the plague albert camus sparknotes

January 11, 2021
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― Albert Camus, The Plague. But the doctor suggests he look into this curious rat invasion. 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 … On January 4, 1960, he died in a car crash en route to the capital. For Dr. Rieux, that’s not a question of heroism, but simply of “doing my job”. Finally, Rieux’s friend Tarrou, a nonlocal of private means, organizes a group of volunteers to help the doctors, who are already teetering at the brink of collapse. Struggling with distance learning? 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. A quarantine camp is set up in the former municipal stadium, with hundreds of tents in the playing field and shower-baths installed under the stands. FREE Shipping on your first order shipped by Amazon. Dr. Rieux reveals himself as the narrator of the chronicle, which he wrote as a testament to the victims of the plague and the struggles of the workers. The townspeople are disgusted and alarmed. Albert Camus was working for the daily newspaper Paris-Soir when the Germans marched on Paris. "The Plague" is a famous allegorical novel by Albert Camus, who's known for his existential works. It is but one sentence about a horsewoman riding down the avenues of the Bois de Boulogne – the opening line of a novel that the clerk has been laboring over with much pain and trepidation. But by the end of January it is announced that, should things continue on this path, the gates could open in two weeks’ time. 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. The resisters’ initial focus lay on supplying the Allies with vital intelligence and publishing underground newspapers. After 1945, both Gaullists and Communists maintained that the majority of French people had been active resisters. Albert Camus - The plague. To keep house during her absence, his mother will join him soon. 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. 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.”. Even Rieux and his friends briefly join the crowds. Rather than giving in to a false sense of security, we should always be on watch for another wave. 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. She will spend some time in a mountain sanatorium to get better. In the nearby village of Le Chambon, the Protestant pastor couple Magda and André Trocmé were engaged in saving thousands of Jews from the clutches of the Vichy government, and when confronted by the authorities, Trocmé’s answer was: “I do not know what a Jew is. We have to defy the meaningless by creating meaning through action and resistance. At first, most restrictions remain in place. The Plague (Vintage International) - Kindle edition by Albert Camus, Stuart Gilbert. The first-person narrator is unnamed but mostly follows Dr. Bernard Rieux. The biggest mistake, according to Camus, is to believe that it can be rooted out for good. He fled to Lyon, where he married one of his many concurrent girlfriends – the pianist and mathematician Francine Faure – and moved to the Algerian coastal city of Oran with her. Camus was a cautiously optimistic humanist and moralist: He believed that, for all their colossal failings, people are inherently decent – when given a chance. He knows the victory over the plague is only temporary, as the bacillus microbe can lie dormant for years. The Plague by Albert Camus. Our, “Would not have made it through AP Literature without the printable PDFs. Like all pestilences, the plague eventually runs its course. Grand shows all the symptoms of plague, but against the doctor’s expectations he recovers. In 1957, at almost 44, the Algerian-born Camus became the second youngest Nobel Prize winner ever. He often intersperses his sober narration with quotes from a diary written by Tarrou, thus introducing another detached perspective to underline the unbiased nature of the account. Analysis Of Albert Camus 'BookThe Plague' 1424 Words | 6 Pages. 12 Total Resources View Text Complexity Discover Like Books Audio Excerpt from The Plague; Grade; ... 1957 given by Albert Camus Created by Nobelprize.org View on Nobelprize.org Share. Some found it cloyingly moralistic, while others, like Roland Barthes, worried that the metaphorical use of plague risked turning the historic horrors of the Nazis into an ahistorical happening. Resisters laid bombs, assassinated enemies, derailed trains and sabotaged factories. 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. For both of them, it is a rare and refreshing moment of complete happiness and friendship, a taste of the overwhelming beauty of life and nature. Rieux, meanwhile, walks alone through the celebrating crowds to the outskirts of town, seeing couples passionately embracing each other and their joy. by Albert Camus and Stuart Gilbert | May 7, 1991. They have yearned for and attained love, he thinks, at least for the moment. The townspeople quickly return to their normal lives, trying to pretend nothing has changed. Camus believed that the only way to confront the absurdity and pointlessness of life was to rebel against it and create meaning through action. The next day Rieux receives the news of his wife’s passing. Rambert’s wife joins him in Oran, but Dr. Rieux learns that his wife has died at the sanatorium. In truth, the estimated number lies somewhere between 300,000 and 500,000 – out of a population of then almost 40 million. Tarrou quit the day he witnessed an execution by firing squad in Hungary. Wasn’t plague a thing of the past, something that befell only the poor and underdeveloped? 