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This particular plague happens in a Algerian port town called Oran in the 1940s. resource to ask questions, find answers, and discuss the novel. The people believed the Blacl Death signaled the Biblical apocolypse. Albert Camus’s novel The Plague (1947) is often cited as a classic of existentialism, though Camus himself refuted that classification. Bernard Rieux (behr-NAHR ryew), a physician and surgeon in Oran, Algeria, where a plague is claiming as many as three hundred lives a day. He and Dr. Rieux are forced to confront the indifference and denial of the authorities and other doctors in their attempts to urge quick, decisive action. The Plague is a novel about a plague epidemic in the large Algerian city of Oran. He has become the exception, however, and soon the town can barely contain its desire to celebrate the evidence that the plague is diminishing and will soon disappear. Before too long, thousands of the creatures are making their way to … Because he defines The Plague as a chronicle, one would expect a journalistic report of the facts. Suddenly, everyone is just as lonely and afraid as him. 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. What was the status of life in Europe in terms of faith, technology, and trade before the Plague arrived? The sacrifice being made by Rieux inspires Rambert to give up on his plan to escape and stay to fight the epidemic. He chooses to stay behind and help fight the epidemic. Word Count: 785. Permeating the fear of the disease and the longing and loneliness is a common exhibition of belief that the singling out of their city is no random act of science, but divine punishment of some kind. He dies clutching his crucifix, but the symptoms of his illness do not match those of the plague. 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. Copyright © 1999 - 2021 GradeSaver LLC. The novel tells the story of a devastating plague afflicting the city of … It is the 1940s in Oran, a French-occupied Algerian colony. The sight of Oran littered with the carcasses of rats stimulates panic among the citizens and forces the government to order a special force tasked with cremating the rodents. Tarrou dies just as the epidemic is waning, but he battles with all his strength for his life, just as he helped Rieux battle for the lives of others. Rieux recognizes the importance of the plague’s name, but even … We read of the acknowledgment of the plague with a sense of relief. The Plague by Albert Camus is an existentialist classic, in which he continues to question the absurdity of life and applies the notion of rebellion. Rieux and an elderly colleague named Castel suspect Oran has become the victim of an outbreak of bubonic plague. It is the story of a plague epidemic in the city of Oran in the 1940's and tells of the individual destinies of some of its inhabitants, who all react to the situation in a different way. The Question and Answer section for The Plague is a great With William Hurt, Sandrine Bonnaire, Jean-Marc Barr, Robert Duvall. 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. But now it’s hitting the center of the Oran, where all the businesses are. Unique among those trapped inside Oran, Cottard is actually glad to see the effects of the plague on the town. Osborne-Bartucca, Kristen. Battle Against Crisis at the Conclusion of The Plague, The Absurd and the Concept of Hope in Camus's Novels. Raymond Rambert endeavors to escape Oran to rejoin his wife in Paris, but the city's bureaucrats refuse to let him leave. Grand, having recovered from a bout of plague, vows to make a fresh start in life. Summary. The authorities finally arrange for the daily collection and cremation of the rats. In April, thousands of rats stagger into the open and die. The acceptance of the plague under these terms lessens the selfishness of the town, but does little to alleviate the collective despair and hopelessness. The Plague literature essays are academic essays for citation. Dr. Rieux records him as a "doubtful case.". The public quickly returns to its old routine, but Rieux knows that the battle against the plague is never over because the bacillus microbe can lie dormant for years. The Plague is a novel written by Albert Camus, an ultimately bleak story about a terrible illness that swept through an unprepared town. An attempt is made to end the story on an inspirational note with Rieux’s observance that ultimately those trapped in Oran revealed the better side of human nature more often than the worst. Camus presents Grand as an anti-hero, a mediocre, strange sort of everyman who still contains the practical goodness and daily heroism that is the best response to plague (or the absurdity of life). Camus' The Plague is an uncannily prescient description of the world of COVID-19, giving us reasons for reflection, and finally for hope. GradeSaver, 9 June 2020 Web. 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. Camus’s novel offers a glimpse of this in a conversation between Dr. Rieux and Jean Tarrou, who had unfortunately arrived in Oran shortly before the outbreak of the plague. Dr. Rieux is not so lucky; his wife has died during the separation mandated by the quarantine. Meanwhile, Rieux, Tarrou, and Grand doggedly battle the death and suffering wrought by the plague. Albert Camus highlights the theme of time in his 1947 novel, The Plague. The mess starts when rats everywhere die. So far, the plague has been semi-limited to the outer districts of the town. Imagination in the context of the Camus' plague means identifying with people, with giving into love and grief, with confronting the real. 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. This illness is … The Plague. 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. The Plague Summary. Rambert, a Parisian journalist unlucky enough to happen to be in the city when the outbreak begins, is determined to escape back home to reunite with his wife. This is, in a sense, what Camus is doing in the opening scenes of The Plague. Before too long, thousands of the creatures are making their way to the streets to die. The Plague, written in 1948, is a fictional account of events that take place in a North African town that is stricken with a fatal contagion. A lucid evaluation of the crisis has been achieved, the enemy has been revealed and can now be confronted. Oran essentially becomes cut off and isolated from the rest of the world. In this clear and detailed reading guide, we've done all the hard work for you! life. Not long afterward, Paneloux himself dies, committed so thoroughly to his view of the faith that he refuses medical treatment. 