He is described as looking massive and enormously black. Although Tarrou's plan of action is exceptional, Rieux cannot describe its members in such language. But we should remember that the plague is unrespecting. Her remark that one needn't be happy to make another start suggests that groundless optimism is as ridiculous as the pessimism that her marriage was fostering. All of the places of rendezvous have this mad, surrealistic atmosphere. The Church has defined: the plague has a beginning and, ostensibly, an end. But, for Cottard, during their conversation eagerness begins to build steadily. At first there are just a few. Frustration fuses the individual scenes and builds steadily until the last sentence is read with the same intensity that one feels at the culmination of a Chopin crescendo. Rieux's task becomes more difficult. The control of gasoline and foodstuffs confuses them; their failure, however, to understand the death statistics is plausible. He does not neglect his writing; through his close association with Rieux, he gains even a sense of humor concerning the precision he works with. But do they receive hope? The present, as Rieux tells Rambert, is their only time. Tarrou draws up a plan to recruit volunteers for the sanitation league because he does not want to see anyone condemned to … He rushes down the stairs and pauses a moment. is largely impossible on account of the fact that publishers don't wear hats in the office. Gonzales, Garcia, Raoul, Marcel, and Louis Rambert's underground contacts. Here you should be aware of the parallels between his faith and that of the religious townspeople. And and but are hard to choose between, but harder yet are but and then. His discovery that Rieux is also without his wife is no doubt the factor that finally transforms his determination to leave immediately into a resolution to stay and help Rieux and Tarrou. The church service occurs during a torrential downpour and when Rieux uses such words as the "swelling tide of prayers," the "backwash" of invocation, the "overflow" of the congregation, he is building, tongue-in-cheek, image support for a major irony. Rieux noted earlier that the Oranians had felt a vague sense of union because they were equally in trouble. He is a believer in perseverance, but only in this way: victory is an impossibility when one struggles almost hourly with death as Rieux does, but perseverance gains in value when one realizes it must inevitably fail — that in the darkness of an eternal nothing, it is all meaningless. He has moved from the fringes of Oran's social structure into one of its major supports by becoming a part of a common solid unit combating a common enemy. Doctors must physically battle members of a family in order to remove and isolate the plague's victims. His goal was to return to the woman he loved. They seem like children blaming their mother because rain has begun to fall. One should be aware that this chapter is not as objective as Rieux has said his chronicle would be; there is irony shot throughout its length. After the Sunday sermon they increasingly see themselves as criminals — prisoners serving sentences in the prison of Oran. A sense of humor, objectivity, and responsibility are all tested and proven during his illness. He has tried desperately to escape for one reason: to return to the girl he loves; yet all the while he has been so enmeshed in the escape he has scarcely thought of her. Tarrou flings the facts in Rambert's face after Rambert has been particularly ugly and maudlin. It is a fact and it has firmly rooted itself around Oran's perimeter. Rieux's mind wanders as he listens to Grand. He is being ironic in return and implying that life rarely has I to 3 logic. His wife writes that everything is going "as well as can be expected." Self-deception, of course, can only be confessed by Rambert. Some of the chapter's other ironies are these: There seem to be two ways of "killing time" in Oran. Complete summary of Albert Camus' The Plague. The telephone arteries break down early. He has evolved a scale of difficulty in choosing conjunctions. The Plague was inspired by the belief that men are inherently decent. Before the Week of Prayer's Sunday sermon, people had been harried by something irrational and meaningless. For chapters, there has been a dramatic irony in which Rambert has talked to Rieux and sighed for his beloved wife and Paris, then reined in his emotions and muttered to the doctor that he wouldn't understand. But for the doctor, a seduction of oneself with the myth of a life beyond death or a destruction of oneself through suicide or apathy can be only the acts of a coward. Before leaving the chapter, note the poetic images Rieux records. Now, in a reversal, the Oranians are soggily leaving the streets and going inside a church to escape the plague. The events of the novel, the narrator says, take place in an unspecified year in the 1940s in Oran, a French town in Algeria in Northern Africa. The story is narrated to us by an odd, nameless narrator strangely obsessed with objectivity, who tends to focus on a man named Dr. Bernard Rieux. As actual homes and family living are being exterminated by something abstract, human beings are destroying abstract symbols of that home. This lesson will focus on the summary … The only man in town who seems content is Cottard. © 2020 Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. It does not ignore Oran's epidemic. and any corresponding bookmarks? These animals may be carriers of infection, but they are also pets, symbols of home. He is his all and at the mercy of the universe's plagues — suffering, ignorance, and death. This is no longer true. Summary. His mulling over of the past is exactly what some other Oranians are doing, but Rieux has said that those who suffer remorse have turned into escapists. The assertion that he made to Rambert — that he must face actual facts — finds a humorous echo in this chapter. Rambert has not yet developed a philosophy concerning his perseverance; his present concept is little more than a sustained, physical endurance. The values of the men are antithetical, yet Cottard is reaching for fraternity. Now, as though he is asking for a parole to go back to Paris, he appeals to Rieux. In the Eleventh Plague, a series of events happens to change the story later on in the book. To some, he has wasted hours and pages of paper, but he has kept a dream alive. Originally totals were published weekly to keep the plague from having pressing daily existence. The sermon prescribes soul-flailing and prayer, but not practical precautions. At heart, most people are primarily concerned with themselves. It makes the death of the day seem flawlessly beautiful; death in Oran is torturous, ugly, and foul-smelling. His irony is icy when he concludes that this limited despair saves Oran from total panic. A strange thing has begun happening in Oran. Chapter 17 concerns his illegal attempts. Lastly, Rieux suggests that the Oranians are lucky — a strange statement. On first reading, this chapter seems only one more tale of frustration, but it is more; it is one part of a principal irony Rieux is preparing. The plague appears to have started in the parish of St-Giles-in-the-Fields outside of London's walls in 1664. But after the orator has been so striking in his sermon about devils and bloodied spears, this suggestion is colorless and vague — a kind of post thought, a p.s. Seemingly instinctive faith has given up almost all hope for escape they do become aware of the 's. Of escape sharp rise in its not being unchangingly classic and therefore combatable for imagery in chapter,! 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