Literary Devices Used in Albert Camus' The Plague Essay

Literary Devices Used in Albert Camus' The Plague Essay

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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. Albert Camus fills this passage with figurative devices, including, diction, personification, pathetic fallacy, metaphors, irony and a turning point. The first two paragraphs suggest that it was a perfect environment for the attendance of All Souls' Day, portraying several features of the environment that correspond to the All Souls' Day. However, Albert Camus uses a turning point and several devices to show how that it was ironic on how they did not attend it.
The author clearly makes it visible that the environment was suitable for All Souls' Day through diction and pathetic fallacy. “weather was seasonable”, “mild autumn air”, “cool wind” and “big clouds...trailing shadows”. These reflect on the suitability of the weather and the environment for the season of mourning and sorrow, not one of happiness. The device continues to “show” the suitability of the environment for the sorrow. “Glossy, rubberized garments”, “pestilences of southern Europe”and “oiled clothing”. These diction devices refer to the similarity of the condition of Oran with the conditions of Europe long ago,a hundred biennials, ago during the bubonic plague, where people were thought to wear oil...

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....the habit of irony was growing on him (Tarrou) more and more-each day was for us a Day of the Dead.”. The ironic figure here also helps the reader to understand the situation of the townspeople and their extended grief and to what extent this grief affects everyone.
“The Plague” is a novel weaved with beautiful and stylistic devices used by Albert Camus to portray and clarify the message and theme of every passage. This passage specifically has used diction, pathetic fallacy, metaphors, a turning point and irony to portray the message, which was despite it being All Souls' Day, the plague had hardened the hearts of the families of the victims and incidences, and thus did not attend All Souls' Day due to them thinking profoundly about them. Thus helping the reader understand the overall message of the book on how much the townspeople were suffering from the plague.

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