He accumulates a great deal of wealth as a smuggler during the epidemic. As the year draws to a cold and melancholy close, in contrast to Paneloux, other victims begin to make miraculous recoveries and avoid death. In April, thousands of rats stagger into the open and die. This particular plague happens in a Algerian port town called Oran in the 1940s. He tries to escape by illegal means with the help of Cottard's criminal associates. 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. Use up and down arrows to review and enter to select. We read of the acknowledgment of the plague with a sense of relief. The Plague is a novel about a plague epidemic in the large Algerian city of Oran. resource to ask questions, find answers, and discuss the novel. Last Updated on May 5, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. 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. Father Paneloux delivers a stern sermon, declaring that the plague is God's punishment for Oran's sins. 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. So far, the plague has been semi-limited to the outer districts of the town. Dr. Rieux is not so lucky; his wife has died during the separation mandated by the quarantine. Not long after the concierge succumbs to the ravages of the affliction, doctors all over town are flooded with patients experiencing similar symptoms. Cottard committed a crime (which he does not name) in the past, so he has lived in constant fear of arrest and punishment. 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. What was the philosophy of the “flagellants”? Those who followed this movement were regarded as a dangerous threat to church authority. Alone among the quarantined not bursting with happiness at this thought is Cottard. By the time they finally respond to the gravity of the outbreak, the only choice is absolute quarantine of the city. 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. 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. 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. 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". The first-person narrator is unnamed but mostly follows Dr. Bernard Rieux. He chooses to stay behind and help fight the epidemic. Albert Camus highlights the theme of time in his 1947 novel, The Plague. 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. 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. 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. Summary. Perhaps Dr. Rieux withholds his identity because he is concerned with maintaining his objective distance from the chronicle. 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. 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. 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. Rieux and an elderly colleague named Castel suspect Oran has become the victim of an outbreak of bubonic plague. Copyright © 1999 - 2021 GradeSaver LLC. They come to recognize the plague as a collective disaster that is everyone's concern. In the 1990s, a South American city is rocked by the imminent outbreak of a plague. When a mild hysteria grips the population, the newspapers begin clamoring for action. 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. Paneloux, deeply shaken by the boy's death, delivers a second sermon that modifies the first. Unlock the more straightforward side of The Plague with this concise and insightful summary and analysis! When a cluster of similar cases appears, Dr. Rieux's colleague, Castel, becomes certain that the illness is the bubonic plague. 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. His attempts are foiled by the ineptitude of both the government and the underground network he consults. The Plague is a novel written by Albert Camus, an ultimately bleak story about a terrible illness that swept through an unprepared town. A lucid evaluation of the crisis has been achieved, the enemy has been revealed and can now be confronted. 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. What was the status of life in Europe in terms of faith, technology, and trade before the Plague arrived? M. Camus is a master of the Defoe-like narrative. The authorities finally arrange for the daily collection and cremation of the rats. 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. This illness is … Imagination in the context of the Camus' plague means identifying with people, with giving into love and grief, with confronting the real. The acceptance of the plague under these terms lessens the selfishness of the town, but does little to alleviate the collective despair and hopelessness. Albert Camus’s novel The Plague (1947) is often cited as a classic of existentialism, though Camus himself refuted that classification. When a mild hysteria grips the population, the newspapers begin clamoring for action. 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 The novel presents a snapshot of life in Oran as seen through the author's distinctive absurdist point of view. Meanwhile, Rieux, Tarrou, and Grand doggedly battle the death and suffering wrought by the plague. Soon thereafter, M. Michel, the concierge for the building where Dr. Rieux works, dies after falling ill with a strange fever. From the title, you know this book is about a plague. It is the 1940s in Oran, a French-occupied Algerian colony. 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. Considering Camus's ideas about the impossibility of reaching an objective truth, it is not possible to agree with Dr. … The flagellants believed that selfpunishment for their sins might help save them from death as a result of the Plague. 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. Before too long, thousands of the creatures are making their way to the streets to die. Truth has a victory. Adding to the horror is a death toll affecting so many people that cremation is necessary to keep up. When the epidemic ends, Cottard cannot cope. Through the voice of his compassionate protagonist, Dr. Rieux, Camus speaks of the graphic horror of the plague and its effect on the population. The long-awaited reunion between Rambert and his wife takes place not back home in Paris, but in Oran. 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. But now it’s hitting the center of the Oran, where all the businesses are. 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. He greets the plague epidemic with open arms because he no longer feels alone in his fearful suffering. 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. The unidentified narrator of these events finally reveals himself as the tale draws to a close. 