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. The title refers to a terrible plague that strikes Oran, Algeria. The Plague concerns an outbreak of bubonic plague in the French-Algerian port city of Oran, sometime in the 1940s. After the term of exile lasts several months, many of Oran's citizens lose their selfish obsession with personal suffering. It is the 1940s in Oran, a French-occupied Algerian colony. At the end of The Plague, the narrator reveals himself as Dr. Rieux. The long-awaited reunion between Rambert and his wife takes place not back home in Paris, but in Oran. He is announcing the deaths of many people, common people, and as spectators, we will wait, watch, hear, and perhaps learn from the consequences of the everyday Oedipuses and Creons of Oran — citizens warned again and again of their fate to die, yet who choose to be unbelieving, antagonistic, and indifferent to the warning. This engaging summary presents an analysis of The Plague by Albert Camus, an existentialist classic in which he continues to question the absurdity of life and applies the notion of rebellion. The unidentified narrator of these events finally reveals himself as the tale draws to a close. As the rat carcass problem is contained, Dr. Rieux treats the concierge where he lives, who is complaining of an unusual fever. M. Camus is a master of the Defoe-like narrative. It is the story of a plague epidemic in the city of Oran in the 1940's and tells of the individual destinies of some of its inhabitants, who all react to the situation in a different way. The public reacts to their sudden imprisonment with intense longing for absent loved ones. He begins randomly firing his gun into the street until he is captured by the police. Camus focused less on the ambulances and body counts in stricken Oran than on how the plague affected the citizenry, who, like us, had to realign priorities, schedules, in … These observations stimulate him to organize sanitation duties with the help of volunteers. If you’ve read Albert Camus’ great, short novel you’ll remember a gripping narrative about an outbreak of bubonic plague that strikes a small French Algerian city in the 1940s. This engaging summary presents an analysis of The Plague by Albert Camus, an existentialist classic in which he continues to question the absurdity of life and applies the notion of rebellion. The work is an allegorical account of the determined fight against an epidemic in the town of Oran, Alg., by characters who embody human dignity and A paranoid criminal named Cottard attempts to aid Rambert in his escape. He has been carefully making notes of everything he’s observed relating to the plague. In April, thousands of rats stagger into the open and die. When he falls ill, he refuses to consult a doctor, leaving his fate entirely in the hands of divine Providence. When the epidemic ends, Cottard cannot cope. It is the story of a plague epidemic in the city of Oran in the 1940’s and tells of the individual destinies of some of its inhabitants, who all react to the situation in a different way. When conditions in Europe suddenly changed at the beginning of the 14th century, what did many people believe had come? Flush with the freedom to do whatever they want, the residents of town more or less go back to their lives as they were before the plague arrived. Adding to the horror is a death toll affecting so many people that cremation is necessary to keep up. The Plague by Albert Camus is an existentialist classic, in which he continues to question the absurdity of life and applies the notion of rebellion. He tries to escape by illegal means with the help of Cottard's criminal associates. Not only that, he is making a killing in the booming business of smuggling, another consequence of the epidemic. They confront their social responsibility and join the anti-plague efforts. Abstraction is seen as deadening oneself to reality and mankind, sticking with statistics or philosophies or doctrines, focusing too much on rules or theories or putative panaceas. He declares that the inexplicable deaths of innocents force the Christian to choose between believing everything and believing nothing about God. Use up and down arrows to review and enter to select. Our study guide has summaries, insightful analyses, and everything else you need to understand The Plague. Another visitor who is trapped by bad timing is Jean Tarrou. Father Paneloux delivers a stern sermon, declaring that the plague is God's punishment for Oran's sins. In the 1990s, a South American city is rocked by the imminent outbreak of a plague. By the time they finally respond to the gravity of the outbreak, the only choice is absolute quarantine of the city. When the young child of Oran’s magistrate succumbs to the suffering and perishes in a painful and grotesque fashion, Father Paneloux is moved to deliver another sermon. Through the voice of his compassionate protagonist, Dr. Rieux, Camus speaks of the graphic horror of the plague and its effect on the population. On the day the gates to the town finally reopen, his madness finally overcomes him and he takes to randomly firing his gun until the police arrest him. At that point, Tarrou is diagnosed, but fails to recover and dies. The chronicler is Dr. Rieux and his book is composed as a testament to the victims and those who fought it rather than as a self-serving story as a personal victim of the tragedy. They come to recognize the plague as a collective disaster that is everyone's concern. Overview Unlock the more straightforward side of The Plague with this concise and insightful summary and analysis! Cottard committed a crime (which he does not name) in the past, so he has lived in constant fear of arrest and punishment. Rambert finalizes his escape plan, but, after Tarrou tells him that Rieux is likewise separated from his wife, Rambert is ashamed to flee. "The Plague Summary". Truth has a victory. The Plague Summary. Soon thereafter, M. Michel, the concierge for the building where Dr. Rieux works, dies after falling ill with a strange fever. The authorities finally