The Plague. The boy’s infection is spreading and Rieux has no qualms administering the serum to him. He tells Rieux to get his manuscript. Tarrou would visit his mother occasionally and saw his father, but they were not close. They feel this abomination acutely, as this innocent child is literally dying in front of them. 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 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...". The Question and Answer section for The Plague is a great He feels no peace but wants to find it somehow. Tarrou asks Rambert what they do all day and Rambert replies that they do nothing. He is rather aloof from Rieux and Rambert but seeks Tarrou out. There is no cheer, no celebrating. Analysis. Tarrou concludes. She does not care for herself she later says, but feels responsible for the Father. 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. His black hair is clipped very close. Rieux is baffled. Rieux says quietly that he does not know anything, and Rambert can stay if he wants. These papers were written primarily by students and provide critical analysis of The Plague. They first were full of chatter but now they are silent. 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. Nobody is up there. Rambert runs a quarantine station at the hotel and Grand is dealing with the facts and figures that come his way. The authorities finally arrange for the daily collection and cremation of the rats. 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. Ultimately, they must love God or hate Him, and who would choose to hate Him? The stadium is surrounded by high walls and now sentries, giving the impression of people being forcibly hidden from society. 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 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. The men sit, grateful for the pleasant spot. The plague does not abate during the cold spells, and is more and more in the pneumonic form. Outside, he feels like screaming curses. Tarrou is fine but his diary entries have lost their depth and diversity; he seems mostly interested in Cottard. The brothers are not there very often, but their old mother is kind to Rambert. The author told us the events happening during the plague in the city Oran on the Algerian coast that counts only 200.000 citizens. 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. What was the status of life in Europe in terms of faith, technology, and trade before the Plague arrived? 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. resource to ask questions, find answers, and discuss the novel. 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. Once they do become aware of it, they must decide what measures they will take to fight the deadly disease. Paneloux sits with him and agrees that they are both working for salvation. Cottard, of course, is still a picture of contentment. He points to Rambert. The diseases' victims stretch from March until December and then there are some cases that are curable. by Albert Camus. 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. 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. 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. He was a human being and though he was a criminal, he was to be killed. The Plague by Albert Camus Albert Camus published The Plague in 1947. 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. In this section, nearly all of the characters undergo psychological and/or physical crises. Published in 1947, The Plague focuses on the character of Bernard Rieux, a doctor in Oran. He thinks they should all be like the one who stayed. Those who followed this movement were regarded as a dangerous threat to church authority. The Plague is a novel by Albert Camus that was first published in 1947. Suffice it to say, they are all feared and despised. Paneloux’s face is drawn with grief. Albert Camus’s novel The Plague (1947) is often cited as a classic of existentialism, though Camus himself refuted that classification. 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. The loudspeakers announce that it is mealtime and the inmates shuffle to their tents. 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. Finally the boy issues a terrible, long scream and clutches his blankets. The curve has seemingly flattened, and Dr. Richard proclaims this a high-water mark. He is a representative of silent and discrete suffering and unconditional commitment to the fight he willingly joins. Priest Paneloux gives us the religious perspective on the event. He starts to write during the appearance of a new ideological movement, that of existentialism. 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. What was the philosophy of the “flagellants”? Tarrou says he is essentially trying to be a saint without believing in God. In the 1990s, a South American city is rocked by the imminent outbreak of a plague. Albert Camus’ ‘The Plague’ and our own Great Reset Two police officers are the only ones on Rome’s Spanish Steps on March 10 amid the coronavirus outbreak. It asks a number of questions relating … 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. Rambert thanks him, then asks why he does not try to stop his going. When a mild hysteria grips the population, the newspapers begin clamoring for action. It is an entertaining piece until the very end, when the actor playing Orpheus seems more and more overcome and falls grotesquely down. The Plague, published in 1947, was Albert Camus’ international breakthrough. He was interested in the death penalty and became an agitator against it all over Europe. The book actually presents us the evolution of the community as the terrifying disease spreads its poison. Thus, Doctor Bernard Rieux is one of the great fighters in the novel and at same time he is the narrator of the story. Castel clears his throat and asks about remission, and Rieux says he is putting up more resistance than expected. 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. 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. Modern antibiotics are effective in treating it. 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 Plague is a novel about a plague epidemic in the large Algerian city of Oran. Rieux happily agrees and the men go down to the beach. It is a Sunday afternoon and Gonzalez, the football player and fan, comes with them. He learns finally that he is to leave the following night at midnight. 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. 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. Copyright © 1999 - 2021 GradeSaver LLC. 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. The announcement of death is paramount in Camus' philosophy and in his novels. 