the plague cliff notes

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. Of particular interest is how the plague binds men together and then, ironically, cuts them apart and rebinds each man within himself. Finishing the random rememberings of Chapter 9, Rieux now concentrates on a subject dear to the people of Oran — their commerce. Men, even with Rambert present, speak of him as though he were a profitable commodity. As actual homes and family living are being exterminated by something abstract, human beings are destroying abstract symbols of that home. To communicate like this is to be seemingly ambiguous, but both men have learned now that the other is aware of man as a being alone in an indifferent world. Tarrou is the first nonprofessional to commit himself and offer a plan for defense. The words try, in addition, to jog with the horses' trotting pace. He speaks also of those who actually crack within, open their windows and scream against the sky. 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. All rights reserved. Here is one more type of isolation within Oran. They undress and jump into the water. Because no one feels great compassion, they escape the deepest distress; Rieux mentions indifference being taken for composure. There is an immediate leveling of social distinctions. His wife's leaving was admirable. In 1957, at almost 44, the Algerian-born Camus became the second youngest Nobel Prize winner ever. Death and sickness are both concepts and realities; Rieux deals with them in both senses. Frustration fuses the individual scenes and builds steadily until the last sentence is read with the same intensity that one feels at the culmination of a Chopin crescendo. In an ironic similarity, the doctor's wife is as inoffensively comforting to her husband as he is to his mother. This bit of faraway musing that is stimulated by Grand's repetitive gesture of "Hats off!" Dr. Castel . He also confesses to Tarrou the first time he took his profession seriously: when he first watched a patient die. It is, however, not the cave of safety that critics often accuse it of being. And is a simple joiner, whereas but can imply a stand on an issue. 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. Grand has confined himself so totally in his off hours to his room and to the numerous revisions of the first sentence of his book that he has lost real zest for living and for reality. The only man in town who seems content is Cottard. You should remember that this is a reversal in policy. Grand's surviving the plague's ravishes is much like a rebirth. Nevertheless, as cool weather prevails in January, the disease loses all its gains. More than any single scene thus far, this chapter is loud and vivid and, as a reader, you should not overlook Camus' art in readying us for its drama. Perhaps this enormous natural symbol of death, more than most any other factor, staggers them. He honestly admits to occasional periods during which pity dies and he becomes indifferent, but it is during these times that he sleeps and forgets and heals an exhausted mind and body. He will stay until he can find a way of leaving, he says, but he is beginning to perceive that the present requires more serious allegiance and he does, almost totally, pledge himself to it. And joins two ideas innocuously; but, however, follows a statement, qualifying it with a second statement. Buy Study Guide. He is demanding recognition through perseverance. For the first time in months Cottard finds himself functioning, if not meaningfully, at least satisfactorily — and in the shadow of a plague. More than anyone else in Oran, Dr. Rieux has continued his declaration of war on death and on the plague. 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. Albert Camus Biography. The plague serum still has not come, and Dr. Rieux finally realizes that he himself is feeling afraid. It has originated in the sin of Oran, its purpose is punishment, and its termination is dependent upon repentance. Summary. To some, he has wasted hours and pages of paper, but he has kept a dream alive. The sentence is stuffed with superlatives and promises. Though the plague seems to be abating, the people have not entirely given themselves over to jubilation. By the end of Part 11, then, all of the principal characters — Rieux, Tarrou, Rambert, Grand, and Paneloux — have joined to battle together as plague fighters. 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. This will be his life's labor and, even though it may seem impossible to us, at least he has not compromised. Raymond Rambert A Paris journalist trapped in Oran. Absurd, perhaps, but also admirable. It is a fallacy to ascribe heroism to men doing only what they must. Complete summary of Albert Camus' The Plague. His behavior is totally incongruous. Cottard A criminal who hides from arrest in Oran. Summary. The satin-white marble tops of the cafe tables have a touch of Tiffany against the pearl-colored sunset. 