Essay about Human Nature and Condition in The Plague by Albert Camus

Essay about Human Nature and Condition in The Plague by Albert Camus

Length: 934 words (2.7 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Albert Camus was a French writer who was very well known all over the world for his different works but especially with the idea of “absurdism”. Camus believed that something that was absurd was not possible by humans or logically. It was beyond ridiculous and therefore impossible. This was the basis of one of his most famous works, The Plague. The Plague is a novel that explores aspects of human nature and condition, destiny, God, and fate. The novel is about a plague that takes place in Oran, Algeria that is fictional, but it’s believed to be relatively based on a cholera outbreak in the mid 1800’s in Oran that killed thousands of people. Dr. Bernard Rieux is the protagonist but also is the narrator. However, he doesn’t admit to being the narrator until the end of the novel. Camus writes in the beginning that the instances in Oran are being told by witnesses of the plague. In The Plague, Camus wants his audience to read the book unbiasedly not knowing the narrator in order to take sides with the characters that one wants to and not to be persuaded by the narrators telling of the events.
In the novel, the people of Oran are ignorant and selfish by thinking that a fatal plague or epidemic would never harm them. When it does though, everyone goes ballistic and can’t understand why it is happening to them. Dr. Rieux is one of the main people that decided to do something about it. He is a doctor that sees some of the first signs of the plague early on. Being one of the first that acknowledges the problem as a plague came with disagreements amongst everyone. No one believed that there was a plague in their city and couldn’t recognize that they were all in serious danger. As days go by and the death toll increases dramatically, the ci...


... middle of paper ...


...ne would have probably read about Rieux hating Paneloux. It is the exact same with Paneloux and if he was the narrator. The novel would have been all about God and how to pray for help.
Dr. Rieux is the strongest character in The Plague because he was able to distance himself from the events of the plague and not allow his feelings and beliefs sway the reader’s outlook on the plague. This shows tremendous engagement strength by Rieux because he could focus working on ending the plague while also telling a story and not being completely objective to the terrible experiences that he went through. He was in a very stressful environment that would drive most doctors insane. Dr. Rieux didn’t go insane but was a professional about his job. Camus’ best decision about writing this novel was making sure that the reader didn’t know that Rieux was the narrator until the end.

Need Writing Help?

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

Check your paper »

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 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)

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)

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 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)

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 Plague by Albert Camus Essay

- Running Out of Time Time is only running out, and it is one of the most vital and overlooked qualities of life. Albert Camus highlights the theme of time in his 1947 novel, The Plague. Through the use of allegory and point of view, Camus substantiates that when people are not aware of time and its advancing, they are wasting the precious and limited time of their lives. He constantly establishes that the amount of consciousness obtained by a person is the difference between spending time wisely and foolishly....   [tags: absurdism, imprisonment]

Strong Essays
1014 words (2.9 pages)

Essay on the Power of Language in The Plague

- The Power of Language in The Plague In his novel The Plague, Albert Camus presents a pseudo-historical documentary of a plague that confines and controls the citizens of Oran within their city gates. The plague possesses the power of life and death over the people, as it determines which citizens will face their death or those who work to stop death. These latter men, personified by the character's of Rieux, Grand, and Tarrau, each struggle endlessly to master the plague's power over their lives, even with the realization they may never succeed....   [tags: Albert Camus Plague Essays]

Strong Essays
1462 words (4.2 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)