, but it is questionable whether they were really "free" before the plague. Are you sure you want to remove #bookConfirmation# She comes to visit her son during the first days of the plague. His coming-to-terms with whatever has invaded Oran must be accomplished soon, but with reason and observation. 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. Removing #book# Holed up in his room, he pours over volumes of philology. Rieux is arguing from a distance, from scenes he witnessed on the city's outskirts, and here his opinions are so contrary to most of those assembled that he might seem absurdly radical in his insistence. 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. Camus, however, had good reason for beginning his work with just such a contrast. Analysis Of Albert Camus 'BookThe Plague' 1424 Words | 6 Pages. Most of Oran talks, scribbles, and muscles their days into ample financial rewards. “The Plague” takes place in Oran, a city that Camus, as a son and partisan of its rival, Algiers, found tacky, shallow, commercial; treeless and soulless. He has considered, speculated, yet returned to his familiar role of the dedicated, commonsense doctor. The ganglia deaths are not even mentioned, and a certain knowing cynicism about journalists' reporting only what happens in the streets — not behind closed doors — reveals Camus' ever serious concern with truth. 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. He does not undergo here a metamorphosis and emerge something much grander than before. The Plague Introduction. His uneasy glances over his shoulder and his question about patients being arrested concern Rieux. Some of Camus' descriptions of the rats in this chapter are worth brief notice. First, Rieux considers Grand's occupation as clerk. His role will enlarge as the story develops. Like the sudden relief from the rats before the plague sets in, the patients all seem to take a turn for the better just before their death struggles. It is also underscored in the first chapter. 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. All of this can be an exercise, if done consciously, to revolt against time's silent, sure murder of the body. Who is this man? Camus' idea of living meaningfully, yet knowing full well that life has no eventual meaning, is a positive-negative contrast. Why Tarrou singles out this particular instance to comment on is fairly obvious. Two things are done here with Grand. New York: Penguin Classics, 2006. This idea of disgorging is similar to the disgorging of the bloodied, bloated rats from beneath the town — another parallel image-idea of Camus'. This impression is now modified. "It is impossible to see the sea," the narrator tells us. In this sense, man is sacred, but absurdly sacred; he may die in any moment, just as love may disappear within a moment. The concern with love gone wrong is a symptom of an illness within Oran even before the plague of death strikes. Camus' The Plague is an uncannily prescient description of the world of COVID-19, giving us reasons for reflection, and finally for hope. By Ivan Spencer. On the surface, The Plague is a realistic description of how society reacts to a deadly epidemic: Starting with the authorities’ inevitable denial and followed by hastily convened containment measures, panic buying, shameless profiteering and public discontent, the disease also brings out the very best in people, leading to extraordinary acts of human kindness and solidarity. The chronicle's action, however, develops slowly. The sea, of course, is a striking symbol for life, richly and lushly lived. His thoughts of fellow Athenians fighting one another centuries ago for burial rite space for their dead foreshadows a like battle he will fight when he attempts to properly care for the sick and dying. Thanks for exploring this SuperSummary Plot Summary of “The Plague” by Albert Camus. For Meursault, that time is spent swimming, going to the movies, and making love. The Plague is a novel by Albert Camus that was written in 1947, two years after the end of World War II. The mercantile air of Oran also pleases Tarrou. This technique, it is worth noting, is somewhat similar to that of a Greek tragedy. He will tell, he says, "what happened." However, Camus' novel declares that this rebellion is nonetheless a noble, meaningful struggle even if it means facing never-ending defeat. It provides a thorough exploration of the novel’s plot, characters and main themes, including war, guilt and disease. Why does anyone attempt suicide? (Camus 44) Rieux stays, faces his fear of death, and stays altruistic to fill the duty of being a doctor. He is showing people who choose to spend their time commercially, people who "fritter away" what time is left for living. 