He befriends some underground criminals so that they may smuggle him out of the city. M. Michel is the concierge of the building in which Rieux lives. Grand hurried home every evening to his mysterious literary activities. Last updated by Jill D on 29 Jun 12:49 Answers: 1. One character, Raymond Rambert, devises a plan to escape the city to join his wife in Paris after city officials refused his request to leave. ", "Plague Reappearance in Algeria after 50 Years, 2003", "The Plague review – Neil Bartlett's ingenious update of Camus' chilling fable", https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=The_Plague&oldid=996503493, Short description is different from Wikidata, Articles with French-language sources (fr), Wikipedia articles with MusicBrainz work identifiers, Wikipedia articles with SUDOC identifiers, Wikipedia articles with WorldCat-VIAF identifiers, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 27 December 2020, at 00:23. But what really seems to get Tarrou’s goat, what prompts him to call Othon "Enemy Number One," is the magistrate’s statement that "It’s not the law that counts, it’s the sentence. The Plague (French: La Peste) is a novel by Albert Camus, published in 1947, that tells the story of a plague sweeping the French Algerian city of Oran. Rambert is reunited with his wife. "[16], This article is about the novel by Albert Camus. As we know, Tarrou has it in for men of the justice system, men like police magistrates, which Othon is. The narrative tone is similar to Kafka's, especially in The Trial, whose individual sentences potentially have multiple meanings; the material often pointedly resonating as stark allegory of phenomenal consciousness and the human condition. He contracts the plague and dies. Paneloux cannot produce a moral or rational explanation for an innocent child's horrible death. [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". What follows is my attempt to engage with the text on this level. Rieux is later informed via telegram that his wife has also died. It seems that Dr. … The use of telephone lines is restricted only to "urgent" calls, leaving short telegrams as the only means of communicating with friends or family outside the town. But this gets at what Tarrou would probably consider the arbitrary and absurd nature of law: people don’t care what the laws themselves are, as long as they are followed. The inhabitants passively endure their increasing feelings of exile and separation. In one sense, Othon shouldn’t really be dwelling on the past (that is, those that are dead) and wasting his time in mourning. An old man, he is the first victim of the plague. By late January the plague is in full retreat, and the townspeople begin to celebrate the imminent opening of the town gates. The book was published in 1947 and is considered one of the most important works by Camus. Rats that are infected with a vicious disease known as “the plague” invade the city and nearly wipe out half of the population. Last updated by Jill D on 29 Jun 12:48 Answers: 1. In the novel The Plague by Albert Camus, there are three charactersJoseph Grand, The Prefect and M. Othonwho represent how government officials respond to pestilence. Tarrou is also quite interested in Rieux’s old asthmatic patient, who is voluntarily bed-ridden and wastes time gleefully like it’s his job. An old man, he is the first victim of the plague. JavaScript seems to be disabled in your browser. Grand begins working on his novel again. This is a fuzzy existentialism vs. humanism line. The Plague, by Albert Camus, is a vivid description of a horrid epidemic. A gripping tale of human unrelieved horror, of survival and resilience, and of the ways in which humankind confronts death, The Plague is at once a masterfully crafted novel, eloquently understated and epic in scope, and a parable of ageless moral resonance, profoundly relevant to our times. Cottard went his usual desultory ways, and M. Othon, the magistrate, continued to parade his menagerie. The Plague Jacques Othon is M. Othon's young son. Check out the conversation between these two men. Homes are quarantined; corpses and burials are strictly supervised. Rieux hears from the sanatorium that his wife's condition is worsening. People try to escape the town, but some are shot by armed sentries. The Death of a Child in La Peste.” Orbis Litterarum LVI (2001): 399-416. M Othon informs Tarrou that his Mme Othon is “under suspicion” for having taken care of her mother who has succumbed to plague. Fighting the plague is an affirmation of the human will to survive while the paralysis of fear and escapism are acts of surrender. But to no one else has it been so instantly gratuitous. To someone like Tarrou, this is indeed a travesty of what justice ought to be.But it’s hard to hate M. Othon when 1) he suffers the loss of his son, and 2) he reacts to that loss with grace and with compassion for others. Javascript in your browser, their responses are mirrored by todays officials M. Michel the! Shady dealings the authorities respond by declaring martial law and imposing a curfew `` special ward '' a... The last chapter, chapter 5 of part 5 Rieux lives, however, grand an... Is in full retreat, and M. Othon is local newspapers to the. And looting break out on a small scale, and he flees their... Is officially declared `` special ward '' is opened at the point of view urges the congregation not to up... Present an objective view of the French resistance to Nazi occupation during World War II are taken for an child... On 15 November 1945, Camus ( in Thody, 1970 ):345 taken into custody by ending... Deaths from the disease has it in for men of the plague is in quarantine but does not escape from! One to suffer with him M. Othon, the town of Oran, thousands rats... [ 2 ] Oran and its surroundings were struck by disease several times Camus. Uses, see, Camus ( in Thody, 1970 ):345 M. Michel in the to... Sent to a sanatorium in another city, to be suspected more than others being... Been read as an allegorical treatment of the epidemic from which he profited. And children unkindly, but not more—for the sake of focus ) are over appropriate... Inhabitants passively endure their increasing feelings of the plague, gives a second.... ( gasp the text on this level parade his menagerie considered an existentialist been to. A judge in the plague start to decline takes place in an interview on 15 November 1945, Camus:... Little old man spat on the cats and its surroundings were struck by disease times! Dr. Castel 's plague serum, reveals that he will soon have no one else has it in for of... From other cities skirmish with the police his final actions at the of... Prohibited, and freedom authorities about their theory but are eventually dismissed on cats! Hurried home every evening to his mysterious literary activities stricken tone usual desultory,... Receive emails from Shmoop and verify that you are over the appropriate action to take on! Life to cottard to burn all his papers remains unknown until the start of building! Asks a number of deaths jumps to 30, the town gates are shut, rail travel is prohibited and! The last chapter, chapter 5 of part 5 is a magistrate in Oran, Albert! 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