An Absurd Situation in an African Town of Oran in Albert Camus' Novel, The Plague

An Absurd Situation in an African Town of Oran in Albert Camus' Novel, The Plague

Length: 1129 words (3.2 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

When people are faced with tough situations they tend to lose control of their emotions, and let their emotions control their actions. It is in these situations, that people must control their emotions the most so that they can focus on solving the problem. The absurd situation in the small, African town of Oran is an unstoppable plague that strikes the town causing many to die at the hand of nature’s most merciless creation. Albert Camus, in his novel The Plague, demonstrates that life is absurd and meaningless through the random deaths of the towns people and the seemingly unstoppable plague. Doctor Bernard Rieux, in Camus’ novel realizes that the situation is absurd, but he continues to do what needs to be done. Rieux’s job as a doctor is to care for the plague-stricken victims and help relieve their suffering, but no matter what he does, his patients end up dying. To combat his emotions, Rieux embraces an apathetic attitude towards the absurd situation to continue his duty as a doctor. Characteristics such as these define Rieux as the absurd hero. The concept of the absurd hero is used to develop Doctor Rieux in Albert Camus’ The Plague, as he struggles to continue doing what needs to be done while facing the absurdity of his situation.
Rieux’s ability to combat his emotions to do what needs to be done defines him as the absurd hero; he is conscious of the absurdity of his predicament, yet “he continues to perform his duty no matter how useless or how insignificant his action” (Lane). Absurdity can be defined as “life, devoid of God and constantly faced with evil forces, with no ultimate rational meaning” (Sollars). Absurdity is evident throughout the novel as the small town of Oran is infected by a plague. Camus demonstrat...


... middle of paper ...


...low Doctor Rieux to be apathetic towards the people’s suffering. With his emotions controlled, Rieux can continue to do what needs to be done in the absurd circumstances.
The concept of the absurd hero is used to develop Rieux as a character as he struggles in doing what needs to be done during the absurd circumstances. To counter this struggle, Rieux becomes apathetic so his mind does not focus on his emotions, but on the task required of him. As Rieux develops an apathetic attitude toward the plague, he dissociates himself in order to relieve himself from the suffering he witnesses everyday. Albert Camus develops Rieux as this hero of the absurd with the situations he faces. These absurd situations in reality cause many people to become stressed and emotional because they panic. The realization that life is absurd can bring people freedom from worry and emotion.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Albert Camus' Philosophy in The Plague Essay example

- Albert Camus' Philosophy in The Plague To know ourselves diseased is half our cure. - Alexander Pope As the title clearly suggests, the novel The Plague is, indeed, a story of disease. On the surface, the novel The Plague, may be an accounting of facts detailing the outbreak of bubonic plague in the town of Oran. But on a deeper level, it is a novel that reveals awareness and acceptance of the limits of human existence. And it is also a reminder of our absurd freedom and the choices we make in life, especially when facing death....   [tags: Albert Camus Plague Essays]

Strong Essays
2837 words (8.1 pages)

Essay on The Plague By Albert Camus

- The Plague by Albert Camus takes place in an Algerian city known as Oran. Rats that are infected with a vicious disease known as “the plague” invade the city and nearly wipe out half of the population. This disease takes a toll on the citizens of Oran, which make them turn on each other and for some, they question the existence of God. Religion plays a huge roll in The Plague and Camus speaks through his characters and incorporates his views on religion. Camus uses Father Paneloux, the priest in the city, to argue whether or not God is the reason for this chaos....   [tags: Albert Camus, Absurdism, The Plague, God]

Strong Essays
1742 words (5 pages)

Essay on Camus' The Plague

- The plague affected people not only on a physical level but a mental one as well. The mental health of the citizens of Oran was amongst the plague's many victims, it suffered of exhaustion as well as being forced to handle mental confrontations. When the citizens dealt with these issues, some people lost their capacity to love as intently, but overall the general capacity of people to uphold their devotion remained resilient to the challenges the plague provided. When the plague began, people kept their hope in love alive....   [tags: Camus Plague]

Strong Essays
934 words (2.7 pages)