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 “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. Cottard is still prospering but Grand is not doing well. Rambert runs a quarantine station at the hotel and Grand is dealing with the facts and figures that come his way. It asks a number of questions relating to the nature of destiny and the human condition. He once felt alone in this town but now he feels a part of it whether he wants to be or not. Once the gates of the town are shut, the plague becomes everyone’s concern – no one is trying to ignore it anymore. Of moderate height, dark skinned, and broad-shouldered; he has dark steady eyes, a big, well-modeled nose, and thick, tight-set lips. Some of them break small rules, and “the energy they devoted to fighting the disease made them all the more liable to it” (194). The Plague. He won the Nobel Prize in Literature at the age of 44 in 1957, the second-youngest recipient in history. 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). 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 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. Tarrou gives him the news when he asks for it, saying Paneloux is ready to replace Rambert at the quarantine station. It is clear thoughts of Jeanne are consuming him. He felt sick. When he is done speaking, the doctor asks if Tarrou has an idea of the path for getting peace. He has to wait a fortnight, and continues his work indefatigably at the sanitation station. 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. In this section we also come to know more about Tarrou, who expatiates on his history and his past and present motivations. It is the 1940s in Oran, a French-occupied Algerian colony. Right as Rieux is about to flee from not being able to take it anymore, it stops. "The Plague Part Four Summary and Analysis". After a long inoculation process, Rieux, Paneloux, Tarrou, Grand, and Dr. Castel gather to observe the effects. Some might say this smacks of fatalism, but to him it is an “active” fatalism. Albert Camus's The Plague Chapter Summary. Paneloux muses bitterly that this means his suffering is worse. However, the only thing Tarrou could focus on was the criminal, who was most definitively a man. 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. 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. 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. The plague is neither rational nor just. There are pestilences and there are victims; Tarrou believes one must know that and live that, and act carefully. He sees things as they are–“hideous, witless justice” (193). With William Hurt, Sandrine Bonnaire, Jean-Marc Barr, Robert Duvall. 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. The novel presents a snapshot of life in Oran as seen through the author's distinctive absurdist point of view. 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 majority of the people are sitting on the stands, while others loll about or walk around listlessly. Tarrou now assumes that his father intended him to be impressed and want to become an attorney. Last Updated on May 5, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. The people believed the Blacl Death signaled the Biblical apocolypse. happiness is freedom... And the secret to freedom is courage” (Thucydides). He tells Rieux about what firing squads are really like, what abuses men really carry out against other men. While Tarrou is far from being the monster that Cottard is, he still ultimately retains an abstract response to the plague. 559. Rieux warns him that Monsieur Othon remarked that Rambert ought to be careful about associating with smugglers, and he ought to hurry up. Dr. Benard Rieux- About 35 years. Rieux is bending over a patient, lancing the groin. The characters in the book, ranging from doctors to vacationers to fugitives, all help to show the effects the plague has on a populace. Paneloux rues that he has not convinced him, and Rieux responds that it doesn’t matter and nothing can part them now. 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 child has passed. He adds, though, that he knows he and Paneloux are working for the same thing and they are united beyond blasphemy and prayers. When his father sent a letter, Tarrou told him forthrightly that he would kill himself if forced to return. When he turns and sees Rieux, Rieux is struck by the man’s sorrow. The flagellants believed that selfpunishment for their sins might help save them from death as a result of the Plague. He knows nothing is worth turning down love but he himself is doing it and he does not know why. The camp manager comes up and tells Tarrou and Rambert that Othon wants to see them. Tarrou suggests that the two of them do something for friendship—take a swim in the sea. In April, thousands of rats stagger into the open and die. "The Plague" is one of his biggest affirmations of his desire for social solidarity. The Plague is considered an existentialist classic, despite Camus' objection to the label. There are groans and cries and men in white moving from bed to bed. Tarrou gives an account of a visit he and Rambert pay to a camp in the municipal stadium on the outskirts of town. In the interim between sermons the people have become less religious and more superstitious. Surprised, Rieux asks about his wife. He says goodbye. However, there are characters who avoid the mundane and the disease, by discovering new aesthetic interests. 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. For any kind of exile there is an unavoidable cause, and also a means of defeating it. They espy him standing in front of a shop window, tears coursing down his face. His works include The Stranger, The Plague, The Myth of Sisyphus, The Fall, and The Rebel. Unfortunately, this doctor becomes a plague's victim. The other men are silent. 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. 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. Tarrou smiles and leads him to a small room for a disinfected mask. Find summaries for every chapter, including a The Plague Chapter Summary Chart to help you understand the book. At this time Paneloux has to move out of his room and take lodgings with a parishioner. He sits wearily on the bench. Directed by Luis Puenzo. Rambert replies that he’d be ashamed of himself if he did not do the right thing. From that day on he could not look at the railway directory. 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. 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. The fraught woman calls Rieux, who hurries over. Grand grows sicker and sicker, but has moments of lucidity. Rambert decides to go out, and visits Rieux at the hospital. The novel “The Plague” by Albert Camus is composed of 5 parts. 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. The Fall. First the rats are dying in the streets of the Algerian coastal city Oran, then the plague breaks out. It provides a thorough exploration of the novel’s plot, characters and main themes, including justice, society and the Absurd. Paneloux also falls ill, having come to terms with his views on turning fully to God even though the problem of evil is overwhelming. 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. 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 alone” (199). Tarrou loved quizzing his father and seeing how skilled he was. 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