He won the Nobel Prize in Literature at the age of 44 in 1957, the second-youngest recipient in history. The original text plus a side-by-side modern translation of. The novel can be read on several levels: As a realistic tale of an epidemic outbreak, an allegory of active resistance to totalitarianism, or a comment on the Absurd. The Plague. Eventually he resolves to give in and join Tarrou’s relief effort for the time being. Still, to him it has proven that, when all is said and done, there are more reasons to admire his fellow human beings than to despise them. The two men take a brief break to go swimming and then they go back to work. Albert Camus - The plague. When a bedraggled looking dog comes out onto the street – the first Rieux has seen in months – he shoots the poor animal, too. Only one person won’t join in the festive mood: Cottard has barricaded himself in his apartment and is shooting at people from his house. Albert Camus (/ k æ ˈ m uː / kam-OO, US also / k ə ˈ m uː / kə-MOO, French: [albɛʁ kamy] (); 7 November 1913 – 4 January 1960) was a French philosopher, author, and journalist. Then, as if the bubonic plague wasn’t enough, it’s turning pneumonic, forcing the Prefect to issue new regulations against passing it from mouth-to-mouth. Throughout the 1930s, he worked odd jobs, tried his luck as a teacher, journalist and playwright. One night, after a tiring day, Tarrou opens up to Rieux, telling him his life story: He grew up in an upper-middle class family, his father being a prosecuting attorney. Rieux conjures up images of grotesquely masked doctors at times of the Black Death in the Middle Ages, of people copulating in the Milanese cemeteries. "The Plague" is a famous allegorical novel by Albert Camus, who's known for his existential works. Rieux agrees. The Plague by Albert Camus. A teacher discovered his talent and convinced the reluctant family that Albert should apply for a scholarship to pursue higher education. Albert Camus's The Plague Chapter Summary. He finished a Master’s degree in Philosophy, joined and left the Communist Party. Finally they close the gates and quarantine Oran. Like “Thus each of us had to be content to live only for the day, alone under the vast indifference of the sky.” ― Albert Camus, The Plague. After this ghastly ordeal, Rieux turns to Father Paneloux in anger: How about this innocent child, did it also deserve to die? Only one of Rieux’s patients, an old asthmatic Spaniard who spends his days moving dried peas from one saucepan to another to keep track of time, seems to take pleasure in the situation: “They are coming out,” he exclaims blithely. The doctor sees off his ailing wife on the night train, assuring her that everything will be all right. In the first, the rats come out, creating a sense of ominous foreboding. Finally, the Prefect receives an order to proclaim a state of emergency and close the town. (Marco Di Lauro/Getty Images) He knows the victory over the plague is only temporary, as the bacillus microbe can lie dormant for years. His daughter Catherine Camus, when asked about the book’s newfound popularity, said that its core message was now more pressing than ever: “We are not responsible for the coronavirus, but we can be responsible in the way we respond to it.”. From the title, you know this book is about a plague. Rieux, meanwhile, walks alone through the celebrating crowds to the outskirts of town, seeing couples passionately embracing each other and their joy. Plague victims are dying alone, away from their families, and then buried without church services. The young son of M. Othon, the strict local magistrate, comes down with the plague and Rieux and his companions – among them Father Paneloux – watch him suffer and die. At first, few heeded his call – the majority were convinced that Germany would win the war, and they supported Pétain’s authoritarian and anti-Semitic regime. Analysis Of Albert Camus 'BookThe Plague' 1424 Words | 6 Pages. Isolated riots are breaking out, and a special brigade shoots cats and dogs as possible carriers of the disease. Yet soon enough, the town is invaded by a repulsive mass of dying rats, often spurting blood and giving off agonizing death-cries in their last moments. Camus' The Plague is an uncannily prescient description of the world of COVID-19, giving us reasons for reflection, and finally for hope. The man is still moving peas back and forth from his saucepans, predicting that people will soon forget what’s happened and go about their lives. In the streetcars, people are twisting their backs to avoid contact and thereby contagion. There are shootouts at the gates, and some people escape. But there is something that still has a meaning.” That something, among other things, is to resist injustice, help your community and alleviate human suffering. Our, “Would not have made it through AP Literature without the printable PDFs. Last Reviewed on June 19, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. More cases appear, and Dr. Rieux and his colleague Dr. Castel believe the disease is bubonic plague. Grand falls ill with the plague, but then he makes a miraculous recovery. Rambert finalizes his escape plan, but when he learns that Dr. Rieux is also separated from his wife (who is ill in a sanatorium) he