Essay on Existentialism and Albert Camus' The Plague

- Existentialism and The Plague    In the mid 1940s, a man by the name of Albert Camus began to write a story. This story he called La Pesté. Written in French, the novel became extremely popular and has since been translated numerous times into many languages. This story has been read over and over, yet it tells more than it seems to. This story tells the tale of a city gripped by a deadly disease. This is true enough, but this is not what the novel is about. The Plague can be read as an allegory of World War II, of the French Resistance against German Occupation....   [tags: Albert Camus Plague Essays]

Strong Essays
3953 words (11.3 pages)

Essay on Understanding Albert Camus' The Plague

- Understanding The Plague The Plague, written by Albert Camus, is a triumph of literary craft. Camus created a commentary on the way humans react to trying situations and circumstances in his fictional city of Oran in North Africa. The reader is presented with Oran as a city of several hundred thousand people. All of whom seem to take life for granted. The people of Oran ar constantly driven by business or money and only stop for life's finer pleasures on the weekends. A fairly accurate parallel to today's world....   [tags: Albert Camus Plague Essays]

Free Essays
757 words (2.2 pages)

Literary Devices Used in Albert Camus' The Plague Essay

- A book of horrors, fear and death. “The Plague” is a book by Albert Camus which weaves these emotions and events into one suspenseful tale. Each paragraph and section is written and structured in such a way as to give the reader insight into the feelings of the victims of the plague, and to show somewhat of a theme. The passage from section 4, part 4, line number 1 to line number 35 gives us a glimpse of the melancholy of the people of Oran to their dead loved ones to the extent that they do not attend All Souls' Day, for they were thinking of them too much as it was....   [tags: the plague]

Strong Essays
912 words (2.6 pages)

Essay about Finding Meaning in Albert Camus’ The Plague

- Finding Meaning in Albert Camus’ The Plague Socrates, a Greek philosopher, once said that “the unexamined life is not worth living” (Apology 38b). Like Socrates, Albert Camus believed that a man needs to live meaningfully. In his novel The Plague Camus creates characters who are forced to think, reflect, and assume responsibility for living as they battle an epidemic of bubonic plague that is ravaging the Algerian port of Oran. For ten months as the outbreak isolates the city from the rest of the world, each of the citizens reacts in a unique way....   [tags: Albert Camus Plague Essays]

Strong Essays
1281 words (3.7 pages)

Essay about Inexperienced Minds in Albert Camus' The Plague

- Inexperienced Minds in The Plague   The town itself, let us admit, is ugly. These are the words of Dr. Bernard Rieux, the narrator of Albert Camus The Plague. His accurate, unexaggerated descriptions of a town’s sufferings, bring the novel to life. The town of Oran becomes afflicted with a plague, and Rieux, the town doctor, watches the town quickly die away. He joins forces with Jean Tarrou, Raymond Rambert, Joseph Grand, and Father Paneloux, hoping to defeat the unbeatable enemy. The quarantined town ultimately defeats the disease, but not before incredible losses are suffered....   [tags: Albert Camus Plague Essays]

Strong Essays
1930 words (5.5 pages)

The Fruitless Search Exposed in Camus’ The Plague Essay

- The Fruitless Search Exposed in Camus’ The Plague Amid the feverish horror of rampant sickness and death, The Plague is a parable of human remoteness and the struggle to share existence. In studying the relationships which Camus sets forth, the relationship between man and lover, mother and son, healer and diseased, it can be seen that the only relationship Camus describes is that between the exiled, and the kingdom for which he searches with tortured longing. "Thus the first thing that plague brought to our town was exile."(p.71)....   [tags: Camus Plague Essays]

Strong Essays
997 words (2.8 pages)

Essay on The Plague by Albert Camus

- The Plague by Albert Camus Albert Camus' The Plague, takes place in the desert town of Oran, Algeria, in northern Africa. It is the perfect setting for this story to take place. The ordinariness of Oran is contrasted with the extraordinary business of the plague. Sprintzen points out that "There is a mythic significance of Oran. Given the previous description of the quality of Oranian life, the selection of Oran as the location for the outbreak of plague should not come as a surprise"(Sprintzen 38)....   [tags: Papers]

Strong Essays
2002 words (5.7 pages)