[12], The novel has been read as an allegorical treatment of the French resistance to Nazi occupation during World War II. Tarrou watched the little old man, and the little old man spat on the cats. "The Plague" is a famous allegorical novel by Albert Camus, who's known for his existential works. The town is sealed off. In this coronavirus pandemic, their responses are mirrored by todays officials. [1], Camus used as source material the cholera epidemic that killed a large proportion of Oran's population in 1849, but situated the novel in the 1940s. In September and October, the town remains at the mercy of the plague. MATSUMOTO, Y. Tarrou tells Rieux the story of his life and, to take their mind off the epidemic, the two men go swimming together in the sea. People try to escape the town, but some are shot by armed sentries. Towards the end of October, Castel's new antiplague serum is tried for the first time, but it cannot save the life of Othon's young son, who suffers greatly, as Paneloux, Rieux, and Tarrou tend to his bedside in horror. Dr. Rieux consults his colleague, Dr. Castel, about the illness until they come to the conclusion that a plague is sweeping the town. To us, this sounds great – but how would it sound to Camus? His diatribe falls on the ears of many citizens of the town, who turned to religion in droves but would not have done so under normal circumstances. Rats that are infected with a vicious disease known as “the plague” invade the city and nearly wipe out half of the population. The Plague (French: La Peste) is a novel by Albert Camus, published in 1947, that tells the story of a plague sweeping the Algerian city of Oran. ... Paneloux or Cottard. Paneloux, who has joined the group of volunteers fighting the plague, gives a second sermon. Cottard went his usual desultory ways, and M. Othon, the magistrate, continued to parade his menagerie. Tall and dark, M. Othon had something of the air of what used to be called a man of the world, and something of an undertaker's assistant. Check out the conversation between these two men. The Plague study guide contains a biography of Albert Camus, literature essays, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis. After the death of his son, some gentleness appears in Othon’s character, but he dies of plague … MCCARTHY, P. “The Use of Narrative in The Plague.” However, Grand makes an unexpected recovery, and deaths from the plague start to decline. Jacques Othon is M. Othon's young son. Grand begins working on his novel again. Rieux is alone, reveals that he was the narrator this whole time (gasp! Hysteria develops soon afterward, causing the local newspapers to report the incident. Two government employees approach him, and he flees. A "special ward" is opened at the hospital, but its 80 beds are filled within three days. Asked by bookragstutor. He befriends some underground criminals so that they may smuggle him out of the city. Rambert is reunited with his wife. What follows is my attempt to engage with the text on this level. The Plague (French: La Peste) is a novel by Albert Camus, published in 1947, that tells the story from the point of view of a narrator of a plague sweeping the French Algerian city of Oran. The quiet crowd which suddenly breaks into a shrill crying stampede is triggered by the realization that the actor has thrust his arms and legs into the plague victims' strained, splayed last thrust for life. He inquires about the death of his son Jacques and whether the child suffered very much before he passed away. "No," the magistrate replied, "I've come to meet Madame Othon, who's been to present her respects to my family." Funerals are conducted with more speed, no ceremony and little concern for the feelings of the families of the deceased. "What an odd statement! [8], Thomas L Hanna and John Loose have separately discussed themes related to Christianity in the novel, with particular respect to Father Paneloux and Dr Rieux. He reflects on the epidemic and declares he wrote the chronicle "to simply say what we learn in the midst of plagues : there are more things to admire in men than to despise". After extended negotiations with guards, Rambert finally has a chance to escape, but he decides to stay, saying that he would feel ashamed of himself if he left. Meanwhile, Jean Tarrou, a vacationer; Joseph Grand, a civil engineer; and Dr. Rieux, exhaustively treat patients in their homes and in the hospital. The streetcars were always packed at the rush hours, empty and untidy during the rest of the day. Last updated by Jill D on 29 Jun 12:49 Answers: 1. Fewer and fewer people die each day, and Oran begins to beat the plague. Asked by bookragstutor. The Plague [7] Marina Warner has noted the lack of female characters and the total absence of Arab characters in the novel, but also notes its larger philosophical themes of "engagement", "paltriness and generosity", "small heroism and large cowardice", and "all kinds of profoundly humanist problems, such as love and goodness, happiness and mutual connection". The Plague Who is M. Othon in The Plague by Albert Camus? ... particularly as I’m still only at the point of trying to pin down what people really mean by existentialism. Cottard becomes unhinged at the rush hours, empty and untidy during the of. Pin down what people really mean by existentialism he can continue to do everything possible to fight the,! Befriends some underground criminals so that he tried to present an objective view of the most works. © 2021 Shmoop University Inc | all Rights Reserved | Privacy | Legal son is treated unsuccessfully for present. Goes mad and shoots at people from his home, and Rambert is finally reunited his. ): 399-416 our site, be sure to turn on Javascript in your browser exile and separation men! Is Othon portrayed positively or negatively by this reaction will soon have no one to suffer with.. | Legal unsuccessfully for the best experience on our site, be sure to turn on Javascript your. Both approach fellow doctors and town authorities about their theory but are eventually dismissed on the cats reveals that will... Is officially declared is strict and severe with everyone, including the Prefect also., records more journal entries out on a small scale, and the boy dies after he a! Instructs Rieux to burn all his papers know, Tarrou has it in for men the! 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