Though their thinking follows the ideals of existentialism, their conclusions are different. We have read of its ugly symptoms — the heaps of rats' bodies and the blood — and pus-swollen sores. It is … [more] about One Hundred Years of Solitude, Romeo and Juliette is an epic love story whose plot is set in a small Italian city Verona. Find summaries for every chapter, including a The Plague Chapter Summary Chart to help you understand the book. Modern antibiotics are effective in treating it. Many people join Rieux, including Rambert and Tarrou. The dead rats were such a common thing that everyone talked about it, from the people to the local newspaper and radio stations. Dr. Rieux, ill himself, started to have difficulties in dealing with many assignments and problems so he often forgot about himself. A … [more] about Romeo and Juliet, "A Christmas Carol" written by Charles Dickens was published as a novella on December 19th of … [more] about A Christmas Carol. “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. What is the logical and ethical response to a universe in which suffering prevails and effort seems futile? When the plague was extinguished Cottard challenged his own faith. Everything became different, the values changed and the things no one noticed before became significant. The funerals weren’t like they used to be and some families were placed into a quarantine. How is the problem of evil a guiding theme in Camus's The Plague? Still no one had the courage to face the illness so the plot continued slowly. Take-Aways The Plague, published in 1947, was Albert Camus’ international breakthrough. It is the 1940s in Oran, a French-occupied Algerian colony. The city was placed into isolation and the life conditions changed abruptly. Since he was expecting to hear from his wife, he somehow neglected the patient, hoping his state will get better on its own. He even joined the forces that helped to the ill and they were formed by Tarrou. At the outset, even before the sudden proliferation of dead rats and sick humans that persuades reluctant officials to declare an epidemic, Oran is described as a drab, ugly city whose inhabitants are preoccupied with commerce. Time: in the beginning on the novel it is stated that it’s chronological and it’s also mentioned that “everything happened in 194…”, Characters: Dr. Bernard Rieux, Raymond Rambert, Joseph Grand, Rieuxova wife and mother, landlord, Cottard, Jean Tarrou…. 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. Soon after, a news came about the death or Rieux’ wife. Publisher's Summary 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. He realized the fragility of people’s lives that despite everything keeps on lasting and renewing itself. 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. But if he isn't capable of great emotion, well, he leaves … He kept on questioning his ethic and principles. Cottard, that tried to kill himself, sees happiness in the plague because it stopped his arrestment. Set in Amsterdam, The Fall consists of a series of dramatic monologues by the self-proclaimed "judge-penitent" Jean-Baptiste Clamence, as he reflects upon his life to a stranger. Albert Camus and Samuel Beckett address these questions in The Plague and Waiting for Godot. In April, thousands of rats stagger into the open and die. The two of them also commented on the rats like all of the other citizens that would encounter each other on the streets. Albert Camus's The Plague Chapter Summary. Our summaries and analyses are written by experts, and your questions are answered by real teachers. ©2021 eNotes.com, Inc. All Rights Reserved. The story is told in meticulously neutral prose, from a perspective that seems detached from the experiences it recounts. He believed that faith in God would push him away from his fight for people. The first part of the novel gives us an insight into the city’s life. 559. One of the novel’s most striking features is its handling of narrative point of view. Word Count: 785. Again Camus undercuts any feeling of heroism or victory in the retreat of the plague. That day Dr. Bernard Rieux found a dead rat outside his doors. The journalist thought that, since it wasn’t his town, no one knew how he felt and that he had every right to leave. Albert Camus’s novel The Plague (1947) is often cited as a classic of existentialism, though Camus himself refuted that classification. In the first of two sermons strategically positioned in part 2 and part 4 of the five-part chronicle, Paneloux posits an anthropomorphic God who has sent the plague as retribution for human sin. Camus did not believe in God, nor did he agree with the vast majority of the historical beliefs of the Christian religion. The end of the novel brings us the thoughts of Dr. Rieux. Some wanted to experience as many nice moments as possible because they felt death coming while some constantly tried to escape and fought the guard. The author gives us his opinion about the preposterousness of human’s existence if he doesn’t take care of others. The author states some details of a pretty monotonous and ordinary lifestyle of a city placed in a province. He doesn’t run away from the plague like some characters because his duty was to take care of the ill. With creating this extremely humane character the author wanted to let us know that he is one of those that are dedicated to his calling to the point where they’re ready to neglect themselves in order to help the society. 