See also: the Plague (homonymy)
the Plague is a Romance of Albert Camus published in 1947. Certain characters of the Plague are present in pages of the Carnets , written with Algiers in 1938. But it is especially with Oran, of the end of 1940 in spring of 1942, then in metropolis that Albert Camus works out his novel. A first version Handwritten E, ready with the beginning of 1943, is deeply altered. Published in June 1947, at Gallimard, the Plague will be worth in Camus its first great best-seller (161 000 the first two years, several million since).
The inhabitants organize themselves to survive the seat of this disease mortal. The main characters are the following:
Rieux : doctor, it is one of the first to identify the symptoms of the disease, and becomes a central figure in the organization medical health of the city. Towards the end of the book, he learns to the reader that he is the narrator. During its narration, it shows the tragic evolution of the evil and it introduces other characters.
Rambert : Parisian journalist, who does not have of cease to try to leave this city, where it was only of passage. Initially it tries to leave the city, then, feeling finally interdependent of the misery of the others, it decides to remain to take part in health professional trainings to help the inhabitants.
Tarrou : mysterious character appearing gradually. He recalls the plague through his notebooks, which the narrator took as a starting point. It is mainly him which deals with the medical organization of the city, of which he is the initiator. Young idealist, it fights with Rieux to save as many lives as possible. Tarrou dies of the plague at the end of the account, when the epidemic is with the day before to be completely stopped.
Cottard : seem to have had a difficult past, but which finds in the state of siege an occasion to be reconciled with the company. It benefits loosely from general misery by making smuggling and black-market. When cease the epidemic of plague, its network of smuggling collapses and it becomes insane, a madness which appears when the city celebrates the end of the plague and that it starts to shoot at inhabitants, under the sorry glances of Large and of Rieux.
Large: an employee of Town hall, very devoted with its administrative tasks . He deals with many roles in health professional trainings. He passes the remainder of his time to work on the writing of his novel.
Manor house: doctor, he is a colleague of Rieux. He is the first to name the plague and succeeds in creating a serum to fight it, which proves not very effective with most extremely of the devastations of the plague, but which is a great success when its force starts to be blown.
Paneloux Father: invite its faithful to meditate on the direction of this message sent by the sky. For him, the plague is at the same time a punishment of God and an occasion to convert. It evokes this point of view at the time of its first sermon. In a later sermon, the narrator shows that it was affected by the death of a child; its speech is more hesitant, it feels more interdependent of the inhabitants. It ends up dying of a fever which resembles that of the plague, even if the doctors are not sour.
Into the Incipit the Narrateur “introduces us into the city” (quoted: Civilized state) of Oran, French prefecture of the Algerian coast of the years 1940. The year is not specified, the narrator registering “194.” to let plane ambiguity. It is noticed that one season ago, but not time, not of exact dates although it is a chronicle. It is a modern city of trade, which is quite natural, Oran having a port. The narrator teaches us the leisures from the inhabitants, like the cinema, the sea bathings, the ball and the circles. The inhabitants are lost in the practices.
It is thus noticed that the incipit is very careful. Some indications are provided and the presentation remains a enigma, which wakes up the curiosity of the reader.
The narrator poses problem, because it hides its role in the account. Its statute is of type Historien, as if it wrote a Chronique, which it explains towards the end of the incipit. Its statute is polyphonic, because the narrator makes use of all information which it could collect in order to be able to write the account most exactly possible, with objectivity and confidentiality.
In the years 1940, Oran, city without concern, starts to become a true martyrdom for its inhabitants. Indeed, an epidemic of plague is declared, which is observed initially by the proliferation of dead rats strewing the streets. Certain residents are them also contaminated by the disease. Doctor Rieux, omnipresent in the account, tries to render comprehensible with his fellow-members whom it is urgent to quarantine this catastrophe, that the name is essential that one gives him (plague or Fièvre of growth). Doctor Castel, as for him, knows perfectly that it is about the plague. Having made its studies in China, it knows that even if this disease disappeared in Occident, it is not éradiquée yet of the surface of the sphere. The town hall then decides to close the access to the city, thus condemning some to want to try to flee by the port.
A committed work
the plague is also a committed work . Indeed Albert Camus lets guess in the text its ideas anti Nazis and denounces inter alia the atrocity lived by the Jewish people during the Second world war. The disease is an allegorical representation of the Nazisme (called brown Peste then). The patients represent the Jewish population and the victims of the Nazis, while Rieux and its accomplices symbolize the Résistance.
Moreover, one can establish throughout the account of the resemblances between the epidemic and the Nazism, as follows:
Cottard is the portrait of those which benefitted from the German occupation while drawing from the benefit thanks to the Contrebande.
the patients go in camps from where one leaves “changed”.
Rieux is the symbol of the Résistant which fights the plague during all the account, it is comparable with Camus, Résistant during the war.
people have, after it passed, a capacity to forget the Peste (and the Guerre).
Rieux, at the end, explains why although it is forgotten it easily, the plague, is deadened always there, and that one day it can return, like the ideology Nazi.
|Random links:||Louis de Beaupoil of Holy-Aulaire | Lachambre | Modern defense | Party Al ahd | Louit | Josef_Mengele|