The Plague by Albert Camus Essay

The Plague by Albert Camus Essay

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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.
In order to fully utilize it, people need to be aware of time and its passing. Camus uses point of view to demonstrate through Tarrou’s eyes his vision of time. “…Tarrou added: ‘Query: How contrive not to waste one’s time? Answer: By being fully aware of it all the while. Ways in which this can be done: By spending one’s days on an uneasy chair in a dentist’s waiting-room; by remaining on one’s balcony all of Sunday afternoon; by listening to lectures in a language one does not know; by traveling by the longest and least-convenient train routes, and of course standing all the way; by lining up at the box-office of theaters and then not buying a seat; and so forth” (Camus 26). The activities Tarrou recounts are not much different of those of the people he censures. However, the difference lies in the amount of consciousness obtained by the person. Tarrou argues that be being aware, anyone may give purpose to any action. These activities do seem like a waste of time, but by examining the things around them, they are not. For example, by listening to a lecture one does know, they are required to think a little deeper. People are accustomed to having things directly told to them; however, this instance would force them to draw ...


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... time in this book is Miss Havisham. Dickens goes on, “On this day of the year, long before you were born, this heap of decay," stabbing with her crutched stick at the pile of cobwebs on the table but not touching it, "was brought here. It and I have worn away together. The mice have gnawed at it, and sharper teeth than teeth of mice have gnawed at me." (97). She might have stopped all of the clocks in the Satis House, but she cannot stop time. She is stuck and destroyed by time. No matter how hard someone tries, time is the only thing that is impossible to get back.
Time is being wasted if people are not aware of its passing. Instead of mindlessly going about their day, they need to attain their utmost consciousness and examine the things around them. People are only in control of time when they realize the second that just passed by is never going to return.






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