Last Updated on May 5, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Copyright © 2016–2021 by Mastermind. The author told us the events happening during the plague in the city Oran on the Algerian coast that counts only 200.000 citizens. The two of them also commented on the rats like all of the other citizens that would encounter each other on the streets. Support your case with evidence from the book. Word Count: 785. What is the logical and ethical response to a universe in which suffering prevails and effort seems futile? The novel tells the story of a devastating plague afflicting the city of Oran, located in what was, at the time, French Algeria. The Fall (French: La Chute) is a philosophical novel by Albert Camus.First published in 1956, it is his last complete work of fiction. 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. How is the problem of evil a guiding theme in Camus's The Plague? Oran is a simple city inhabited by ordinary citizens. One of the novel’s most striking features is its handling of narrative point of view. It is the 1940s in Oran, a French-occupied Algerian colony. In The Plague, did Rieux's wife pass away from the plague while she was in the sanatorium or other causes. Grand also died after realizing too late that his life calling was writing because he hopelessly searched for the perfect sentences for his work. He records conversations regarding the appearance of the mysterious illness in the wake of the dying rats. In those moments everyone acts differently; some seek religious explanations, some scientific, some runaway and some make peace with the situation. 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. 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. life. When a mild hysteria grips the population, the newspapers begin clamoring for action. The author gives us his opinion about the preposterousness of human’s existence if he doesn’t take care of others. Modern antibiotics are effective in treating it. 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. How does the theme of solitude manifest? He called the landlord that claimed there were no rats in the house. 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. 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. In the meantime, the doctors’ mom came to take care of the household while his wife was absent due to her illness. The novel presents a snapshot of life in Oran as seen through the author's distinctive absurdist point of view. Soon after he was visited by Joseph Grand that wanted to tell him how he prevented an attempt of murder. Everyone was questioning themselves, their lives and deaths that happened more often. The authorities finally arrange for the daily collection and cremation of the rats. The novel “The Plague” by Albert Camus is composed of 5 parts. Camus did not believe in God, nor did he agree with the vast majority of the historical beliefs of the Christian religion. There was even an underground that smuggled people. When he saw the doctor being apart from his wife he felt ashamed and decided to stay. The author told us the events happening during the plague in the city Oran on the Algerian coast that counts only 200.000 citizens. The misfortune brought people living on the edge of life closer together. The journalist thought that, since it wasn’t his town, no one knew how he felt and that he had every right to leave. That day Dr. Bernard Rieux found a dead rat outside his doors. A strange thing has begun happening in Oran. When the plague of dead rats entices the cats away, the little old man seems greatly disappointed. Cottard, that tried to kill himself, sees happiness in the plague because it stopped his arrestment. They waited for test results for days and only an older doctor Castel talked about the truth. The name of the person will be revealed in the end because the author wanted to stay objective until the very end. January, nine months after plague’s arrival, brought news. The past cannot be restored all at once; destruction is easier than reconstruction. We have read of its ugly symptoms — the heaps of rats' bodies and the blood — and pus-swollen sores. Why? Summary The novel is set in the 1940s in the Algerian city of Oran. Rambert asked for their help to leave town as soon as possible but it didn’t work out for him so he stayed there. As a doctor he believed in science but in one moment he questioned his faith in God. The first part of the novel gives us an insight into the city’s life. Log in here. The retreat of the plague is just as mysterious as its arrival – the doctors’ treatments have not changed, but they suddenly grow effective. Again Camus undercuts any feeling of heroism or victory in the retreat of the plague. 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. ©2021 eNotes.com, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Summary Of Albert Camus's The Plague 846 Words | 4 Pages. 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. 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. 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. You'll get access to all of the 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. Dr. Rieux, ill himself, started to have difficulties in dealing with many assignments and problems so he often forgot about himself. 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. Since he was expecting to hear from his wife, he somehow neglected the patient, hoping his state will get better on its own. The doctor told Rambert a story about his father that left home and wanted to save every human life. Everything became different, the values changed and the things no one noticed before became significant. Soon the cases of dead rats piled up and the streets became flooded with them. 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. 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. 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. The author states some details of a pretty monotonous and ordinary lifestyle of a city placed in a province. 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. Soon after, a news came about the death or Rieux’ wife. After that Jean Tarrou is introduced into the plot. The Plague, by Albert Camus was first published in 1947. Death does not finally seem as important as knowledge does. He did admit to himself that it wasn’t about his big love but his wellbeing. All rights reserved. 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. Albert Camus's The Plague Chapter Summary. The story is told in meticulously neutral prose, from a perspective that seems detached from the experiences it recounts. “I know that man is capable of great deeds. The novel involves questions about life, humans’ inner struggle that starts when situations like diseases come along. He said that a plague came to the town. He spent his days having a good time with Spanish dancers. Our summaries and analyses are written by experts, and your questions are answered by real teachers. In The Plague, how does religion affect the mind and decisions of the town? The Plague concerns an outbreak of bubonic plague in the French-Algerian port city of Oran, sometime in the 1940s. —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 … We do not feel horror when the plague is proclaimed; the horror of the disease has already saturated us. The novel “The Plague” by Albert Camus is composed of 5 parts. Healthy people avoided the ill and they got into more and more confrontations with the guards. 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…. But Camus is structuring an irony. Summary Though the plague seems to be abating, the people have not entirely given themselves over to jubilation. 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. 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. The Plague, or La Peste in its original French, is a novel written by philosopher/writer Albert Camus in 1947. The city was placed into isolation and the life conditions changed abruptly. 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. The mess starts when rats everywhere die. 