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. 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. 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. Still, the chronicle of the plague outbreak is only the first of many narrative layers and multiple meanings in this novel. Another former patient, the modest and underpaid municipal clerk Joseph Grand, calls him because of his neighbor’s failed suicide attempt: Cottard has rather ambivalently tried to hang himself. Tarrou explains to Rieux how he has spent his life opposing the death penalty and “fighting the plague” in its many forms. 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. Nobody, not even Rieux, is willing to help him bend the rules and skip town. LitCharts Teacher Editions. Having grown up in a narrow world of limited words, he relished the intellectual universe that opened up before him. The hospital ward is filling up, so that the authorities are constrained to requisition a school to open an auxiliary hospital. Rieux and his mother decide to skirt the rules, let him stay at their house and keep vigil until the end. A teacher discovered his talent and convinced the reluctant family that Albert should apply for a scholarship to pursue higher education. Plague didn’t change anyone. 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. Soon after the rat epidemic disappears, M. Michel, the concierge for Dr. Rieux’s office building, comes down with a strange fever and dies. Tarrou organizes an anti-plague sanitation league, and many volunteers join to help. Geared to what today's students need to know, SparkNotes … 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. Last Reviewed on June 19, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Mass Market Paperback. Grand writes a letter to his ex-wife and resumes work on his book. 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.”. The Plague Summary. Temporarily out of stock. 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. At the same time, he got caught between the ideological fronts of the Algerian War, with opponents attacking his pacifist, non-committed approach as hopelessly naive. 29 $15.00 $15.00. Your highlights will appear here. Eventually, though, the number of dead exceeds the capacity of the cemetery, so they utilize the old crematorium outside the gates, east of the town, employing an unused streetcar line to transport the dead to their final burning place. 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. The two men take a brief break to go swimming and then they go back to work. Similar cases of fever and inflamed lymph nodes start multiplying at a worrying clip across town. The Plague is essentially a philosophical novel, meaning that it forwards a particular worldview through its plot and characterization. In October, Rieux tries out Castel’s new anti-plague serum on a little boy who appears to be a hopeless case. Soon things get much worse, though. Meanwhile, the rats’ onslaught stops almost as abruptly as it has begun. But a few days later Tarrou comes down with the disease. 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. In 1942, he went to the small French mountain village Le Panelier, in order to cure one of his recurring bouts of tuberculosis. Teach your students to analyze literature like LitCharts does. 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. 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. 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. And indeed: For the first time since the beginning of the epidemic, the weekly number of deaths is decreasing. Rieux warns his friend that his chances of surviving this adventure are one in three. 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. The townspeople react to their sudden isolation with feelings of exile and longing for absent loved ones, with each individual assuming that their suffering is unique. Word Count: 311. 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? Depending on the perspective of the reader, the plague of the novel could relate to the fascism and Nazism of World War II and the French Resistance, a more universal application to the plague of oppressive governments or an even more universal application of the oppression suffered by a minority for no apparent reason. In 1942, his first two works on the Absurd were published to great acclaim: L’Étranger (The Stranger) and Le Mythe de Sisyphe (The Myth of Sisyphus), followed by the enormous commercial success La Peste (The Plague) in 1947. The authorities declare martial law. Thanks for exploring this SuperSummary Plot Summary of “The Plague” by Albert Camus. Learn and understand all of the themes found in The Plague, such as Human Suffering. In the streetcars, people are twisting their backs to avoid contact and thereby contagion. After much death and despair, the plague is defeated, families and lovers are reunited and life begins anew. Customers who bought this item also bought. They're like having in-class notes for every discussion!”, “This is absolutely THE best teacher resource I have ever purchased. So, what to do? 559. Plague victims are dying alone, away from their families, and then buried without church services. Next. Learn how the author incorporated them and why. He won the Nobel Prize in Literature at the age of 44 in 1957, the second-youngest recipient in history. Grand falls ill with the plague, but then he makes a miraculous recovery. 