arrange for the daily collection and cremation of the rats. His attempts are foiled by the ineptitude of both the government and the underground network he consults. When M. Othon's small son suffers a prolonged, excruciating death from the plague, Dr. Rieux shouts at Paneloux that he was an innocent victim. Only after it becomes impossible to deny that a serious epidemic is ravaging Oran, do the authorities enact strict sanitation measures, placing the whole city under quarantine. The Plague by Albert Camus 1001 Words | 5 Pages. Like, Mary Poppins windy, which is bad news when you live on an unprotected plateau. Considering Camus's ideas about the impossibility of reaching an objective truth, it is not possible to agree with Dr. … The initial self-centered response of individuals to the quarantine as a personal tragedy eventually gives way to a widespread realization that everyone is affected equally even if in starkly different ways. “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. An icon used to represent a menu that can be toggled by interacting with this icon. The Plague is a novel about a plague epidemic in the large Algerian city of Oran. He accumulates a great deal of wealth as a smuggler during the epidemic. When a cluster of similar cases appears, Dr. Rieux's colleague, Castel, becomes certain that the illness is the bubonic plague. Diagrams Jean Tarrou Philosophical observer of events Dr. Bernard Rieux Doctor fighting the plague Friends Saves Fellow volunteers Fellow volunteers Fellow volunteers Opposing interests Father Paneloux Jesuit priest in Oran Raymond Rambert Journalist desperate to escape quarantine Joseph Grand City employee and aspiring novelist Cottard … What was the philosophy of the “flagellants”? Paneloux, deeply shaken by the boy's death, delivers a second sermon that modifies the first. The Plague study guide contains a biography of Albert Camus, literature essays, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis. Not long after the concierge succumbs to the ravages of the affliction, doctors all over town are flooded with patients experiencing similar symptoms. Alone among the quarantined not bursting with happiness at this thought is Cottard. These papers were written primarily by students and provide critical analysis of The Plague. The flagellants believed that selfpunishment for their sins might help save them from death as a result of the Plague. Directed by Luis Puenzo. Rieux notices the sudden appearance of dying rats around town, and … Against the background of events, he creates various attitudes of human beings toward the plague, … Those who followed this movement were regarded as a dangerous threat to church authority. When a mild hysteria grips the population, the newspapers begin clamoring for action. As the year draws to a cold and melancholy close, in contrast to Paneloux, other victims begin to make miraculous recoveries and avoid death. The Plague is his chronicle of the scene of human suffering that all too many people are willing to forget. That note of optimism is ultimately undercut, though, by his haunting reminder that the microbe responsible for bubonic plague can lie dormant for so long that it creates the illusion of being gone forever when in reality it has the power to recrudesce into an epidemic with little warning once more. Rambert's wife joins him in Oran after the city gates are finally opened, but Dr. Rieux's own wife dies of a prolonged illness before she and her husband can be reunited. Through the use of allegory and point of view, Camus substantiates that when people are not aware of time and its advancing, they are wasting the precious and limited time of … 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. From the title, you know this book is about a plague. Meanwhile, just as Rambert is ready to put his escape strategy to the test, he learns that Dr. Rieux—who has been the leading figure in trying to fight the plague—has a wife on the outside experiencing her own medical quarantine as a patient being treated in a sanatorium. Requests to the government to initiate a strategy before an epidemic gets out of control are ignored and only after the death toll skyrockets are leaders finally incapable of denying the seriousness of the situation. Part II re-begins the chronicle in a different tone and with a … The Plague, novel by Algerian-born French writer Albert Camus, published in 1947 as La Peste. The reaction of the residents of Oran vary widely in terms of specifics, but share a commonality of experience: it is the sense of imposed exile from society and the longing for simple human contact with friends and family outside the closed gates that drives every individual response. The theme of this sermon is plainly stated: the plague is evidence enough that you either believe in Christianity wholeheartedly or you reject it outright. He greets the plague epidemic with open arms because he no longer feels alone in his fearful suffering. Unlock the more straightforward side of The Plague with this concise and insightful summary and analysis! Helping to foster this belief is Father Paneloux, whose early sermons are filled with stern Jesuit reasoning that Oran has committed sins so great that simple forgiveness is not warranted. Not affiliated with Harvard College. The first-person narrator is unnamed but mostly follows Dr. Bernard Rieux. Albert Camus (1913 – 1960) was a French author and philosopher who won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1957.His novel The Plague has recently garnered much worldwide attention do to the pandemic of 2020.As a philosopher familiar with Camus’ thought, I’d like to highlight the book’s main philosophical themes.But first a very brief plot summary. When a mild hysteria grips the population, the newspapers begin clamoring for action. Perhaps Dr. Rieux withholds his identity because he is concerned with maintaining his objective distance from the chronicle. The novel presents a snapshot of life in Oran as seen through the author's distinctive absurdist point of view. Last Updated on May 5, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. They indulge in selfish personal distress, convinced that their pain is unique in comparison to common suffering. Of the scene of human suffering that all too many people that cremation necessary. 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