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. In the midst of death and confusion he is still the beaming fellow that we left pages ago. And ideals. Plague offered crucial questions that had to be answered. You should also note that in this atmosphere of death, a birth has occurred: The Plague Chronicle is born, publishing speculations, tips, morale boosters, and sure-cure advertisements. Her remark that one needn't be happy to make another start suggests that groundless optimism is as ridiculous as the pessimism that her marriage was fostering. Like children thrust into a dark room, they are taken by surprise and caught unprepared; perhaps "dark room" isn't an exaggerated analogy: this new environment of Oran is like a world turned upside down — by accident, loved ones are away from the city, there are no letters, no telephone calls, no word from Out There. But neither does it attack it forthrightly; instead, the Church injects reason into the plague's power. The earlier chapter dealt with Rambert's futile but legal attempts to leave Oran; this chapter is a record of his vain trys to illegally escape. But he continues and Camus offers a natural image as a kind of stimulus. The assertion that he made to Rambert — that he must face actual facts — finds a humorous echo in this chapter. Truth is impossible for the Church. For a man as introspective as Grand, here in his prose problems are exactly the kinds of decisions that, in a social situation, try his courage. Then they enter, and Rieux notes the smell of their soggy, wet clothes; this suggests the soggy, wet rats of Chapter I which escaped from Oran's sewers to die in the streets. His chances are I to 3 for coming out of this undertaking alive. He is a believer in perseverance, but only in this way: victory is an impossibility when one struggles almost hourly with death as Rieux does, but perseverance gains in value when one realizes it must inevitably fail — that in the darkness of an eternal nothing, it is all meaningless. Rambert's repetition of failures begins with Cottard and moves through Garcia and to Raoul, Gonzales, Marcel, and Louis; with each man's promises Rambert's hopes are bolstered and subsequently burst. Now, of course, more factors have to be weighed and, in the public's interest, the less alarming the figure, the better. His wife writes that everything is going "as well as can be expected." Rieux also asks Tarrou to come by next day for an injection before his "adventure." Rambert is a journalist and, however valid and heartbreaking his discovery that he has a potential for human warmth and love, nothing can alter the black-bordered present. is largely impossible on account of the fact that publishers don't wear hats in the office. After Part I he begins an unhurried reminiscence through Chapter 9, concentrates his recollections upon commercialism in Chapter 10, and finishes the chapter with three conversational scenes, each a little longer than the last and each more important in the quality of personal revelation. He wants Rieux to give him a certificate of release. Death darkens the pages and we are among the few to realize what is happening as the toll increases. Part II re-begins the chronicle in a different tone and with a different sense of time. There are two possible reasons: first, Rieux has doctored him, shown kindness, and offered to protect him; second, Rieux is a doctor and can function meaningfully only when people are sick or dying. The result is beauty, but unobtrusive beauty — a whole so skillfully produced that one is usually unaware of the separate parts and their tension. Perfection: this is his dream. There is nothing of the heroic in this. Remembering his wife, Paris, and evening walks, Rambert visits the railway station. He does not belong in Oran and once this error has been corrected and processed, he will be released. Camus intends for this character to carry considerable symbolic weight. This is not true of Grand. The Plague is a novel by Albert Camus that was first published in 1947. Rieux sees Oran in these terms: in an emergency, people are tried and this means that they do what they must — help others and themselves to survive. Their talk is over in minutes. With both Cottard and Grand, Rieux does very little communicating. With Grand, Rieux is sympathetic, but no doubt the genuine tenor of his feelings is partly supported by professional poise. Chapter 17 concerns his illegal attempts. Like Cottard , he feels the need for random human contact. Castel, an elderly doctor, is the first person to utter "plague" in reference to the strange, fatal illness that appears after all the rats in Oran die. The past cannot be restored all at once; destruction is easier than reconstruction. Their faith is in God's mysterious justice; Rambert's faith is in his own determination and a justice based on rational logic. For some, then, there is money to be made from misfortune but, for most, commerce is indeed dead. Theology has tainted this4 concern with labels of pride and selfishness, but in terms of Rieux's philosophy, there is room for understanding of this desire for human personal happiness. Told through somber narration, The Plague reflects Camus's philosophical definition of "the absurd" — every man's need to reckon with the inevitable fact of his own death. His indifferent marriage his attempt to write the perfect prose to which publishers will say, dramatically, Hats. Stimulated by Grand 's contact with Rieux, who dies in a sense of urgency and frustration pestis. Left pages ago critical Analysis seems the proper place to call attention to some of petty. Alongside the Oranians are lucky because their suffering is selfishly and limitedly personal ;,!, their business leader, seems natural enough this mad, surrealistic atmosphere expected. most, commerce indeed! April, thousands of the petty official, also a more subtle factor, staggers.! Vague line of the cross its attitude was and how it battled Oran 's perimeter revelation that made... Feared some aspect of the chapter with an incident which is of course probable death continues Camus... 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