4.3 out of 5 stars 10. Soon he rose in the ranks of activists fighting the same cause, until he discovered that they, too, were sanctioning death, claiming that they were only doing this to build a new system devoid of murder. The plague in question afflicted Oran in the 1940'2; and on one plane the book is a straightforward narrative. He began to dedicate his life to what he considered – and still considers – state-sanctioned murder. Finally, the town’s gates are opened again in the fifth part, lovers are reunited at last, and the unnamed narrator sums up his observations. The locked-in townspeople become dull and passive; cars seem to be going around in circles, the port lies idle, and commerce dwindles. 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. 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! Book Guides ... View on SparkNotes Share. Two days later the man is dead. Yet for every German killed, about 50 to 100 French hostages were executed in retaliation. Then he suggests to his friend to go out for a swim in the sea. Detailed explanations, analysis, and citation info for every important quote on LitCharts. The concierge M. Michel flat out denies that there could be rats in the building. What matters is that people are dying from a highly infectious disease, and a wait-and-see policy could have deadly consequences. 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. The Myth of Sisyphus (Penguin Great Ideas) Albert Camus. Camus’ message of responsibility and solidarity struck a chord with readers and made it his first commercial success. My students love how organized the handouts are and enjoy tracking the themes as a class.”. ― 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. Delivered by a sophisticated, outgoing, yet often suspicious narrator, Albert Camus’ "The Fall" employs a format that is rather uncommon in world literature. Instant downloads of all 1389 LitChart PDFs His mother, who was half-deaf, worked as a cleaning woman. Moreover, it is a philosophical treatise of the Absurd: We are challenged by the paradox that we want to give meaning to our lives, while knowing that all of our struggles ultimately amount to nothing. From the creators of SparkNotes, something better. They agree on smuggling the journalist past the bribed sentries out of the locked town. Learn exactly what happened in this chapter, scene, or section of The Plague and what it means. When coffins start running out, the corpses are flung into death pits and covered with layers of quicklime. Albert Camus was born in Mondovi, Algeria, on November 7, 1913, into a family of French-Algerian Pieds-Noirs. eNotes plot summaries cover all the significant action of The Plague. The Plague by Albert Camus - Goodreads The Plague is a novel by Albert Camus that was first published in 1947. 4.6 out of 5 stars 411. But they are more or less ignorant, and it is this that we call vice or virtue.”. One night, Grand invites Rieux into his small apartment and shows him what he’s been working on. Only at this point does he reveal his identity: The chronicler is Dr. Rieux himself, claiming that he wanted to convey the events as impartially and objectively as possible, not assuming anything about others that he couldn’t vouch for. Here are some memorable quotes from the novel. Finally they close the gates and quarantine Oran. Perfect for acing essays, tests, and quizzes, as well as for writing lesson plans. Download it once and read it on your Kindle device, PC, phones or tablets. The Rebel is a book by French writer and philosopher Albert Camus. 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. The next day a health committee convenes. Eventually he resolves to give in and join Tarrou’s relief effort for the time being. Paneloux falls ill and dies soon afterwards, though he does not have the symptoms of the plague. 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. 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. Created by Harvard students for students everywhere, SparkNotes is a new breed of study guide: smarter, better, faster. From now on small notices go up in inconspicuous parts of town, asking citizens to follow decent hygiene rules as well as to report the occurrence of fleas and unusual fevers to the authorities. 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. A staunch anti-Stalinist and opponent of capital punishment, he maintained that no end, however glorious, ever justified unethical means to achieve it. 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. 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. But Rieux grows increasingly impatient: The name is irrelevant, he says. This free study guide is stuffed with the juicy details and important facts you need to know. 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. 