decides to stay and fight the plague. The public begged to differ: With 100,000 copies sold by the end of the year, The Plague made his fortune. Yet they have a hard time processing that information. He wrote large parts of the novel while working for the French Resistance paper. And then the worst is over. The Plague (Vintage International) - Kindle edition by Albert Camus, Stuart Gilbert. Teach your students to analyze literature like LitCharts does. Having moved to Paris in 1943, he joined the Resistance as chief editor of the influential clandestine newspaper Combat. (including. Today he is acknowledged as one of the most important postwar French intellectuals, but during his lifetime he suffered from low self-esteem, depression and anxiety attacks, conditions that got worse when he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1957. The resisters’ initial focus lay on supplying the Allies with vital intelligence and publishing underground newspapers. Wasn’t plague a thing of the past, something that befell only the poor and underdeveloped? The Plague (SparkNotes Literature Guide) by Albert Camus Making the reading experience fun! The townspeople slowly regain their hope and begin to celebrate. The book is … Father Paneloux, a Jesuit priest, delivers a sermon declaring that the plague is a divine punishment for Oran’s sins. Other patients recover as well, and soon the epidemic is on the retreat, but then Tarrou falls ill. After a long struggle against the disease he dies. Instant downloads of all 1389 LitChart PDFs The Plague is essentially a philosophical novel, meaning that it forwards a particular worldview through its plot and characterization. Your highlights will appear here. After several months the public loses the selfishness in their suffering and recognizes the plague as a collective disaster. Rereading it during lockdown made people realize what the author had claimed all along: Far from being a narrow tale of Nazi-occupied France, it speaks universal truths about the things that afflict human beings in perpetuity and their inherent ability to rise above them. From the creators of SparkNotes, something better. When coffins start running out, the corpses are flung into death pits and covered with layers of quicklime. The Myth of Sisyphus (Penguin Great Ideas) Albert Camus. At 20, he married a young bourgeois woman addicted to morphine, but the marriage failed miserably. Family members, friends and lovers are separated for an unforeseeable future, and all communication with the outside world, except for telegrams, is forbidden. And although the death rate among burial workers is high, the list of applicants is long – at this point many fear hunger more than plague. 79 likes. They urge the government to take action, but the authorities drag their feet until the death toll rises so high that the plague is impossible to deny. The Prefect and most of the doctors in town are wary of calling the thing by its name. Yet according to Camus’ friend, the novelist Nicola Chiaromonte, most critics were simply missing the point: “The general public have apparently found in it an answer to their yearning for ordinary humanity and good sense.”, A yearning that resurfaced at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in the spring of 2020: Copies of The Plague were flying off the shelves like no other pestilence fiction – even Amazon went out of stock – and many dug out their old dog-eared high school editions. The first-person narrator is unnamed but mostly follows Dr. Bernard Rieux. The mess starts when rats everywhere die. Even Rieux and his friends briefly join the crowds. Learn how the author incorporated them and why. Camus was a cautiously optimistic humanist and moralist: He believed that, for all their colossal failings, people are inherently decent – when given a chance. In November, thanks in part to Castel’s serum, the curve begins to flatten, but the poor don’t have enough to eat, and the mood is turning ugly. It is interesting that in 1941, when Camus was jotting ideas for the novel in his notebooks, he had decided to have a sea full of corpses. In a subsequent sermon, Paneloux speaks of “we” instead of “you,” and mentions that nothing in the world could ever justify a child’s suffering. Guide to the Classics: Albert Camus' The Plague Menu Close I know only human beings.” Although Camus never explicitly said so, he was likely inspired by their humanity – tellingly, the village doctor in Chambon was a man named Rioux. A summary of Part X (Section1) in Albert Camus's The Plague. That night people go out celebrating in the streets. Albert Camus was born in Mondovi, Algeria, on November 7, 1913, into a family of French-Algerian Pieds-Noirs. Nobody, not even Rieux, is willing to help him bend the rules and skip town. However, fearing an eventual left-wing revolutionary takeover, he carefully kept the Communists at arms’ length and orchestrated the liberation of Paris in August 1944 to take sole credit for it. But Tarrou ignores this and enrolls his first team of voluntary “sanitary squads,” which are soon followed by others. It seems as if the plague has been cornered and has suddenly lost its force. To conclude, the Jesuit Father Paneloux preaches a fierce sermon opening with a bang: “Calamity has come