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. Directed by Luis Puenzo. 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 … Because he defines The Plague as a chronicle, one would expect a journalistic report of the facts. The Plague by Albert Camus 1001 Words | 5 Pages. Unique among those trapped inside Oran, Cottard is actually glad to see the effects of the plague on the town. With William Hurt, Sandrine Bonnaire, Jean-Marc Barr, Robert Duvall. They indulge in selfish personal distress, convinced that their pain is unique in comparison to common suffering. life. “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. As the rat carcass problem is contained, Dr. Rieux treats the concierge where he lives, who is complaining of an unusual fever. 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. The authorities finally arrange for the daily collection and cremation of the rats. 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. 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). 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 … Dr. Rieux records him as a "doubtful case.". 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 begins randomly firing his gun into the street until he is captured by the police. The Plague Summary. Like, Mary Poppins windy, which is bad news when you live on an unprotected plateau. Not affiliated with Harvard College. 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 Plague literature essays are academic essays for citation. Osborne-Bartucca, Kristen. The Plague concerns an outbreak of bubonic plague in the French-Algerian port city of Oran, sometime in the 1940s. 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. The Plague study guide contains a biography of Albert Camus, literature essays, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis. 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 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 sacrifice being made by Rieux inspires Rambert to give up on his plan to escape and stay to fight the epidemic. 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. It is the 1940s in Oran, a French-occupied Algerian colony. 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. An icon used to represent a menu that can be toggled by interacting with this icon. 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 notices the sudden appearance of dying rats around town, and … He declares that the inexplicable deaths of innocents force the Christian to choose between believing everything and believing nothing about God. In this clear and detailed reading guide, we've done all the hard work for you! Rieux recognizes the importance of the plague’s name, but even … A paranoid criminal named Cottard attempts to aid Rambert in his escape. Another visitor who is trapped by bad timing is Jean Tarrou. The Plague Summary. Not only that, he is making a killing in the booming business of smuggling, another consequence of the epidemic. Raymond Rambert endeavors to escape Oran to rejoin his wife in Paris, but the city's bureaucrats refuse to let him leave. Part II re-begins the chronicle in a different tone and with a … 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. 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. 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 … After the term of exile lasts several months, many of Oran's citizens lose their selfish obsession with personal suffering. GradeSaver, 9 June 2020 Web. Overview Unlock the more straightforward side of The Plague with this concise and insightful summary and analysis! The people believed the Blacl Death signaled the Biblical apocolypse. The Plague, novel by Algerian-born French writer Albert Camus, published in 1947 as La Peste. These papers were written primarily by students and provide critical analysis of The Plague. Camus' The Plague is an uncannily prescient description of the world of COVID-19, giving us reasons for reflection, and finally for hope. Our study guide has summaries, insightful analyses, and everything else you need to understand The Plague. Battle Against Crisis at the Conclusion of The Plague, The Absurd and the Concept of Hope in Camus's Novels. Not long afterward, Paneloux himself dies, committed so thoroughly to his view of the faith that he refuses medical treatment. This is, in a sense, what Camus is doing in the opening scenes of The Plague. Word Count: 785. Against the background of events, he creates various attitudes of human beings toward the plague, … When he falls ill, he refuses to consult a doctor, leaving his fate entirely in the hands of divine Providence. The Question and Answer section for The Plague is a great The Plague is his chronicle of the scene of human suffering that all too many people are willing to forget. He has been carefully making notes of everything he’s observed relating to the plague. Grand, having recovered from a bout of plague, vows to make a fresh start in life. 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. 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. They confront their social responsibility and join the anti-plague efforts. At the end of The Plague, the narrator reveals himself as Dr. Rieux. At that point, Tarrou is diagnosed, but fails to recover and dies. 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. Rambert finalizes his escape plan, but, after Tarrou tells him that Rieux is likewise separated from his wife, Rambert is ashamed to flee. These observations stimulate him to organize sanitation duties with the help of volunteers. The mess starts when rats everywhere die. 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. When conditions in Europe suddenly changed at the beginning of the 14th century, what did many people believe had come? He dies clutching his crucifix, but the symptoms of his illness do not match those of the plague. The public reacts to their sudden imprisonment with intense longing for absent loved ones. In April, thousands of rats stagger into the open and die. 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. The novel tells the story of a devastating plague afflicting the city of … 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. Suddenly, everyone is just as lonely and afraid as him. The Plague is a novel about a plague epidemic in the large Algerian city of Oran. Oran essentially becomes cut off and isolated from the rest of the world. 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. 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