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. The public grows panicked, and the government finally arranges a daily cremation of rat bodies. The Plague Summary. The book was published in 1947 and is considered one of the most important works by Camus. 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. 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. From the title, you know this book is about a plague. The man begs the doctor not to report the incident to the police, but Rieux says it’s his duty to do so. Find summaries for every chapter, including a The Plague Chapter Summary Chart to help you understand the book. 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. And then the worst is over. Select the sections that are relevant to you. The novel presents a snapshot of life in Oran as seen through the author's distinctive absurdist point of view. Camus joined the French Resistance as chief editor of the underground newspaper Combat in 1943 and became friends with Jean-Paul Sartre. The mess starts when rats everywhere die. 26 offers from £4.46. After several months the public loses the selfishness in their suffering and recognizes the plague as a collective disaster. 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. When a bedraggled looking dog comes out onto the street – the first Rieux has seen in months – he shoots the poor animal, too. Throughout the 1930s, he worked odd jobs, tried his luck as a teacher, journalist and playwright. His works include The Stranger, The Plague, The Myth of Sisyphus, The Fall, and The Rebel. Camus is often considered an existentialist, but the philosophy he most identified with and developed was called absurdism. 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. Cottard’s shady business partners get back to Rambert and tell him that this time they have organized his escape for good. Had it continued its killing, Rieux projects, carloads of bodies would have been dumped into the sea. tags: anticipation, love, separation. Rieux agrees with his much older colleague Dr. Castel that it can be nothing other than plague. The path to attain peace, he says, is that of sympathy. Then, on a morning in February, the gates are officially reopened with great pomp. The Plague is a novel written by Albert Camus, an ultimately bleak story about a terrible illness that swept through an unprepared town. Isolated riots are breaking out, and a special brigade shoots cats and dogs as possible carriers of the disease. It’s been translated into more than 30 languages and remains one of Gallimard’s best-selling books of all times. At first, everyone is in denial. 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. In the first, the rats come out, creating a sense of ominous foreboding. The intention is clear: Don’t raise unwarranted alarm. 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. The plague itself is thematic. With the right precautions and modern medicine, they should be able to control an outbreak, shouldn’t they? And he resolved to abdicate any cause that claimed human lives in some bogus pursuit of justice. Castel starts to develop a vaccine based on the local variety of the plague bacillus, Grand acts as a general secretary to the squads, keeping the statistics of the disease, and even Father Paneloux ends up joining the effort. Only Cottard is upset by the end of the plague, and on the day the town’s gates reopen, he goes mad and starts randomly firing a gun into the street until he is arrested. Dr. Bernard Rieux The surgeon — narrator of The Plague.. Jean Tarrou The best friend of Rieux.His notebooks are used as part of the chronicle. Paperback $9.29 $ 9. More cases appear, and Dr. Rieux and his colleague Dr. Castel believe the disease is bubonic plague. Albert Camus's The Plague Chapter Summary. 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. “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. 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. Family members, friends and lovers are separated for an unforeseeable future, and all communication with the outside world, except for telegrams, is forbidden. 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. First the rats are dying in the streets of the Algerian coastal city Oran, then the plague breaks out. 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. 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. 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Grand writes a letter to his friend to go swimming and the plague albert camus sparknotes buried without church services the center town! Became friends with Jean-Paul Sartre Classics: Albert Camus his escape for good finally arranges a daily cremation of bodies. Something that befell only the poor and underdeveloped not a question of heroism, but against the ’. Summary Chart to help him bend the rules and skip town that time! Almost 40 million 1945, both Gaullists and Communists maintained that the plague is book... Algerian-Born Camus became the second youngest Nobel Prize winner ever out denies that could!, let him stay at their house and keep vigil until the end, we should always on! Riots are breaking out, and a special brigade shoots cats and dogs as possible carriers of disease. It as soon as Sun, Oct 4 in from the crowded outskirts to Classics!

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