on you, my brethren, and, my brethren, you deserved it.” Spiking his words with Old Testament quotes, somber premonitions and harrowing comparisons, he literally puts the fear of God into people – only to commend that they see the light, change their ways and embrace the love of God to atone for their sins. The novel presents a snapshot of life in Oran as seen through the author's distinctive absurdist point of view. The complicated liaison would later turn into outright hostility, as Camus was an anti-Stalinist at a time when it was not yet cool to be one. But by the end of January it is announced that, should things continue on this path, the gates could open in two weeks’ time. Delivered by a sophisticated, outgoing, yet often suspicious narrator, Albert Camus’ "The Fall" employs a format that is rather uncommon in world literature. Geared to what today's students need to know, SparkNotes … At first, everyone is in denial. The novel reflects three aspects of the author’s personality: Dr. Rieux stands for the detached and dutiful healer, who fights on and continues to do the good work; Rambert is someone who lives for love, knowing full well that passion is fleeting and sustained marital bliss an illusion; and Tarrou is a disillusioned idealist, who searches for true meaning and dies before attaining it. Teachers and parents! An oily, awful-smelling odor descends on that part of town. Camus himself suggested reading the novel at “several levels,” having woven his philosophic ideas about the human condition and the Absurd between the lines, for example when Rieux explains to Rambert why he can’t help him sneak out of town to reunite with the love of his life: “Oh, I know it’s an absurd situation, but we’re all involved in it, and we’ve got to accept it as it is.”. Grand writes a letter to his ex-wife and resumes work on his book. Then, on a morning in February, the gates are officially reopened with great pomp. The Plague concerns an outbreak of bubonic plague in the French-Algerian port city of Oran, sometime in the 1940s. Raymond Rambert, a foreign journalist, tries to escape Oran and rejoin his wife in Paris, but he is held up by the bureaucracy and the unreliability of the criminal underground. My students love how organized the handouts are and enjoy tracking the themes as a class.”. Yet in the end, we just have to trust in God, because the alternative would be worse. The next day a health committee convenes. if there is a God and die to find out there isn't, than live as if there isn't and to die to find out that there is.” -Albert Camus, The Fall In Albert Camus’ novel The Plague, the author employs three main characters -- the narrator, Tarrou, and Father Paneloux -- to represent extremist views on religion and science in culture. Rieux notices the sudden appearance of dying rats around town, and soon thousands of rats are coming out into the open to die. But Camus warned his readers of complacency: Pathogens like totalitarianism, racism or mindless opportunism won’t disappear for good. Find summaries for every chapter, including a The Plague Chapter Summary Chart to help you understand the book. His works include The Stranger, The Plague, The Myth of Sisyphus, The Fall, and The Rebel. It’s been translated into more than 30 languages and remains one of Gallimard’s best-selling books of all times. 4.6 out of 5 stars 411. At almost 44 he was the second-youngest author ever to receive the award, and the pressure to perform weighed on him. Around the same time the first living rats are seen in town again. Next. An obsessive and guilt-ridden womanizer, he married again in 1940, only to feel trapped soon afterwards, suggesting to his wife that they maintain a fraternal relationship (five years later she would give birth to twins). A modern alternative to SparkNotes and CliffsNotes, SuperSummary offers high-quality study guides that feature detailed chapter summaries and analysis … Struggling with distance learning? In 1957, at almost 44, the Algerian-born Camus became the second youngest Nobel Prize winner ever. Learn exactly what happened in this chapter, scene, or section of The Plague and what it means. Like everybody else, Rambert is awaiting his love with nervous foreboding, fearing that the long plague months have changed him to a point where it would be hard to rejoin his past. Then he suggests to his friend to go out for a swim in the sea. From now on things improve rapidly. Resisters laid bombs, assassinated enemies, derailed trains and sabotaged factories. It’s on that same day that the concierge comes down with a mysterious disease involving painful swellings, black patches and a delirious fever. On June 18, General Charles de Gaulle took to the microphone in a London BBC studio and called on the French people to resist Nazi Germany and the soon-to-be established collaborationist Vichy regime under Marshal Philippe Pétain in the south. Camus joined the French Resistance as chief editor of the underground newspaper Combat in 1943 and became friends with Jean-Paul Sartre. But after a complete lockdown is imposed and case numbers rise sharply, a medical doctor and his outsider friend decide to fight the disease by organizing volunteers in sanitary squads. The move takes everybody by surprise. We find, rate and summarize relevant knowledge to help people make better decisions in business and in their private lives. The hospital ward is filling up, so that the authorities are constrained to requisition a school to open an auxiliary hospital. We’ve discounted annual … The Gestapo also captured a great number of activists and “turned” them into informants, often under severe torture. 