The Plague Quotes

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The Plague The Plague by Albert Camus
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The Plague Quotes (showing 1-30 of 196)
“I have no idea what's awaiting me, or what will happen when this all ends. For the moment I know this: there are sick people and they need curing.”
Albert Camus, The Plague
“And he knew, also, what the old man was thinking as his tears flowed, and he, Rieux, thought it too: that a loveless world is a dead world, and always there comes an hour when one is weary of prisons, of one's work, and of devotion to duty, and all one craves for is a loved face, the warmth and wonder of a loving heart.”
Albert Camus, The Plague
“I know that man is capable of great deeds. But if he isn't capable of great emotion, well, he leaves me cold.”
Albert Camus, The Plague
“The truth is that everyone is bored, and devotes himself to cultivating habits.”
Albert Camus, The Plague
“But, you know, I feel more fellowship with the defeated than with saints. Heroism and sanctity don't really appeal to me, I imagine. What interests me is being a man.”
Albert Camus, The Plague
“They knew now that if there is one thing one can always yearn for, and sometimes attain, it is human love.”
Albert Camus, The Plague
tags: love
“For who would dare to assert that eternal happiness can compensate for a single moment's human suffering”
Albert Camus, The Plague
“In fact, it comes to this: nobody is capable of really thinking about anyone, even in the worst calamity. For really to think about someone means thinking about that person every minute of the day, without letting one’s thoughts be diverted by anything- by meals, by a fly that settles on one’s cheek, by household duties, or by a sudden itch somewhere. But there are always flies and itches. That’s why life is difficult to live.”
Albert Camus, The Plague
tags: life
“But it's not easy. I've been thinking it over for years. While we loved each other we didn't need words to make ourselves understood. But people don't love forever. A time came when I should have found the words to keep her with me, only I couldn't.”
Albert Camus, The Plague
“Am well. Thinking of you always. Love”
Albert Camus, The Plague
“Whereas during those months of separation time had never gone quickly enough for their liking and they were wanting to speed its flight, now that they were in sight of the town they would have liked to slow it down and hold each moment in suspense, once the breaks went on and the train was entering the station. For the sensation, confused perhaps, but none the less poingant for that, of all those days and weeks and months of life lost to their love made them vaguely feel they were entitled to some compensation; this present hour of joy should run at half the speed of those long hours of waiting.”
Albert Camus, The Plague
“But what does it mean, the plague? It's life, that's all.”
Albert Camus, The Plague
“Nothing in the world is worth turning one's back on what one loves.”
Albert Camus, The Plague
“Well, personally, I've seen enough of people who die for an idea. I don't believe in heroism; I know it's easy and I've learned that it can be murderous. What interests me is living and dying for what one loves.”
Albert Camus, The Plague
“But again and again there comes a time in history when the man who dares to say that two and two make four is punished with death. The schoolteacher is well aware of this. And the question is not one of knowing what punishment or reward attends the making of this calculation. The question is one of knowing whether two and two do make four”
Albert Camus, The Plague
“stupidity has a knack of getting its way; as we should see if we were not always so much wrapped up in ourselves”
Albert Camus, The Plague
“It is in the thick of calamity that one gets hardened to the truth - in other words, to silence.”
Albert Camus, 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, The Plague
tags: hope
“The evil in the world comes almost always from ignorance, and goodwill can cause as much damage as ill-will if it is not enlightened. People are more often good than bad, though in fact that is not the question. But they are more or less ignorant and this is what one calls vice or virtue, the most appalling vice being the ignorance that thinks it knows everything and which consequently authorizes itself to kill. The murderer's soul is blind, and there is no true goodness or fine love without the greatest possible degree of clear-sightedness.”
Albert Camus, The Plague
“There are more things to admire in men then to despise.”
Albert Camus, The Plague
“What on earth prompted you to take a hand in this?"
"I don't know. My… my code of morals, perhaps."
"Your code of morals. What code, if I may ask?"
"Comprehension.”
Albert Camus, The Plague
“Do you believe in God, doctor?"

No - but what does that really mean? I'm fumbling in the dark, struggling to make something out. But I've long ceased finding that original.”
Albert Camus, The Plague
“What’s true of all the evils in the world is true of plague as well. It helps men to rise above themselves.”
Albert Camus, The Plague
“On moonlight nights the long, straight street and dirty white walls, nowhere darkened by the shadow of a tree, their peace untroubled by footsteps or a dog's bark, glimmered in the pale recession. The silent city was no more than an assemblage of huge, inert cubes, between which only the mute effigies of great men, carapaced in bronze, with their blank stone or metal faces, conjured up a sorry semblance of what the man had been. In lifeless squares and avenues these tawdry idols lorded it under the lowering sky; stolid monsters that might have personified the rule of immobility imposed on us, or, anyhow, its final aspect, that of a defunct city in which plague, stone, and darkness had effectively silenced every voice.”
Albert Camus, 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. It was no longer anything except a patience with no future and a stubborn wait.”
Albert Camus, The Plague
“how hard it must be to live only with what one knows and what one remembers, cut off from what one hopes for!”
Albert Camus, The Plague
“All I maintain is that on this earth there are pestilences and there are victims, and it's up to us, so far as possible, not to join forces with the pestilences.”
Albert Camus, The Plague
“Personne n'est capable réellement de penser à personne, fût-ce dans le pire des malheurs. Car penser réellement à quelqu'un, c'est y penser minute après minute, sans être distrait par rien, ni les soins du ménage, ni la mouche qui vole, ni les repas, ni une démangeaison. Mais il y a toujours des mouches et des démangeaisons. C'est pourquoi la vie est difficile à vivre.”
Albert Camus, The Plague
“In this respect, our townsfolk were like everybody else, wrapped up in themselves; in other words, they were humanists: they disbelieved in pestilences. A pestilence isn't a thing made to man's measure; therefore we tell ourselves that pestilence is a mere bogy of the mind, a bad dream that will pass away. But it doesn't always pass away and, from one bad dream to another, it is men who pass away, and the humanists first of all, because they have taken no precautions.”
Albert Camus, The Plague
“le mal qui est dans le monde vient presque toujours de l'ignorance”
Albert Camus, The Plague

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