Jump to navigation Jump to search This article is about the novel by Albert Camus. Albert Good themes for essays, published in 1947, that tells the story of a plague sweeping the French Algerian city of Oran. The novel is believed to be based on the cholera epidemic that killed a large percentage of Oran’s population in 1849 following French colonization, but the novel is placed in the 1940s.
Oran and its environs were struck by disease multiple times before Camus published this novel. The Plague is considered an existentialist classic despite Camus’ objection to the label. Camus included a dim-witted character misreading The Trial as a mystery novel as an oblique homage. The Narrator: the narrator presents himself at the outset of the book as witness to the events and privy to documents, but does not identify himself with any character until the ending of the novel. Asthma Patient: the asthma patient receives regular visits from Dr.
He is a seventy-five-year-old Spaniard with a rugged face, who comments on events in Oran that he hears about on the radio and in the newspapers. Castel is one of Rieux’s medical colleagues and is much older than Rieux. He realizes after the first few cases that the disease is bubonic plague and is aware of the seriousness of the situation. He works hard to make an antiplague serum, but as the epidemic continues, he shows increasing signs of wear and tear.
Cottard: Cottard lives in the same building as Grand. He does not appear to have a job and is described as having private means although he describes himself as “a traveling salesman in wines and spirits. Cottard is an eccentric figure, silent and secretive, who tries to hang himself in his room. Afterwards, he does not want to be interviewed by the police since he has committed a crime by attempting suicide and fears arrest. Cottard’s personality changes after the outbreak of plague. Whereas he was aloof and mistrustful before, he now becomes agreeable and tries hard to make friends. He appears to relish the coming of the plague, and Tarrou thinks it is because he finds it easier to live with his own fears now that everyone else is in a state of fear, too.