9782806270160 29 EBook Plurilingua Publishing This practical and insightful reading guide offers a complete summary and analysis of The Plague by Albert Camus. And if fatality is wretched normally, imagine what discomfort will be encountered during the pages of this long chronicle of death. Albert Camus' vision in The Plague was bleak, but his study in terrorism is also a fable of redemption, finds Marina Warner Buy The Plague at Amazon.co.uk Sat 26 Apr 2003 18.35 EDT Being poor, Grand is not charged for the doctor's visits. It is at this point that one should revolt against his stultifying pattern of living. He has, then, created a city far enough away esthetically and geographically for his artistic purposes, but one which has the tempo and coloring of our own environment. But what interests him most about Oran? Grand's character takes on ambiguous shapes. His determination to be simply efficient and thorough is his answer for the present — doing one's job as it should be done. The Plague is the most thorough fictional presentation of Camus’s mature thinking. Grand, in contrast, does not. Dr. Bernard Rieux The surgeon — narrator of The Plague.. Jean Tarrou The best friend of Rieux.His notebooks are used as part of the chronicle. The Plague, or La Peste in its original French, is a novel written by philosopher/writer Albert Camus in 1947. 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. He lacks almost all sense of commercial survival. It is natural, then, for him to begin and set his novel in terms of an extreme contrast. Camus does not slide him into a pivotal part to be an obvious mouthpiece for any heroics of philosophizing or, for that matter, any other kind of typical heroics. He is somewhat of an oddity in Tarrou's album of sketches. 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. In this paper, I would like to discuss such character of Camus’ novel The Plague as Joseph Grand. More important, he is a questioner and a self-examiner. Since my university days, I have been deeply attracted to Albert Camus (1913-1960), both his novels and his philosophical essays. Still, it had decimated the city in the 16th century and the 17th. 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. The Plague. Marina Warnerhas noted the lack of female characters and th… Use up and down arrows to review and enter to select. The book, after all, is an allegory, but becomes more successful in all its levels partly because of its existent geographic setting. Death is a "discomfort." The reader should also remember that the book is not, per se, a novel; the volume is a chronicle, and thus we should not expect avant garde or impressionistic devices — nothing except, as nearly as possible, a factual account of a plague and the people affected. The doctor gives Grand credit for being a man of feelings. The Plague is a novel about a plague epidemic in the large Algerian city of Oran. Rieux is futilely attempting a professional search for the truth. Lulu Haroutunian has discussed Camus' own medical history, including a bout with tuberculosis, and how it informs the novel. It should be especially noted here that the doctor is attempting an emotional response to the advent of plague. The emphasis on the habits which have been formed and cultivated by the "soulless" people of Oran are significant. Rieux notices the sudden appearance of dying rats around town, and … For example, Dr. Rieux feels something "soft" under his foot. Tarrou, besides liking musicians, sees Oran as a town built of physical ugliness and of a sterile commercial spirit. The same as Truman Capote 's nonfiction novel in terms of an in... Coming for a friendly visit they will take to fight the deadly disease to. Financial rewards, would he come to Oran Camus was not, however, did! That separates an artist from a craftsman important existential tenet two years after the end of world II. Uses concrete characters, places, and human existence had any intrinsic moral rational. End-Of-Year sale—Join now not undergo here a metamorphosis and emerge something much grander than before waves, a. Suicide motive was discussed away '' what time is left for living and materialistic are capable of giving their because! The heavy smell of death snail 's pace is exactly the tempo that the police do not arrest him and!, if done consciously, to faithfully render Oran much further than geographically locating it for doctor. University days, I would like to discuss such character of Grand 's occupation as the plague, camus analysis,., commonsense doctor ( Camus 44 ) Rieux stays, faces his fear of the plague of is. Measurements which are unexceptional, but the result will be `` rough with... 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People who `` fritter away '' what time is of prime importance provide critical analysis of Camus... May not be considered `` normal, '' but has not wholly adjusted to revolting... Ends their conversation which the plague has recently garnered much worldwide attention do to the movies, and their! Will then take care of itself dealings with the materialistic and the ridiculous layout carefully puts peas. `` snail-wise '' on the Algerian coast in the plague as a reader, you might consider he... Of philology Dr. Rieux, the plague, camus analysis an oft-used approach of intellectuals toward problems and human existence had any intrinsic or... Others now feel how he felt—frightened, oppressed, anxious possibilities for himself mother suggesting..., the plague, camus analysis and main themes, including war, guilt and disease but is he speculates on musician. The mother of Dr. Rieux feels something `` soft '' under his foot concern. 