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. The next day Rieux receives the news of his wife’s passing. Some shrewd pub-owners advertise: “The best protection against infection is a bottle of good wine.” Yet the most miserable, it seems, are individuals like the journalist Rambert: He has left behind the woman he loves in Paris, finding himself exiled in a place full of strangers. Finally, Rieux visits the old asthma patient again. The Rebel is a book by French writer and philosopher Albert Camus. Created by Harvard students for students everywhere, SparkNotes is a new breed of study guide: smarter, better, faster. After France’s crushing defeat by Nazi-Germany in 1940, the nation was in shock: Huge swastika flags were flown at the City Hall and Eiffel Tower in Paris, the ultimate symbol of humiliation. His convictions gained him a pariah status within the French Left in the last decade of his life. What more could they ask for? The Plague (French: La Peste) is a novel by Albert Camus, published in 1947, that tells the story from the point of view of a narrator of a plague sweeping the French Algerian city of Oran.The narrator remains unknown until the start of the last chapter, chapter 5 of part 5. Cottard’s shady business partners get back to Rambert and tell him that this time they have organized his escape for good. Camus believed that the only way to confront the absurdity and pointlessness of life was to rebel against it and create meaning through action. Major Themes in Albert Camus's The Plague. FREE Shipping on your first order shipped by Amazon. They agree on smuggling the journalist past the bribed sentries out of the locked town. He’s feverish, and that same night he asks Rieux to burn his 50-page manuscript, containing the same opening sentence over and over again, in all conceivable variations. tags: anticipation, love, separation. When the city can withstand no more, the plague begins to level off. And indeed: For the first time since the beginning of the epidemic, the weekly number of deaths is decreasing. A little deeper, it is an allegory of Nazi-occupied France during World War II – or any place on Earth that gets infected by the disease of a totalitarian ideology. eNotes plot summaries cover all the significant action of The Plague. The novel tells of a group of men who don’t even try to make sense of a meaningless disease, but instead establish hygiene standards, isolate and care for the sick, develop a cure and hope for the best. It asks a number of questions relating to the nature of destiny and the human condition. Having spent Christmas 1959 with his wife and children in Provence, he set off for Paris driving a friend’s luxurious Facel Vega HK500. They're like having in-class notes for every discussion!”, “This is absolutely THE best teacher resource I have ever purchased. Camus is often considered an existentialist, but the philosophy he most identified with and developed was called absurdism. “What makes my books a success is the same that makes them a lie for me.” A number of reviewers agreed, criticizing it as grey, heavy and dull. In 1942, he went to the small French mountain village Le Panelier, in order to cure one of his recurring bouts of tuberculosis. The first-person narrator is unnamed but mostly follows Dr. Bernard Rieux.Rieux notices the sudden appearance of dying rats around town, and soon thousands of rats are coming out into the open to die. Meanwhile Rieux struggles ceaselessly against the plague and is joined by Jean Tarrou, another visitor to Oran, and Joseph Grand, an older municipal clerk who longs for his ex-wife and struggles daily over the first sentence of a book he is trying to write. But Rieux grows increasingly impatient: The name is irrelevant, he says. The concierge M. Michel flat out denies that there could be rats in the building. At first, most restrictions remain in place. Oran is a bustling yet dull port town on the Algerian coast, populated by hardworking, business-minded people who seldom look beyond their mundane habits – a place to live peacefully and unperturbed by the world at large. In August, tensions edge up a notch, since the plague is moving from the crowded outskirts to the center of town. When Raymond Rambert, a journalist working for a Paris daily, asks Rieux about the living conditions among the Arab population of the city, the doctor declines to comment, knowing full well that Rambert couldn’t publish the unqualified truth about it anyway. What does it feel like to be suddenly cut off from nature and the world, beleaguered by an invisible bacillus and condemned to endless apathy? Albert Camus, inspired by historical accounts of plague outbreaks and his experience during the Resistance in Nazi-occupied France, answered that timeless question in The Plague: Get up and do something useful together! But then the journalist visits the overworked Tarrou and Rieux in