The word exile means the state of being barred and expelled from one’s native country, typically for political or punitive reasons (dictionary.com). They are symbols of people. In the novel the bubonic plague is a symbol of many things – the harsh, meaningless universe, the human condition, or war – but all of them mean suffering and death. Camus is often considered an existentialist, but the philosophy he most identified with and developed was called absurdism. These “heroes” fit into his idea of Absurdism, as in…, While The Plague is a tale of absurdist philosophy, it is also a novel with living characters and a deeply human story, and Camus’ writing is potent in its imagery of suffering, despair, and courage. Those who followed this movement were regarded as a dangerous threat to church authority. In the beginning, the townspeople of Oran are still caught up in their own lives—their loves, their pursuits of leisure, their past and future, their unshakeable sense of themselves as the center of the universe. The Plague study guide contains a biography of Albert Camus, literature essays, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis. The chronicle’s unknown narrator eventually reveals himself as Dr. Rieux, who has been trying to take a more detached view of the plague. Imagination vs. Abstraction. The tale is highly allegorical, meaning that it uses concrete characters, places, and events to symbolize non-literal or abstract principles. Optimism and pessimism in The Plague. The inability of a given person to express his meaning is a fundamental concern of the novel. -Graham S. “Would not have made it through AP Literature without the printable PDFs. In The Plague, language is often inaccurate and always inadequate. No group is untouched. Teachers and parents! 1 Name Instructor Course Date An Essay on The Plague by Albert Camus This novel is about a plague that hits a large French Port called Oran in 1940. People's wishes, dreams, fears, philosophies, and plans are all proven irrelevant. This is the very essence of existential angst which the novel is dedicated to portraying. The Plague By Albert Camus 2232 Words | 9 Pages Non-American Author Research: The Plague by Albert Camus The Plague by Albert Camus is a novel that forms … There is only plague, and they are stuck in its void. Initially Camus was even wary of the word plague. The Plague (French: La Peste) is a novel by Albert Camus, published in 1947, that tells the story from the point of view of an unknown narrator of a plague sweeping the French Algerian city of Oran. The Plague literature essays are academic essays for citation. This year has not only seen revived interest in Albert Camus’s novel The Plague (1947), it also marks a key anniversary: Camus’s death at the age of forty-six in a sudden car crash sixty years ago.The occasion has led to commemorations in France but it has been understandably overshadowed in the United States by COVID-19, the fateful presidential election, and beyond. The characters in the plague span these binaries, demonstrating the multifarious responses to a trauma like the plague. Camus has the boy symbolize Jesus, another innocent sacrificed. Everyone was buying it. 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. My students love how organized the handouts are and enjoy tracking the themes as a class.”, read analysis of Language and Communication. Summary Read a Plot Overview of the entire book or a chapter by chapter Summary and Analysis. Heroism and Defiance. Camus' ideas concerning religion in The Plague. These papers were written primarily by students and provide critical analysis of The Plague. The Plague is essentially a philosophical novel, meaning that it forwards a particular worldview through its plot and characterization. Detailed explanations, analysis, and citation info for every important quote on LitCharts. Struggling with distance learning? The plague itself is thematic. Osborne-Bartucca, Kristen. The story centers on a physician and the people he works with and treats in an Algerian port town that is struck by the plague. This is a reflection of Camus himself, who describes the calamity of Oran objectively, without romanticizing…, The plague simultaneously exiles and imprisons the town of Oran, and its closed gates leave many citizens separated from their loved ones. One of the most terrifying, incomprehensible, and deadening aspects of the plague is exile—in all its capacities. They're like having in-class notes for every discussion!”, “This is absolutely THE best teacher resource I have ever purchased. The plague does not care about politics, money, power, past sufferings, or morality; it simply is, and it is all-encompassing. The chronicle’s unknown narrator eventually reveals himself as Dr. Rieux, who has been trying to take a more detached view of the plague. Battle Against Crisis at the Conclusion of The Plague, The Absurd and the Concept of Hope in Camus's Novels. “Rieux,” he said at last, “you must tell me the whole truth. resource to ask questions, find answers, and discuss the novel. At its most basic, this philosophy holds that the universe is absurd and meaningless – there is no God or cosmic order – and that humans are doomed to suffer and die. The residents are solely focused on doing business and agriculture. Copyright © 1999 - 2021 GradeSaver LLC. 