The story of The plague was published in 1947 by Albert Camus. The plague is a fictional story revolving around town of Oran in the Northern Algeria. “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” (Camus 33). However, this novel is considered to be a war allegory of French resistance to the Nazis during the World War 2. Majorly, it points out the futility of the human aspirations and the inevitability of suffering. It revolves around a lot of concern in regards to the nature of destiny and the condition of human. The effects of the plague has on populace is vividly depicted by using characters from doctors to vacationer to fugitive. Cholera epidemic which killed a big number of the Oran’s population in 1849 after the French colonization is believed to be the back born of the novel, though the novel is done in the 1940s. The novel was published years after Oran and its environs were stuck by diseases. A research by Center for Disease Control and Prevention showed that the plague invaded Oran in 1556 and 1678.
However, the outbreak was letter reported in 1921 where 185 was reported. In 1931, 76 cases were reported, these continued up to 1944 where 95 cases were in record. These numbers however, do not tally with the numbers put in the novel. In the novel, the numbers are much bigger.
The plague began in the port city of Oran in Algeria. All the rats in the city began to die by jerking an
d spinning and spurting blood for no good reason. Dr. Bernard Rieux, the town doctor was worried on the death of Rats. Eventually, the rates stopped dying simply because they had all died and people began to get ill. All the residents of the town started being panic. The public reacted to their sudden imprisonment with strong longing for their loved ones. They were involved in personal distress, being convinced that their suffering was unique compared to the common suffering.
As a result, Father Paneloux presented a stem sermon, arguing that the plague was God’s punishment for Oran’s evils. Raymond Rambert decided to escape from Oran to join his wife who was living in Paris, unfortunately the city’s bureaucrats denied him to leave. He tried to leave by the help of Cottard’s criminal associates. He finally felt ashamed of escaping after his friend Tarrou was separated from his wife. He then chooses not to flee but stay behind and help in fighting the epidemic. Furthermore, Cottard had committed a crime in the past and he lived in a constant fear of being arrested and punished. He revealed the plague epidemic as a normal case simply because he no longer felt alone in his suffering (Camus 12).
Despite Camus’ objection, the plague was considered existentialist classic. It has a similar narrative tone to that of Kafka’s, especially in The Trial where specific potential sentences have numerous meanings. Moreover, the material is pointed to be resonating as phenomenal allegory with consciousnes
and the condition of human. The book portrays depiction of metaphor of how French resistance to Nazi was treated during the Second World War. Although the approach in the book is quiet detailed, the narration emphasize much on ideas beyond control. In addition, the writer went ahead to describe human reaction towards disaster. The plague is a representation of how the world deals with the idea of disaster.
Rieux and Rambert face exile and separation. Both of them are separated from their beloved women. Many other unnamed citizens are also victims of separation and exile. They are also separated from their loved ones in different towns and from these who were away when the gates of Oran were closed. This led to entire town being set in to exile because of its complete cut from the entire world outside. Rieux explained what the exile meant to the town. The luxury of being in their homes and to be with the people they wanted to be with made others like Rambert have the exile in double measures. Change of attitude and behavior was witnessed as a result of the exile. It first, it was all excitement because people thought the separation was a matter of time and in due cause, they will meet their beloved ones. Eventually, they started feeling like prisoner with their lives in misery because they could not tell the period this would take. They were full of regrets with the feeling of being abandoned; most of their errands were unattended to. It was painful, but they had no option but perseverance, not even able to share with their beloved ones (Camus 66).
After the disaster of the epidemic is over, Rieux returned to the theme when the memory of the exile and the deprivation undergone was still very vivid in the minds of the enthusiast members of the family and friends who had not meet for a very long period of time. In other citizen’s mind, the exile was so painful to let go. All they wanted is a get together with a feeling that could hardly be depicted but looked like the most admired thing ever. In some, it was referred to peace. Tarrou was among the people although he found it in death as put by Rieux. The understanding of exile had lots of metaphysical implications that were too deep to understand. Loss of belief of human living in a rational universe where they can achieve their hopes and aspirations, get a real picture and be at home. Camus puts it in the Myth of Sisyphus that it is a universe full of deprivation of illusion and light.
The plague in Oran displayed unexpected situation of human living in a separate unpredictable universe without order and no transcendent God. The plague is unpredictable and gets to anybody regardless of the status. It lives human in the state of fear, uncertainty and which result into death. Concern over the action to take on the plague is given response by Camus through the characters of Rieux, Rambert and Tarrou. In part II, Rieux conversation with Tarrou makes his position very