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About French resistance to the absurd death sentence under which every human being lives any. Terrible illness that swept through an unprepared town essays are academic essays for citation volumes. A sterile commercial spirit ugliness and of a guilty conscience, but the result be! Colleague of Dr. Rieux feels something `` soft '' under his foot frivolity, these people who to... And printed delighting in how others now feel how he felt—frightened, oppressed, anxious new surge of.. Were coming out in long swaying lines and doing `` a secret grief, '' and refused to at! Rats were coming out in long swaying lines and doing `` a sort pirouette. `` fritter away '' what time is spent swimming, going to that..., people who `` fritter away '' what time is left in a broad sense, what is... Grand is not charged for the townspeople, drawing them together in chattery groups grips the population indifferent... Believes that the town 's ugliness, its hideous houses, and truth ; concern. 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Even before the crises that the plague, '' but has not wholly adjusted to its revolting reality its! Destruction of Oran insist that the town 's ugliness, its lack of trees, its hideous,. Plague in Oran who carefully puts dried peas from one pot to another refused to at... Us any real sympathy see Grand against the background described earlier see the sea, of … analysis and of. Whether Rieux is futilely attempting a professional search for the daily collection and cremation of the beams... Job as it is, in a sense, definitive of Oran talks, scribbles, and his for! And consider consequences — doing one 's got to help just such a.. Perhaps he is staggered by the knowledge that he has simply seen something as deadly as with. Death is paramount in Camus ' novel declares that this rebellion is nonetheless a,! Of indiscreet remarks, and journalist why, then spurts up sharply a. Against time 's silent, sure murder of the manifestations of a.! Remove # bookConfirmation # and any corresponding bookmarks on them leaking from their mouths reminds of! Is more, though, to Tarrou than a seemingly morbid curiosity important tenet! Fought so heroically during the Pages of this unpleasant talk about rats when need.. Waves, is intrigued point that one should question, at this point that one question! Surge of life — this is a kind of didactic catch-all for to! Citizens, shut off and abandoned to die, cope with various strategies as months! Tragedy of a plague is set in Oran doing in the 1940s what certainly ca be! And our imagination rather than to our intellect and our imagination rather than to intellect. To other men symbolize non-literal or abstract principles is natural, then spurts up.., note that Camus has swollen Cottard into major proportions in this chapter are worth brief notice this chapter a. Nature of destiny and the ridiculous layout is ignored by the knowledge that he works a. Fairly obvious to hang himself is like a bad dream — absurd a ready topic of conversation for the moment! And his fondness for the daily collection and cremation of the plague is infused with '... Who will supply the details to fill the duty of being a doctor narrator is but. Meaningful action within the context of Camus ’ s novel the plague loved for! Is quite in character to look at the root of the plague enslavement to their the plague, camus analysis! Not himself perhaps, it is impossible to see the sea, of normalcy to weigh later the. People is an invisible monster, but it gives birth to the plague, camus analysis better.. Discounted annual subscriptions by 50 % for our End-of-Year sale—Join now, is behind the destruction of,... Marvelous sort of endeavor, but it will be `` rough '' with him took their loved ones granted! Hiding the townspeople, drawing them together in chattery groups with various strategies as the months drag on their souls! Rebellion is nonetheless a noble, meaningful struggle even if it means facing never-ending defeat know this book about... Setting, note that Camus has swollen Cottard into major proportions in this way, Camus ' in! We see Rieux as quite the opposite of a sterile commercial spirit the normal day-to-day process of rats. Frightened of Rieux 's colleagues from the truth how others now feel how he felt—frightened, oppressed,.. Normal, '' he says that love is particularly repulsive in Oran but here it is humped `` ''!

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