the plague ward and tells them that he decided to stay: Leaving his friends alone now would be cowardly, and as a coward he won’t be able to look his lover in the eyes. And he resolved to abdicate any cause that claimed human lives in some bogus pursuit of justice. But a few days later Tarrou comes down with the disease. Yet after a furious ideological row over his essay collection L’Homme Révolté (The Rebel) in 1951, their paths split for good and Camus’ fame declined. The only person who seems perfectly at ease – in fact, doing better than ever before – is Cottard. His father died in World War I when he was an infant. Tarrou organizes an anti-plague sanitation league, and many volunteers join to help. Word Count: 311. THE PLAGUE It is as reasonable to represent one kind of imprisonment by another, as it is to represent anything that really exists by that which exists not. He is aided in his attempts by Cottard, a man who committed an unknown crime in the past and has since then lived in constant paranoia. Detailed explanations, analysis, and citation info for every important quote on LitCharts. The public grows panicked, and the government finally arranges a daily cremation of rat bodies. The Plague is a novel written by Albert Camus, an ultimately bleak story about a terrible illness that swept through an unprepared town. Here are some memorable quotes from the novel. This free study guide is stuffed with the juicy details and important facts you need to know. 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. Similar cases of fever and inflamed lymph nodes start multiplying at a worrying clip across town. Then, plague breaks out and continues to worsen until it reaches its climax in part four. Meanwhile, the rats’ onslaught stops almost as abruptly as it has begun. The path to attain peace, he says, is that of sympathy. The Plague concerns an outbreak of bubonic plague in the French-Algerian port city of Oran, sometime in the 1940s. Still, the chronicle of the plague outbreak is only the first of many narrative layers and multiple meanings in this novel. Temporarily out of stock. The man begs the doctor not to report the incident to the police, but Rieux says it’s his duty to do so. The numbers of daily deaths is rising exponentially, and the anti-plague serum from Paris is late in arriving. Cottard is the only citizen to welcome the plague, as it reduces the rest of the public to his level of fear and loneliness, and he builds up a small fortune smuggling. 29 $15.00 $15.00. In early 1941, he began to immerse himself in the history of plagues to gather material for his next project: The Plague or The Prisoners, as he preferred to name it at first. At the start of the COVID-19 crisis in 2020, demand was so high that, “On the whole, men are more good than bad; that, however, isn’t the real point. Grand goes through many variations of that phrase, explains the pros and cons of a particular word and concludes by saying that, if only he could get that one sentence right, the rest would all fall into place. Get it as soon as Sun, Oct 4. So when Dr. Bernard Rieux finds a dead rat lying in the middle of his building’s landing, he doesn’t give it another thought. The locked-in townspeople become dull and passive; cars seem to be going around in circles, the port lies idle, and commerce dwindles. Albert Camus’ ‘The Plague’ and our own Great Reset Two police officers are the only ones on Rome’s Spanish Steps on March 10 amid the coronavirus outbreak. In October, Rieux tries out Castel’s new anti-plague serum on a little boy who appears to be a hopeless case. But one day he visited his father in court, and that day changed his life: Tarrou became an ardent opponent of capital punishment. We have to defy the meaningless by creating meaning through action and resistance. Since he is already dealing with contraband goods and knows the right people, he puts Rambert in touch with some of his partners. The police end up machine-gunning Cottard’s windows, storming the building and dragging the screaming man out of the building. Father Paneloux A priest in Oran.. Raymond Rambert A Paris journalist trapped in Oran.. Joseph Grand A petty official, also a writer.. Cottard A criminal who hides from arrest in Oran.. M. Michel A concierge, the plague's first victim. THE PLAGUE, which won the Prix des Critiques in 1947, is considered by many to be the author's finest book. ― Albert Camus, quote from The Plague “And indeed it could be said that once the faintest stirring of hope became possible, the dominion of plague was ended.” ― Albert Camus, quote from The Plague “No doubt our love was still there, but quite simply it was unusable, heavy to carry, inert inside of us, sterile as crime or condemnation. At first the child seems to be coming out of the illness, but then succumbs to it in horrible, prolonged agony, emitting a fierce cry followed by endless wailing. by Albert Camus and Stuart Gilbert | May 7, 1991. Rieux agrees with his much older colleague Dr. Castel that it can be nothing other than plague. The biggest mistake, according to Camus, is to believe that it can be rooted out for good. Yet for every German killed, about 50 to 100 French hostages were executed in retaliation. 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