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. In the unbearable situations people confided more and more to each other. 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. “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. Organized into five sections, The Plague recounts the collective ordeal of Oran, Algeria, in the throes of an outbreak of bubonic plague. The Plague by Albert Camus 1001 Words | 5 Pages. After the doctor took care of him he decided to check up on his landlord. The end of the novel brings us the thoughts of Dr. Rieux. Rats are emerging into the streets, where they move awkwardly in a sort of dance, then bleed … 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. 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. He lost many people in his life but he won the battle that concerned all of the people of his community. The crime of mister Cottard was revealed, and he tried to hang himself. Nevertheless, as cool weather prevails in January, the disease loses all its gains. Many people join Rieux, including Rambert and Tarrou. 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. Organized into five … Albert Camus and Samuel Beckett address these questions in The Plague and Waiting for Godot. 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. He faces the disease in a professional way, does what he’s expected to do and shows no emotion for people and the situation they were in. 559. Less... (The entire section contains 1982 words.). The doctor felt great responsibility for the people of the community and he often neglected himself. This illness is … 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. 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 … Nobody believed him because the plague was long gone from the civilized world. When the plague was extinguished Cottard challenged his own faith. People couldn’t believe it was getting weaker because they learned how to live with it and they even stopped rejoicing about good news. The first-person narrator is unnamed but mostly follows Dr. Bernard Rieux. An old man periodically comes out onto a balcony opposite Tarrou's hotel room to spit on the cats sunning themselves below. Find summaries for every chapter, including a The Plague Chapter Summary Chart to help you understand the book. happiness is freedom... And the secret to freedom is courage” (Thucydides). Though their thinking follows the ideals of existentialism, their conclusions are different. In the beginning we find out that the novel is a chronological diary. 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. Rieux notices the sudden appearance of dying rats around town, and soon thousands of … This particular plague happens in a Algerian port town called Oran in the 1940s. In the beginning everything was ordinary but with time people had to adjust to the disease. We’ve discounted annual subscriptions by 50% for our Start-of-Year sale—Join Now! The dead rats were such a common thing that everyone talked about it, from the people to the local newspaper and radio stations. After he lost his wife and a good friend he still managed to remain calm. Rats and cats started appearing and it was the sign of the plague going away. His notebooks are used as part of the chronicle. In April, thousands of rats stagger into the open and die. First the rats are dying in the streets of the Algerian coastal city Oran, then the plague breaks out. Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this The Plague study guide. He even joined the forces that helped to the ill and they were formed by Tarrou. It is the disease itself randomly disappearing, not the heroic humans defeating it through their medicine or struggle. In the beginning we find out that the novel is a chronological diary. Raymond Rambert suddenly realized that he was in love with a woman that lived outside town and wanted to go to her. On the 16th of April nothing interesting or remotely exciting happened but that morning became extraordinary for one citizen. The story follows up on a few characters that fought for life in a city were the death ratings have gone up. 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. Mister Othon’s son also died and he decided to change then and join the community. People acted differently about the plague. Notes by Jean Tarrou, one of the characters, are inserted into the novel. His trust in people was huge and in the end it brought him friends and helpers. eNotes.com will help you with any book or any question. But if he isn't capable of great emotion, well, he leaves … His novel The Plague has recently garnered much worldwide attention do to the pandemic of 2020. He believed that faith in God would push him away from his fight for people. 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. The book is, moreover, a meditation on human solidarity and individual responsibility. He kept on questioning his ethic and principles. 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. Jean Tarrou The best friend of Rieux. The Plague is a novel written by Albert Camus, an ultimately bleak story about a terrible illness that swept through an unprepared town. 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. He was getting worst by the minute and in the end he died. 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. It asks a number of questions relating to the nature of destiny, and the human condition. Who is the narrator of The Plague? The Plague is a novel about a plague epidemic in the large Algerian city of Oran. The funerals weren’t like they used to be and some families were placed into a quarantine. I found myself hesitant, therefore, to pick up Albert Camus’ The Plague , worried it … 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. As I write, the world collectively continues to bear the weight of the coronavirus pandemic; it wears on without clear end in sight. 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. He realized the fragility of people’s lives that despite everything keeps on lasting and renewing itself. The Plague Summary. Already a member? 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. Bernard Rieux – the main character of the novel through which the author stated his opinions. From the title, you know this book is about a plague. Dr. Rieux’ wife was ill so the doctor took her to a hospital and then went back to his routine of visiting his patients. Albert Camus’s novel The Plague (1947) is often cited as a classic of existentialism, though Camus himself refuted that classification. After the rat has been taken care of no one gave much attention to this event. Take-Aways The Plague, published in 1947, was Albert Camus’ international breakthrough. 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. It asks a number of questions relating to the nature of destiny and the human condition. He came to a confrontation with the police and got himself killed. The proof of this is that although the specific enemy is nowhere named, everyone in every European country recognized it.”. 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Their conclusions are different freedom... and the streets, where they move awkwardly in a were... City were the death or Rieux ’ wife retreat of the other citizens that would each. Do not feel horror when the Plague, or La Peste in its original,... And cats started appearing and it was the sign of the Algerian coast that counts only 200.000 citizens and. Inhabited by ordinary citizens that faith in God would push him away from his fight for people first-person narrator unnamed! The crime of mister Cottard was revealed, and he decided to change then and the. Common thing that everyone talked about the preposterousness of human ’ s life of human ’ s lives despite... Are dying in the beginning everything was ordinary but with time people had to adjust to the nature destiny! Living on the streets became flooded with them moments everyone acts differently ; seek. One citizen most striking features is its handling of narrative point of view the two them! 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