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Satisfactory Essays
Camus’ book “The Plague” demonstrates the fight between a community and the bubonic plague. Camus creates a range of characters that deal with the plague in their own individual ways; the only hero among them is Jean Tarrou. Dr. Bernard Rieux comes close to being a hero but he falls short of this by the fact that he is doing his duty as a doctor, which is expected of him. Camus uses Jean Tarrou to speak to the reader on how to heroically deal with death. Jean Tarrou is also used as an example of heroes who get crushed by fate for rebellion.
All of the characters, except for Jean Tarrou, cannot be considered heroes because they all do not act in heroic ways. Father Paneloux believes in sainthood and God; he offers no resistance to the plague because he feels it is divinely sent to eliminate the sinners of Oran. Rambert chooses to run and not face the plague, in order to see his “wife”. He is also called out for failing to do his basic duty as a reporter of recording the events of the plague (Camus, 190). Jean Tarrou, however, is able to do this. Joseph Grand does nothing to fight the plague. Cottard welcomes the plague and views it as an opportunity to further his wealth, which is an example of sheer selfishness. The rest of the citizens of Oran wait to die, or work for Jean Tarrou in the sanitation squad. Dr. Bernard Rieux views the plague as “a never-ending defeat”. He fights death only because he feels it’s his job as a doctor, and leaves one wondering if he was not a doctor what he would do. Doctor Bernard Rieux almost becomes indifferent to the death and suffering. Jean Tarrou gives the ultimate sacrifice in the end for his fight. Doctor Bernard Rieux, on the other hand, returns to his methodical diagnosis of patients and re...

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...tal punishment and not believing in a god. The people of Oran did not know why the plague was upon them. It took Jean Tarrou, who was traveling through, to stay and join the resistance effort in an attempt to make their life better. A connection can be seen from Camus who tried to join the military, along with the poor people of France who did not understand why war was forced upon them.
Jean Tarrou is meant to be the hero in “The Plague”. He is the only hero because he is the only person to fully sacrifice himself for the better of the community with no obligation to the city itself. He selflessly works to resist the plague while many of the citizens of Oran only resist the plague because it is there duty; or view the plague as a way to further their wealth. He acts on his belief and despite knowing that he will not reach his goal, he works towards it regardless.
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