The Plague is a novel about a plague epidemic in the large Algerian city of Oran. The novel tells the story of a devastating plague afflicting the city of Oran, located in what was, at the time, French Algeria. 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. The story is told in meticulously neutral prose, from a perspective that seems detached from the experiences it recounts. When he saw the doctor being apart from his wife he felt ashamed and decided to stay. 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. He believed that faith in God would push him away from his fight for people. In the meantime, the doctors’ mom came to take care of the household while his wife was absent due to her illness. Mister Othon’s son also died and he decided to change then and join the community. —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 … He did admit to himself that it wasn’t about his big love but his wellbeing. How does the theme of solitude manifest? Summary The novel is set in the 1940s in the Algerian city of Oran. January, nine months after plague’s arrival, brought news. It asks a number of questions relating to the nature of destiny, and the human condition. The Plague, or La Peste in its original French, is a novel written by philosopher/writer Albert Camus in 1947. 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. Less... (The entire section contains 1982 words.). 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. There was even an underground that smuggled people. When a mild hysteria grips the population, the newspapers begin clamoring for action. 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. The author told us the events happening during the plague in the city Oran on the Algerian coast that counts only 200.000 citizens. His notebooks are used as part of the chronicle. From the title, you know this book is about a plague. 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. 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 content, as well as access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts. His trust in people was huge and in the end it brought him friends and helpers. The mess starts when rats everywhere die. 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. The doctor told Rambert a story about his father that left home and wanted to save every human life. In The Plague, how does religion affect the mind and decisions of the town? Last Updated on May 5, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Soon after he was visited by Joseph Grand that wanted to tell him how he prevented an attempt of murder. In the beginning everything was ordinary but with time people had to adjust to the disease. In those moments everyone acts differently; some seek religious explanations, some scientific, some runaway and some make peace with the situation. 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. Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this The Plague study guide. Our summaries and analyses are written by experts, and your questions are answered by real teachers. People acted differently about the plague. 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. Dr. Rieux, ill himself, started to have difficulties in dealing with many assignments and problems so he often forgot about himself. The novel presents a snapshot of life in Oran as seen through the author's distinctive absurdist point of view. The past cannot be restored all at once; destruction is easier than reconstruction. The first-person narrator is unnamed but mostly follows Dr. Bernard Rieux. He said that a plague came to the town. The first part of the novel gives us an insight into the city’s life. 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. He called the landlord that claimed there were no rats in the house. ©2021 eNotes.com, Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Plague Summary. Log in here. 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