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. The plague that strikes Oran is thematically rich in its exploration of the absurd. From the creators of SparkNotes, something better. While The Plague is a tale of absurdist philosophy, it is also a novel with living characters and a deeply human story, and Camus’ writing is potent in its imagery of suffering, despair, and courage. Imagination in the context of the Camus' plague means identifying with people, with giving into love and grief, with confronting the real. LitCharts Teacher Editions. In The Plague, Camus addresses the collective response to catastrophe when a large city in Algeria is isolated due to an outbreak of the bubonic plague. Camus also describes the townspeople’s feelings of exile as the plague progresses: first everyone wants to speed up time and end the plague, or they work ceaselessly…, Instant downloads of all 1389 LitChart PDFs 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. Paneloux initially sticks to standard Christian doctrine and sees the plague as God's censuring of human sin, but once he spends time on the ground among the ailing and the dying, he changes his understanding of his God. 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. LitCharts assigns a color and icon to each theme in The Plague, which you can use to track the themes throughout the work. Nearly all these early Plague ideas reveal Camus' concern for a truthful realism and a rejection of sensationalism. Those who fall ill or who have family members fall ill are isolated in camps and hospital wards, kept away from the healthy and deemed a threat. His works include The Stranger, The Plague, The Myth of Sisyphus, The Fall, and The Rebel. Rereading The Plague over these past weeks has … The plague that strikes Oran is thematically rich in its exploration of the absurd. Although they seem ominous, they are harmless parallels and portents of the human condition rather than a threat to humanity. “Rieux,” he said at last, “you must tell me the whole truth. The Plague Themes. Rieux isn't a perfect narrator, and as a doctor he knows he cannot save everyone, but he can make sure he contributes to the collective memory. What was the status of life in Europe in terms of faith, technology, and trade before the Plague arrived? They are emotionally estranged by the inability of language to convey the reality of what they are experiencing. Major characters in Camus' fiction, therefore, can probably be expected either to disbelieve or to wrestle with the problem of belief. The Plague by Albert Camus has many themes including exile and imprisonment. This particular plague happens in a Algerian port town called Oran in the 1940s. At the end of the novel, Rieux identifies himself as the author of the chronicle and explains his conviction to bear witness to the plague. Language and Communication. The boy has committed no sins, as Jesus did not, yet dies nonetheless. He needed to account for the ways life was disrupted, for the lives that were lost, for the quiet acts of heroism, for the endurance and the resilience and the charity and the overwhelming will to live. Within this new collectivity there is some comfort, but there is also an acute loss of what makes being alive so wonderful. Suggested Theme Topics. The mess starts when rats everywhere die. To enter into the literary world of Albert Camus, one must realize, first off, that one is dealing with an author who does not believe in God. The town was small and peaceful with the absence of birds. The suffering has three effects. Sales of Albert Camus’ 1947 novel The Plague (La Peste) were spiking. He thinks it is a waste of effort trying to figure out why God would send the plague or what the sins were that necessitated the plague, and that the way one helps combat the plague is not by praying. 3. The Plague, or La Peste in its original French, is a novel written by philosopher/writer Albert Camus in 1947. Suffering and Death. They are exiled from the past and the future, stuck in an interminable future. “I know that man is capable of great deeds. What was the philosophy of the “flagellants”? Camus immediately undercuts the “heroic” efforts of the volunteer groups by declaring that to the fight the plague … Many popular reading lists for the COVID-19 pandemic include The Plague, a 1947 novel by Albert Camus. Because of this situation, humans have…, The rest of the themes generally follow as corollaries to Camus’ philosophy. Characterization of The Plague In this book The Plague by Albert Camus, it’s interesting to read as this book is centered in the fiction genre. The Plague study guide contains a biography of Albert Camus, literature essays, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis. The citizens of Oran become prisoners of the plague when their city falls under total quarantine, but it is questionable whether they were really "free" before the plague. They also indicate his continuing insistence that his book carry his metaphysical ideas of the absurd. He becomes loquacious, companionable, and extroverted, delighting in how others now feel how he felt—frightened, oppressed, anxious. The plague causes suffering among the rich and the poor, the old and the young, and men and women. I count on that.” “I promise it.” Tarrou’s … Camus presents both of these perspectives as valid, though his personal sympathy is with Rieux, and shows that every single person tries to come to terms with the plague whether it is through religion, philosophy, volunteering, suffering, or other methods and means. The Plague Study Guide Albert Camus is one of the 20th century’s most esteemed writers, and La Peste, or The Plague (1947), is considered one of his masterpieces. The Plague Themes The Plague. 