With everything else so topsy-turvy, he is not completely anonymous in this strange city of the dying. We read of the acknowledgment of the plague with a sense of relief. Consider the whole of Part I. bookmarked pages associated with this title. The past cannot be restored all at once; destruction is easier than reconstruction. Thus, they try changing; they ritually remember a mother's face throughout the day; they become model husbands for the wives beyond the walls. And, in the way that churches for the faithful are places of promise, so the railway station becomes almost a holy shrine, a station of deliverance, to Rambert. Within the core of each of their conversations is a secret. To initially commit oneself is, simply, the most difficult trial. I will be giving a summary that does not spoil the ending. A critical analysis seems the proper place to call attention to some of the mechanics of esthetic pleasure in literature. He was born into a family, which his mother had passed. He identifies his mortal foe as creation and its natural processes. To blame one man would be unjust and erroneous. Summary and Analysis Part 3 Part III consists of only one chapter — a short, intense chronicle of the crisis weeks in Oran, the time when two natural powers — the plague's rising fever and the midsummer sun-incinerate the city's prisoners. Several times Rieux refers to the city as a "prison house" and as a "lazarhouse," and of their existence as one of exile. Grand's stature as a hero is equated with his capacity for commitment and the sustaining of that commitment. Neither does Rieux believe that callousness is the general rule. There may be a degree of self-deception in his narrative, but his attempt to ponder is admirable. But we should remember that the plague is unrespecting. bookmarked pages associated with this title. eNotes plot summaries cover all the significant action of The Plague. Grand's hardest choice, however, is whether or not to use a conjunction at all. The sermon will not rouse the populace to coping effectively with the physical menace which is slaughtering them. There is nothing of genius in Grand, but because he is a human being, we should see that he does possess something admirable. Death has vivid bloody traces; it is visual. The old Spaniard An asthmatic philosopher. For him, and for Camus, these ideas of love and responsibility are primary and basic, certainly not vague and benedictional. Rambert is a journalist; after the plague Cottard will be arrested and he will need all of the character references possible. Cottard A criminal who hides from arrest in Oran. He cried that the Oranians were enemies of God, were proud and indifferent — charges which are necessary ingredients for regular Sunday scourging; Paneloux had only to fire these charges vocally and imagistically until he saw heightened fear and awe in their faces. For the first time in months Cottard finds himself functioning, if not meaningfully, at least satisfactorily — and in the shadow of a plague. © 2020 Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. The plague is often considered an allegory for war and military occupation, and Camus drew from his own experience to describe the isolation and struggle of the novel. Joseph Grand A petty official, also a writer. One way occurred earlier — an enormous spurt of energy, panic, and hope of escape. They feel free from the town and the plague, and are “conscious of being perfectly at one, and the memory of this night would be cherished by them both” (257). Pathetically, movie house crowds do not diminish when it becomes necessary to begin showing re-runs. Grand's surviving the plague's ravishes is much like a rebirth. is one of the few touches of humor in the book. If there is distinction in creating a national image, Father Paneloux is responsible for a share. For some, then, there is money to be made from misfortune but, for most, commerce is indeed dead. He wants Rieux to give him a certificate of release. But for the doctor, a seduction of oneself with the myth of a life beyond death or a destruction of oneself through suicide or apathy can be only the acts of a coward. He has come back to life in the poisoned air of Oran, but what's more important — he seems to realize why he is now happy and why he must seem ludicrous and "nuts.". A decision, in an existential sense, is never irrevocable. Are you sure you want to remove #bookConfirmation# His discovery that Rieux is also without his wife is no doubt the factor that finally transforms his determination to leave immediately into a resolution to stay and help Rieux and Tarrou. The brief Cottard episode is disturbing. After all, man is alone in the universe; he knows of no other worlds nor of a divinity. It was likely terrifying, yet what takes shape within people during a harrowing Sunday sermon has partially dissolved even by Monday morning. Removing #book# It does not ignore Oran's epidemic. And because there is the sense of a philosopher behind them, the sketches remain convincing. The only man in town who seems content is Cottard. Only now, because of the plague, has he honestly faced "what matters." At first the journalist was rational and insistent that he be allowed to leave the city. Living, we realize, requires many formal-looking forms, numbers, and computations, but under the new regime of plague, death demands as thorough an accounting of its citizens. He does not neglect his writing; through his close association with Rieux, he gains even a sense of humor concerning the precision he works with. Rieux's anxiety about his wife intensifies his exhaustion. They have never expressed conventional emotions, and thus it is frustrating and useless to speak of the extreme emotions that the plague produces. There is only one word to describe such irony: absurd. Rieux stares out the window and sees the vague line of the sea. Madame Rieux Dr. Rieux' wife, who dies in a mountain sanitarium outside Oran. Could he justify himself? Doctors must physically battle members of a family in order to remove and isolate the plague's