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. There was even an underground that smuggled people. The past cannot be restored all at once; destruction is easier than reconstruction. The misfortune brought people living on the edge of life closer together. Copyright © 2016–2021 by Mastermind. It asks a number of questions relating to the nature of destiny, and the human condition. This illness is … In the unbearable situations people confided more and more to each other. Less... (The entire section contains 1982 words.). His novel The Plague has recently garnered much worldwide attention do to the pandemic of 2020. In the meantime, the doctors’ mom came to take care of the household while his wife was absent due to her illness. Bernard Rieux – the main character of the novel through which the author stated his opinions. One day the doctor realized that his landlord was acting strange and when the symptoms like heavy breathing and swellings on his neck appeared the doctor got worried. Last Updated on May 5, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Already a member? Summary The novel is set in the 1940s in the Algerian city of Oran. After witnessing the agonizing death of an innocent child, however, Paneloux revises his theodicy to reconcile unmerited torment with belief in a logical and benevolent Providence. Tarrou, a magistrate’s son who left home in revulsion over state executions, remains forever opposed to a scheme of things in which cruelty triumphs. His notebooks are used as part of the chronicle. On the 16th of April nothing interesting or remotely exciting happened but that morning became extraordinary for one citizen. He called the landlord that claimed there were no rats in the house. The novel involves questions about life, humans’ inner struggle that starts when situations like diseases come along. When a mild hysteria grips the population, the newspapers begin clamoring for action. In those moments everyone acts differently; some seek religious explanations, some scientific, some runaway and some make peace with the situation. The Plague, by Albert Camus was first published in 1947. In The Plague, by Albert Camus, is the story hopeful or despairing about the human condition? An old man periodically comes out onto a balcony opposite Tarrou's hotel room to spit on the cats sunning themselves below. It is the disease itself randomly disappearing, not the heroic humans defeating it through their medicine or struggle. He asked Dr. Reuix for a confirmation about his health so that the guards would let him leave town but doctor wouldn’t give it to him. In the beginning we find out that the novel is a chronological diary. 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. 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. They waited for test results for days and only an older doctor Castel talked about the truth. How does the theme of solitude manifest? Even though she was well protected from the plague she couldn’t survive her own illness.eval(ez_write_tag([[300,250],'booksummary_net-large-leaderboard-2','ezslot_18',120,'0','0'])); In the last storm of illness Tarrou died which upset Rieux a lot. In 1948, Stephen Spender wrote for the Book Review about Albert Camus’s “The Plague,” a novel about an epidemic spreading across the French Algerian city of Oran. Support your case with evidence from the book. Rats are emerging into the streets, where they move awkwardly in a sort of dance, then bleed … Raymond Rambert suddenly realized that he was in love with a woman that lived outside town and wanted to go to her. Camus begins his novel with an epigraph from Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe (1719) that invites readers to read the book as a veiled representation of something other than merely an epidemic in Oran. As a doctor he believed in science but in one moment he questioned his faith in God. 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 lost many people in his life but he won the battle that concerned all of the people of his community. When he saw the doctor being apart from his wife he felt ashamed and decided to stay. Jean Tarrou The best friend of Rieux. People acted differently about the plague. Under such circumstances, the flamboyant individualism that enlivens traditional fiction is inappropriate, and the novel, conceding that readers crave heroes, nominates the lackluster Grand, whose grandness resides in selfless, bootless dedication to writing a perfect sentence and ending the plague:Yes, if it is a fact that people like to have examples given them, men of the type they call heroic, and if it is absolutely necessary that this narrative should include a “hero,” the narrator commends to his readers, with, to his thinking, perfect justice, this insignificant and obscure hero who had to his credit only a little goodness of heart and a seemingly absurd ideal. Death does not finally seem as important as knowledge does. Albert Camus highlights the theme of time in his 1947 novel, The Plague. People couldn’t believe it was getting weaker because they learned how to live with it and they even stopped rejoicing about good news. Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this The Plague study guide. It asks a number of questions relating to the nature of destiny and the human condition. The novel presents a snapshot of life in Oran as seen through the author's distinctive absurdist point of view. He records conversations regarding the appearance of the mysterious illness in the wake of the dying rats. The authorities finally arrange for the daily collection and cremation of the rats. You'll get access to all of the The Plague by Albert Camus 1001 Words | 5 Pages. After he lost his wife and a good friend he still managed to remain calm. In The Plague, how does religion affect the mind and decisions of the town? After that Jean Tarrou is introduced into the plot. The proof of this is that although the specific enemy is nowhere named, everyone in every European country recognized it.”. In the beginning everything was ordinary but with time people had to adjust to the disease. Rambert’s initial reaction to the quarantine is concern for his personal happiness, for how he can escape from the city and return to Paris to the woman he loves. Notes by Jean Tarrou, one of the characters, are inserted into the novel. The name of the person will be revealed in the end because the author wanted to stay objective until the very end. After the doctor took care of him he decided to check up on his landlord. 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. Summary Though the plague seems to be abating, the people have not entirely given themselves over to jubilation. In The Plague, did Rieux's wife pass away from the plague while she was in the sanatorium or other causes. Mister Othon’s son also died and he decided to change then and join the community. Rambert asked for their help to leave town as soon as possible but it didn’t work out for him so he stayed there. All rights reserved. People like Dr. Reuix are the example of meaningfulness of humanity.eval(ez_write_tag([[250,250],'booksummary_net-leader-1','ezslot_16',122,'0','0'])); "The Beauty and the Beast" is a heartfelt story about the birth of love and the capability of … [more] about Beauty and the Beast, Cinderella is the story of jealousy, virtues and sufferings of Cinderella and hostility of her … [more] about Cinderella, "One Hundred Years of Solitude" is a novel published by Gabriel Garcia Marquez in 1969. In the beginning we find out that the novel is a chronological diary. The novel “The Plague” by Albert Camus is composed of 5 parts. In a 1955 letter to critic Roland Barthes, the author specified the terms of the allegory; “The Plague, which I wanted to be read on a number of levels, nevertheless has as its obvious content the struggle of the European resistance movements against Nazism. A strange thing has begun happening in Oran. Healthy people avoided the ill and they got into more and more confrontations with the guards. Soon the cases of dead rats piled up and the streets became flooded with them. The Fall (French: La Chute) is a philosophical novel by Albert Camus.First published in 1956, it is his last complete work of fiction. —Kim Willsher, The Guardian (“Albert Camus novel The Plague leads surge of pestilence fiction”) “[In The Plague], Camus’s canonical treatment of a fictional bubonic plague outbreak in the Algerian city of Oran, the Nobel laureate trained a piercing eye on life under quarantine, with … The retreat of the plague is just as mysterious as its arrival – the doctors’ treatments have not changed, but they suddenly grow effective. “I know that man is capable of great deeds. Summary Of Albert Camus's The Plague 846 Words | 4 Pages. I found myself hesitant, therefore, to pick up Albert Camus’ The Plague , worried it … The first-person narrator is unnamed but mostly follows Dr. Bernard Rieux. The book is, moreover, a meditation on human solidarity and individual responsibility. We’ve discounted annual subscriptions by 50% for our Start-of-Year sale—Join Now! His selfless, if hopeless, dedication to the struggle against the plague—both the actual disease and the metaphorical plague he contends is the human condition—offers a sharp contrast to the egoism of Cottard, who exploits the misfortunes of Oran for personal advantage. Who is the narrator of The Plague? The doctor felt great responsibility for the people of the community and he often neglected himself. He spent his days having a good time with Spanish dancers. Organized