Composed in 1948 by Albert Camus, The Plague is a study of human habit in a crisis. It tells the story of medical workers finding solidarity in their labour when Oran, an Algerian city, is swept by a plague. Maria Warner, a journalist of The guardian newspaper, examinates the themes of The Plague- terror, poison, cruel and tormented deaths, heroic struggle, acquiescence, alliance – and concludes saying that this story is shown from every angle through various protagonists, from the patient, inarticulate, generous-hearted Joseph Grand, to the brooding, conflicted journalist Jean Tarrou who is said to be a kind of Camus’ self-portrait.
There are a number of questions relating to the human condition. “One hardly knows what a dead man is, after a while,” Camus writes. “And since a dead man has no substance unless one has actually seen him dead, a hundred million corpses broadcast through history are no more than a puff of smoke in the imagination.” As revealed by the blogger PCamus wrote it as a resistance fighter to Nazism because they created similar effects in destruction of the humans.
Michael Schaub, meanwhile, compares that situation with nowadays’ related to Ebola. As this writer said: “For months now the Ebola virus has been wreaking havoc in the West African countries of Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone. More than 700 people have died, and it seems that doctors are near-powerless to help. With the threat of the disease tearing communities apart, it’s hard not to think of a legendary novel from almost 70 years ago. Of course a parallel between plague and Ebola is inevitable, the Oran microcosm fully applicable to a world in which men were killed off like flies, so, as might be expected from Camus, his primary subject in terms of the phenomenon of plague throughout the centuries is secondary to the correlative phenomenon of Ebola”.
As it is explained in SparkNotes’ blog, Camus’ philosophy is an amalgam of existentialism and humanism. An atheist, Camus did not believe that death, suffering, and human existence had any intrinsic moral or rational meaning. That is why Camus did not believe in God or an afterlife. He said that human beings live under a completely absurd death sentence. However, Camus believed that people were able to give their lives meaning. In that blog, Camus’ philosophy is explained with a clearness that evidences what is the most meaningful action within the context of Camus’ philosophy: to choose to fight death and suffering.
Some readers, as the case of Media Consommé, think that The Plague amplify the simple story of The Stranger. It is said to be a fantastic book in which it is pleasure to see those themes through a story containing characters one can admire. In this blog, the novel is presented as an enjoyable read. Finally, what it is important to take into account is what is the principal goal of Camus which is to make the reader gradually assimilate the information he presence, so as form his or her own opinion in regards to what is true and what is right, if either exist in this world.
JUDT, T, “On The Plague”, The New York Review of Books, (2001). (http://dactylreview.com/2013/05/02/the-plague-by-albert-camus/)
MEDIA CONSOMMÉ, “The Plague by Albert Camus review”, Media Consommé: Consume Media. Tasty, Tasty Media, (2011). (https://mediaconsomme.wordpress.com/2011/04/24/the-plague-by-albert-camus-review/)
PETRONMB, “The Plague by Albert Camus”, Dactyl Review: dedicated solely to literary fiction, created by and for the literary fiction community, (2013). (http://dactylreview.com/2013/05/02/the-plague-by-albert-camus/)
SCHAUB, M, “Albert Camus And The Search For Meaning In The Midst Of Ebola”, NPR Books, (2014). (http://www.npr.org/2014/08/02/337134660/albert-camus-and-the-search-for-meaning-in-the-midst-of-ebola)
SparkNotes Editors. “SparkNote on The Plague”. (2014). (http://www.sparknotes.com/lit/plague/)
WARNER, M, “To be a man”, The Guardian: Winner of the pulitzer prize, (2003). (http://www.theguardian.com/books/2003/apr/26/classics.albertcamus)