victims. The plague seems human in its individuality, in its not being unchangingly classic and therefore combatable. He does not say that "we" — if he is a brother to his brethren — have deserved the plague; he steps outside his judgment. Rambert's secret is that he has discovered that love and happiness are all he really cares for. Knowing Camus' affection for natural beauty, and having Oran's commercialism as a background for Grand and Jeanne, we might wonder if their sharing of happiness — for what seems to be the first and last time — in a shop window, artificially contrived to be beautiful in order to induce people to buy, isn't a comment on the meagerness of their chances for a full, rich life together. More than anyone else in Oran, Dr. Rieux has continued his declaration of war on death and on the plague. As the chapter ends, Rambert has given up almost all hope for escape. The telephone arteries break down early. 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. 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. There is another similarity among the three men. Nor does common sense seem to care when taverns boast that spirits are the most effective agents against infection. If he is happy because he is surrounded by people waiting for death sentences, perhaps it is because he has his own sentence waiting for him — a legal one. Grand trembles violently, gulps his drinks, mutters, and is on edge. He has tried desperately to escape for one reason: to return to the girl he loves; yet all the while he has been so enmeshed in the escape he has scarcely thought of her. Usual involves agonizing dying, shrieking relatives, and an ineffectual and insufficient serum. In his volume of essays, The Myth of Sisyphus, published five years before The Plague, he says that contrasts between the natural and the extraordinary, the individual and the universal, the tragic and the everyday are essential ingredients for the absurd work. To his church service came people who were directionless and questioning. Rambert has, admittedly, a larger problem. Before leaving the chapter, note the poetic images Rieux records. Chapter 11 is brief but highly dramatic and most important. Few Oranians, it would appear, do. Finally, there is another example of irony. He is a squat, powerfully built, former football player, and his refusal to accept the status quo of official and unofficial no's has the kind of muscular resolution that he has surely experienced on the playing field. The same afternoon Grand comes to Rieux's office and, stimulated by a picture of Rieux's wife, becomes suddenly talkative about his past. This is no longer true. He slacks at times, but he is a man; most of all you should realize this quality about him. The people talk past one another. On first reading, this chapter seems only one more tale of frustration, but it is more; it is one part of a principal irony Rieux is preparing. Madame Rieux The mother of Dr. Rieux. And is a simple joiner, whereas but can imply a stand on an issue. They cast about, worried and irritated, for someone to blame. The bubonic plague that struck Europe in 1665 in London is no doubt one of history's worst tragedies. And Grand's story has its effect on Rieux. Why? The laundry was found to be infested with fleas, and the epidemic started. It is, in a sense, as fresh a start as Jeanne made years ago. The city's lazy summer dogs are gone and the streets sizzle in the noon heat. Couple this with the temperament that originally creates a doctor and the result is an anomaly. This will be his life's labor and, even though it may seem impossible to us, at least he has not compromised. The Plague is a novel about a plague epidemic in the large Algerian city of Oran. With Grand, Rieux is sympathetic, but no doubt the genuine tenor of his feelings is partly supported by professional poise. M. Michel A concierge, the plague's first victim. A sense of humor, objectivity, and responsibility are all tested and proven during his illness. Who is making money? In this chronicle, alongside the Oranians, the Church is on trial. The sermon prescribes soul-flailing and prayer, but not practical precautions. Dawn, of course, is traditionally a time of hope and promise. The sentence is stuffed with superlatives and promises. It has a positive, growing quality. They come for help and for blessing, but find themselves intimidated, browbeaten, and charged with criminal acts; they receive spiritual death, a parallel to the death of the rats. With both Cottard and Grand, Rieux does very little communicating. At first there are just a few. Jean Tarrou The best friend of Rieux. Because he is used to dealing with statistics, he is made secretary of the sanitary squads — certainly not a heroic role even though Rieux muses that if readers seek a "hero," Grand has such merit. Thanks for exploring this SuperSummary Plot Summary of “The Plague” by Albert Camus. He seizes their minds and grips until they are united in their shame. Summary. Besides the Oranians, there is one more type of prisoner in Oran. 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. He also speaks of those who enfold themselves in nostalgia; they create new habits, slow down their pace, and orient themselves toward waiting for the inevitable. They have developed as he began to assert responsibility. In this scene Grand's character loses much of its previous vagueness. Camus’ message of responsibility and solidarity struck a chord with readers and made it his first commercial success. Thanks for exploring this SuperSummary Plot Summary of “The Atlantis Plague” by A.G. Riddle. Rambert begins this round of disappointments by contacting Cottard, and by trusting in Cottard, Rambert exhibits a measure of his determination. For Cottard, his secret is a crime; for Grand, it is his miscarried marriage. Objective narrative is probably impossible when recording what Rieux (and Camus) would consider ignorant, if holy, sermon-shouting. They decide to publish daily totals. Commerce has ceased. 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