It 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. The novel presents a snapshot of life in Oran as seen through the author's distinctive absurdist point of view.
The book ...more
Here is the quote
And, indeed, as he listened to the cries of joy rising from the town, Rieux remembered that such joy is always imperiled. He knew what those jubilant crowds did not know but could have learned from books: that the plague bacillus never dies or disappears for good; that it can lie dormant for years and years in furniture and linen chests; that it bides its time in bedrooms, cellars, trunks, and bookshelves; and that perhaps the day would come when, for the bane and the enlightening of men, it would rouse up its rats again and send them forth to die in a happy city. (hide spoiler)]
Just kidding, it is about the bubonic plague, really not very funny at all.
However, it is a modern masterpiece of allegory, symbolism and imagery. The surface story is about plague in the early 1940s visiting the Algerian coastal city of Oran. While Camus tells a complete tale of disease, fear, despair, compassion and selfless heroism; the story of lasting significance is told between the lines with insightful observations and thought provoking disserta ...more
The Plague is a novel by Albert Camus, published in 1947, that tells the story of a plague sweeping the French Algerian city of Oran.
It asks a number of questions relating to the nature of destiny and the human condition. The characters in the book, ranging from doctors to vacationers to fugitives, all help to show the effects the plague has on a populace.
The Plague is considered an existentialist classic despite Camus' objection ...more
How would you deal with the situation, and which character traits of yours would all of a sudden come to the surface? How would you treat your friends, neighbours and fellow citizens? What would you do to change the situation?
These questions have been haunting me ever since I first read “La Peste” in school, over two decades ago. I have reread it since then, with the same fascination, ...more
And it is also figurative and symbolic - the African town, the colonial remnant of Oran, is “sealed off” as a result (as political powers seal us off nowadays, from obtrusive and disturbing Truth?) in a collective slumber of despair.
But guess what... within its sealed demesne, good men are doing active and physically-engaged Good Things within the vibrant frame of a new kind of po ...more
A great piece of literature, very important for the current pandemic situation that the world is facing, but has relevance for all times in human history, as it was said - plague never really goes away.
I see the plague as a symbol od inevitability of human suffering - crisis, sickness, torture, death that can come up at any moment, at any time. That is existential vulnerability that we as humans have to live with, thought out all ages.
"...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."
Well this book about human resilience in the face of horror/sickness/plague was WORK for me. I found myself having to read and re-read sections as this book is not just a book but a social, political, philosophical commentary. I found myself thinking "huh? what did ...more
Somehow Camus brings humanism, optimism and the role of love to a depressing story of bubonic plaque in 1940’s Oran, Algeria. First all the rats die and then we go from there. After much bureaucratic bungling and delays, the city is cut off from the outside world by quarantine. A lot of the focus of the story is on those separated by chance from loved ones for several months. There is intrigue as some plot to escape the town. But mainly a dreary perseverance and indifference takes over many in t ...more
Evidently, it wasn't enough for me to read about global pandemics in the works of Kurt Vonnegut or Margaret Atwood. Albert Camus' The Plague isn't about a future apocalyptic world, but the quarantine and death by disease of citizens in the Algerian city of Oran. Camus' plague is more about the human condition and the existential crisis posed by the disease. Even if the plague also represents a Nazi occupation (as some claim), there is s ...more
The Plague: Resistance and Activism for This or Any Time
“I have no idea ...more
The story is about a plague that wraps the city of Oran, isolating the city completely from the outside world. Cut off from the world, parted f ...more
Oran is isolated, separated and cut off from the rest of the world. As a result, the inhabitants become "prisoners of The Plague"; the city resembles a condemned to death.
The epidemic progresses. The pl ...more
“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.”
The city of Oran
What is life like during an epidemic? The answer, truly, is that human beings eventually make a habit of everything given the time and space to cope. And eventually they get used to death, to mourn silently, to treat the new sick and to quarantine the ones they were in contact with as if it
Many people read The Stranger and think Camus is a pessimist, ...more
Deeply human and showing a believe in the overall good of humanity, without closing eyes to our weaker instincts. - 4 stars
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.
A compelling and surprisingly quick classic in these strange times.
The Plague reads like a fever dream.
The story of Oran is quite si ...more
The Plague is set in Oran, a city in Algeria that experiences a breakout of the Bubonic plague, and is soon placed under quarantine. We witness the changes among this community as they are cut off from the outside world; they experience all manners of emotions from hysteria, despondency, avarice, uncertainty,self-reflection and fear.
The Plague is definitely a depre ...more
As quarantines and sudden isolation from the outside world become a fact of life, our mild-mannered and selfless protagonist, Dr. Bernard Rieux maintains his cool despite exhaustion and the pestilence surrounding his long days.
Thus, in a middle course between these heights...more
Anything else that I might say about this outstanding novel is bound to be trite nonsense. Fortunately there are many splendid reviews of it.
Although I have read L’étranger/The Outsider in both French and English I forgot what a brilliant author Albert ...more
I knew what I was letting myself in for here, hence the title, but damn this was grim, and it certainly wasn't an easy read. As early as when the description of the huge rats came about, I was actually sitting here and shuddering.
Once the plague is discovered in the quiet town of Oran, humans have no choice other than to face death head on. This is something no indivi ...more
Through the narrator, Dr Rieux, we can identify and understand why many other doctors went immediately to the plague’ ...more
Officialdom can never cope with something really catastrophic.
As with all of Camus’s books, The Plague is a seamless blend of philosophy and art. The story tells of an outbreak of plague—bubonic and pneumonic—in the Algerian city of Oran. The narration tracks the crisis from beginning to end, noting the different psychological reactions of the townsfolk; and it must be said, now that we are living through a pandemic, that Camus is remarkably prescient in his portrayal a city under siege from ...more
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