A literary analysis of the plague by albert camus

Why did albert camus write the plague

There is more, though, to Tarrou than a seemingly morbid curiosity. Here also we know in advance the horrible fate in store for the characters, and we watch as the scenes unfold the familiar fate and the agony of, say, Oedipus or Creon. Recognition of bottomless death makes a habit-bound life even more absurd. Leaving Grand, Rieux tends more patients. The character focus of the book is not wholly on Dr. Like the sudden relief from the rats before the plague sets in, the patients all seem to take a turn for the better just before their death struggles. Camus was not, however, to faithfully render Oran much further than geographically locating it for the reader. This is a wholly new experience and he savors it. Each takes his turn to tell it, although it is the doctor, Rieux — the hidden narrator — who battles the pestilence with his work, medicine, just as Camus tried to battle first injustice, later fascism, with his labour in words.

Grand, in contrast, does not. The other doctors refuse to draw conclusions or make an attempt to consider the cases.

Existentialism in the plague by albert camus

Camus, however, had good reason for beginning his work with just such a contrast. With his wife away, he is left in a perspective larger than any plagued romantic tragedy. He seems disconnected, interested primarily in himself. He insists on being left in peace, yet now he effects a change. Uncover new sources by reviewing other students' references and bibliographies Inspire new perspectives and arguments or counterarguments to address in your own essay Read our Academic Honor Code for more information on how to use and how not to use our library. It will be artificial and devoid of that vital flush of life that separates an artist from a craftsman. Rieux is also convinced that the victims of the unidentified fever should be put in isolation, yet he is stopped because of his colleagues' insistence that there is no definite proof that the disease is dangerously infectious. Very briefly, we also meet in this chapter the senile, chuckling old Spaniard. Consider, too, the scene in which Cottard's suicide motive was discussed. But this is what makes Rieux the Absurd hero, and here we see the correlation between Rieux and Sisyphus. The frustration is Kafkaesque. Language is living. Camus delineates some of the manifestations of a guilty conscience, but does not yet answer all the why's of Cottard's behavior. In the relaxingly furnished quarters of a municipal official, amid a background of professional-sounding doctors and their medical jargon, one is far from the bloody pus pockets of the city. His dictionaries, his blackboard, the crammed full portfolio, his study of Latin to perfect his French — all this — his search for the basic, the Ur-origins — is admirable, but he seems, thus far, neglecting the people who speak the language he delves into.

Cleanliness is to be observed. And, if up to now he has been one step ahead of the townspeople in conscientiously trying to isolate and arrest this mysterious virus, he has never completely stopped and considered the panorama of torment which will be in store for the prey of the plague.

This idea of not wasting time and of infusing the utmost consciousness into the present moment is an important existential tenet.

In contrast to his quandary in this chapter, the natural beauty of the outside beams healthily.

the plague albert camus

But what comes out of his mouth? I am defending them the best I can. But what interests him most about Oran? Only once in his notebooks does Tarrou add a comment after his scraps of reportage.

The plague albert camus quotes

Another colleague of Rieux's loudly supports the Prefect's stand on the issue, explaining away the fever in vague, medical-book sounding generalities. As a natural and symbolic backdrop the sea, with its unbound waves, is an ever-present, ominous comment on the action. Michel, the concierge. Grand, in contrast, does not. Camus was not, however, to faithfully render Oran much further than geographically locating it for the reader. It is at this point that one should revolt against his stultifying pattern of living. But because he shows little concern for the rats, but is sufficiently fascinated by Oran to record its idiosyncrasies, he is excellent for Rieux's purpose — a substantiation in presenting as accurate a picture as possible about the first days of the plague. Most of us read The Plague as teenagers, and we should all read it again. But there was no moral place for humankind in nature. And a snail's shell of indifference and ignorance is hiding the townspeople and even Rieux's colleagues from the truth.

He insists on being left in peace, yet now he effects a change. Perhaps because he is so near death himself, he enjoys with relish the instinctive feeling that he will not die alone but with numerous companions.

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Critical analysis