4. "My students can't get enough of your charts and their results have gone through the roof." Their present is the same, their pasts all superfluous, their futures all suspended. Exile and Imprisonment. "The Plague Themes". Explore Course Hero's library of literature materials, including documents and Q&A pairs. About The Plague The Plague Summary This study guide and infographic for Albert Camus's The Plague offer summary and analysis on themes, symbols, and other literary devices found in the text. If no one documents, then no one remembers. Absurdism. Dealing with the absurd is not something most people have experience with, and Camus chronicles the various ways they confront the absence of all reason. The Plague is essentially a philosophical novel, meaning that it forwards a particular worldview through its plot and characterization. As the plague begins to abate, though, he becomes more and more paranoid that he is going to be arrested and his freedom forever curtailed. Camus immediately undercuts the “heroic” efforts of the volunteer groups by declaring that to the fight the plague is the only decent, truly human thing to do, but this is because he believes that humans are generally good. Their lives were strictly regimented by an unconscious enslavement to their habits. Both deaths galvanize their "followers," forcing them to come to terms with God, the meaning of life, and wherein possible salvation lies. The people of Oran deal with this meaningless suffering in various ways. From the title, you know this book is about a plague. Set in the North African French colony of Oran, the novel chronicles a recrudescence of the bubonic plague and the various ways in which the townspeople respond to the pestilence. They die in the streets, on playgrounds, in businesses…and then people follow suit. Camus was born in … Attitudes toward death in The Plague. He does not renounce his faith but sees his choice as all or nothing, as the complete relinquishment of any claim to answers or comprehension and instead the resting in God's ultimate mysteriousness. The Plague The central irony in The Plague lies in Camus' treatment of "freedom." Not affiliated with Harvard College. It is located along the Algerian coast. I find the author’s plot, tone, and theme for … The plague itself is thematic. Abstraction is seen as deadening oneself to reality and mankind, sticking with statistics or philosophies or doctrines, focusing too much on rules or theories or putative panaceas. 2. Camus develops a story with characters who’s brought together by the natural disaster. The people believed the Blacl Death signaled the Biblical apocolypse. The advantages or disadvantages of an ironic tone (or irony) in The Plague. He won the Nobel Prize in Literature at the age of 44 in 1957, the second-youngest recipient in history. The novel presents a snapshot of life in Oran as seen through the author's distinctive absurdist point of view. At first they try to ignore or downplay it, and then they see it as a personal antagonist separating them…, Despite the enormity of suffering and death in the world and the seeming omnipotence of the plague, there are instances of heroism and altruistic struggle as well. They are just like everyone else; they have no distinguishing characteristics. GradeSaver, 9 June 2020 Web. I count on that.” “I promise it.” Tarrou’s … People are exiled physically from their loved ones and trapped inside the walls of Oran. When conditions in Europe suddenly changed at the beginning of the 14th century, what did many people believe had come? The original text plus a side-by-side modern translation of. The Plague is a novel by Albert Camus that was first published in 1947. Rambert and Rieux are both separated by the quarantine from the women they love, and Rambert, a foreigner, is exiled from his own home as well. Teach your students to analyze literature like LitCharts does. The author was an existentialist philosopher who was also a journalist, a writer, and a member of the French Resistance to the Nazi occupation. As the plague ravages the population, it becomes clear that suffering is universal and inevitable. 1. The rats don’t simply symbolize the plague. But if he isn't capable of great emotion, well, he leaves … Let’s define exile first and see how it relates to the text. As an atheist, Rieux finds it unfathomable that a God could allow the suffering seen in the plague and still be considered loving. Our, LitCharts assigns a color and icon to each theme in. The Question and Answer section for The Plague is a great (including. The Absurd. However, as the plague takes over everything, they lose that sense of uniqueness and individuality. It could also, of course, be the most concrete version of itself—a microbe, insidiously permeating every aspect of life and reminding people that they are subject to the forces of biology and nature just as much as they are subject to politics and economics. Albert Camus, in relation to this idea, delivered to the literary world his existentialist work, The Plague, a novel based upon the central theme of the inanity of human suffering and the profound individuality with the human experience. The location of Oran is utterly random yet the manner in which the plague plays out is utterly ruthless, almost as if it had been chosen by some greater power. Many are exiled from God, no longer able to reconcile the suffering they experience and see with the promises of Christianity. Late in 1942, he cautions himself not to include the word in the title. The flagellants believed that selfpunishment for their sins might help save them from death as a result of the Plague. 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