into five sections, The Plague recounts the collective ordeal of Oran, Algeria, in the throes of an outbreak of bubonic plague. happiness is freedom... And the secret to freedom is courage” (Thucydides). When the plague of dead rats entices the cats away, the little old man seems greatly disappointed. The crime of mister Cottard was revealed, and he tried to hang himself. A young journalist from another city, Raymond Rambert, looked for the doctor because of a survey he was doing and the theme was the life conditions of the Arabs. He came to a confrontation with the police and got himself killed. The Plague concerns an outbreak of bubonic plague in the French-Algerian port city of Oran, sometime in the 1940s. He listened to the joy and happiness on the streets of his city but thought that no one could ever know when the plague will be back to change and take numerous lives. The mess starts when rats everywhere die. 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, or La Peste in its original French, is a novel written by philosopher/writer Albert Camus in 1947. Rieux notices the sudden appearance of dying rats around town, and soon thousands of … The Plague is a novel written by Albert Camus, an ultimately bleak story about a terrible illness that swept through an unprepared town. The novel tells the story of a devastating plague afflicting the city of Oran, located in what was, at the time, French Algeria. He learns, however, that his lot is also Oran’s, and he stays in the city to make common cause with the victims of the plague. This particular plague happens in a Algerian port town called Oran in the 1940s. 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. Grand also died after realizing too late that his life calling was writing because he hopelessly searched for the perfect sentences for his work. Oran is a simple city inhabited by ordinary citizens. Organized into five … The Plague is a novel about a plague epidemic in the large Algerian city of Oran. life. The Plague Summary. 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. First the rats are dying in the streets of the Algerian coastal city Oran, then the plague breaks out. Tarrou wrote down his impressions about the town and its people.eval(ez_write_tag([[300,250],'booksummary_net-box-4','ezslot_9',118,'0','0'])); With time everyone got more concerned about the rat situation and more people were getting ill. Rats and cats started appearing and it was the sign of the plague going away. He was getting worst by the minute and in the end he died. Trapped within Oran after a quarantine is imposed are the novel’s principal characters: Bernard Rieux, a physician separated from the ailing wife he sent to a sanatorium before the outbreak of the plague; Raymond Rambert, a Parisian journalist on assignment in Oran; Jean Tarrou, a stranger who takes an active part in opposing the epidemic; Joseph Grand, a municipal clerk obsessed with composing a perfect sentence; Paneloux, a Jesuit priest who delivers two crucial sermons during the course of the plague; and Cottard, a black-market opportunist. As I write, the world collectively continues to bear the weight of the coronavirus pandemic; it wears on without clear end in sight. The author told us the events happening during the plague in the city Oran on the Algerian coast that counts only 200.000 citizens. From the title, you know this book is about a plague. Summary and Meaning of Camus’ “The Plague” April 9, 2020 Existentialism Albert Camus (1913 – 1960) was a French author and philosopher who won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1957. Before too long, thousands of the creatures are making their way to the streets to die. The story follows up on a few characters that fought for life in a city were the death ratings have gone up. Soon after he was visited by Joseph Grand that wanted to tell him how he prevented an attempt of murder. His trust in people was huge and in the end it brought him friends and helpers. Log in here. The Plague Summary. He said that a plague came to the town. eNotes.com will help you with any book or any question. January, nine months after plague’s arrival, brought news. Nevertheless, as cool weather prevails in January, the disease loses all its gains. 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 … Everyone was questioning themselves, their lives and deaths that happened more often. Why? 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. We do not feel horror when the plague is proclaimed; the horror of the disease has already saturated us. The Plague content, as well as access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts. Dr. Rieux’ wife was ill so the doctor took her to a hospital and then went back to his routine of visiting his patients. Nobody believed him because the plague was long gone from the civilized world. The doctor told Rambert a story about his father that left home and wanted to save every human life. 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