The Plague is a novel written by the existentialist writer, Albert Camus. It is a story of an epidemic disease invading Oran, a town in Algeria. This novel was published in 1947. As a consequence, people started reading this novel in the coronavirus crisis; all the editions of this novel are sold in the UK, as this novel represents the real situation we are living in these days.
The Plague Starts
Without any plausible justification, rats started to die in the town. This act symbolizes the commencement of the epidemic. The symptoms going along with this epidemic are jerking, spinning, and spurting blood.
Dr. Bernard Rieux, the doctor of the town Oran, had noticed that rats perish in huge numbers. Rieux supersedes his wife with his mother to help him in the housework. This is because his wife is sent outside the town so as to receive good treatment.
When all the rats die, people started to fall ill. This causes the town to be in a state of terror. Raymond Rambert, a journalist, who managed to obtain snippets of life through Jean Tarrou‘s diaries.
It is patent then that the plague hitting the town is Black Death. The latter had swept the West in the Middle-Ages; However, people, who are in charge, keep refusing this fact. consequently, authorities were content with quarantining the town. That is, other ways leading to the town are blocked. As people died, doctor. Rieux solicited from the authorities the aid but in vain. The authorities are confined to use force so as to prevent people from going outside their houses.
People no longer stand the quarantine
On the one hand, many townsmen started to perish. The epidemic started to propagate due to the absence of sanitary conditions. In the same vein, authorities utilize force to subdue the inhabitants of the town to respect the quarantine.
Dr.Rieux’s friend Grand managed to rescue his neighbor townsman, Cottard from a blatant attempt to suicide. The latter is afraid of policemen; The former is writing a book about his ex-wife. Both of them are of strange behaviors. Another reporter had been trapped under health isolation in Oran and unable to get back to Paris to see his love.
The Tarou, the tourist who had been trapped at home, requested from the doctor to find out a way to elope from this lethal disease. Father Paneloux, a priest in Oran, attributed the reason for having this infliction to the fact that the townsmen had sinned a lot. So, they should return to God through repentance.
Cottard and Rambert attempted to elope from Oran. The tourist, Torrou, demanded from Rambert and Cottard to help him fight the pandemic. However, None would help him; Cottard, instead, retorts that the epidemic persists. On the contrary, Rambert accepted to stretch out his hand for help, though he thought of eloping from the town.
Oran’s cemeteries become full of dead corpses. Due to deterioration and poor sanitation, the disease keeps spreading until hospitals are crowded. Therefore, old hotels become new hospitals.