The Fruitless Search Exposed in Camus’ The Plague Essay

The Fruitless Search Exposed in Camus’ The Plague Essay

Length: 997 words (2.8 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

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). The first exile Camus writes is the physical exile of a diseased town from the world, and consequently, the exile of the town's people from the kingdom of everyday. The particular torture of this exile is memory; once expelled from a kingdom, the kingdom ceases to exist, living on only as "a memory that serves no purpose... ha[s] a savor only of regret."(p.73). Thus the townspeople are haunted by memories of their distant loved ones and their interrupted lives, creating islands of their own exile- an exile intensified by years of monotonous selfish habit. "The truth is that everyone is bored, and devotes himself to cultivating habits."(p.4). The pea-counter is the ultimate representation of this exile; he is completely removed from the reality of man, measuring his life in the perpetual repetition of an absurd activity. Through the character of Rambert, Camus defines plague as precisely this selfish exile of habit, this doing "...the same thing over and over and over again..."(p.161).

Exile is further compounded by the desperation with which many of the characters fling themselves into the quest of trying to regain their personal remembered kingdoms. Rambert the visiting journalist is the ...

... middle of paper ...

...he reader that Rieux is Camus' hero. It is precisely this sense of "common decency" which sets him apart, renders him uncommon in a town of men exiled from eachother by selfishness. Rieux is not searching for anything, he is merely doing what has to be done to fight the plague. His will to see man healed has freed him from his own search, and thus from exile; no longer in exile, Rieux has found eternal kingdom.

For Camus tells us there is no kingdom but present humanity, though we spend lifetimes searching in isolation for assurance in a future or a past. And there is no exile except that which the selfish man imposes on himself. It is by giving up the fruitless search for the non-existent that man can ultimately free himself from exile, and gain the eternal kingdom of present.

Works Cited

Camus, Albert. The Plague. New York: Vintage International, 1995.

Need Writing Help?

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

Check your paper »

Essay Medieval Medicines And The Black Plague

- This bibliography is about the medieval medicines and the Black Plague. Medicine during the medieval times was very limited doctors mostly used herbs, spices, and resins. Infections would spread because antibiotics didn’t exist in that time period. The used baths, scrubs, pills, foods, and drinks to treat patients. Some of the herbs they used were parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme. Some of the physicians treatments killed their patients like lobotomies and poisonous plants. The most famous treatment was blood letting by cupping or leeches....   [tags: Black Death, Bubonic plague, Plague]

Strong Essays
1101 words (3.1 pages)

The Black Plague Of Europe Essay

- The Black Plague in Europe Was the Bubonic Plague really as bad of an event as it is made out to be. It could just be considered the “greatest catastrophe” of all time (Benedictow). The Bubonic Plague, which is also referred as the “Black Death” is often considered one of the most devastating epidemics in all of human history. It is estimated that anywhere from 30-60 percent of Europe 's population was wiped out from the wide spread of the disease. Clearly the amount of people killed during this time period is outrageous and should be remembered as an awful time, but the amount of positives that came from this time period looms quite large....   [tags: Black Death, Bubonic plague, Plague]

Strong Essays
1810 words (5.2 pages)

The Epidemic Of The Plague Essay

- According to historic records, a horrific disease began in China around 1347 spreading in Italy through routes of trade, human contact, and animals occupying heavily populated areas (Enclyclopædia Britannica, 2015). Merchant vessels unintentionally emitted the infected rats onto the shores of Messina in Sicily while unloading cargo. Thus, causing the disease to spread amongst Northern Europe. More properly known as the Bubonic plague, it was carried by infected rats who were bitten by plaque-ridden fleas....   [tags: Black Death, Bubonic plague, Yersinia pestis]

Strong Essays
1565 words (4.5 pages)

The Plague And The Black Plague Essay examples

- In the 13th century, the Black Plague became rampant, and decimated the population of Europe. This infection, which was the bubonic plague, was widely referred to as the Black Plague or the Black Death, because it killed everyone in its path. The plague spread through every single class, and killed millions of peasants, nobles, and kings, and affected every facet of life in Europe and all people during this time. Differing opinions were prevalent and there was no single overwhelming opinion. This range of opinions was understandable, especially as the disease seemed to be untreatable....   [tags: Black Death, Bubonic plague, Plague]

Strong Essays
1661 words (4.7 pages)

The Plague Of The Black Plague Essay

- The Bubonic Plague, or more commonly known as ‘The Black Death’ or ‘The Black Plague,’ was one of the most devastating and deadliest pandemics that humans have ever witnessed in the history of mankind. The disease spanned two continents in just a few years, marking every country between Western Europe all the way to China. During the reign of the plague, which is estimated to be the years between 1347-1352, it is estimated that “20 million people in Europe–almost one-third of the continent’s population” was killed off due to the plague....   [tags: Black Death, Bubonic plague, Plague]

Strong Essays
943 words (2.7 pages)

The Plague Of The Black Plague Essay

- Imagine living in a time filled with nothing but fear. Fear of the unknown, forever questioning the how and why all before dying a painful slow death. Throughout history, humans have battled the idea of diseases, racing to find a cure or successful prevent it. However, we have not always been successful. In the 1300s, people were struck with a great plague, which has now been named “The Black Plague”. The Plague swept through Europe in the 14th century, killing millions of innocent people and causing the collapse of the Feudal system....   [tags: Black Death, Bubonic plague, Plague]

Strong Essays
1741 words (5 pages)

Essay about The Plague Of The Black Plague

- The Black Death also known as the Bubonic Plague, swept through Europe from 1347 to 1351 and wiped out about a quarter of their population. The Black Death was caused by fleas that lived on rats that were on cargo ships that then landed on humans infecting them. Of course, when this plague came about, everyone was ignorant to the causes of the plague as well as to how they were treating the symptoms. Some may speculate that the cause of the reemergence of the Black Plague in Europe was because of the drastic climatic change which they called the mini ice age....   [tags: Black Death, Bubonic plague, Plague]

Strong Essays
1390 words (4 pages)

Essay on The Bubonic Plague: The Black Death

- The Bubonic Plague, was a natural form of population control. Before the plague, life in Europe was getting worse by the day. Europe was severely overpopulated and in a great economic depression. Most of the land that could be farmed on had been abused. This made it difficult to grow food. Overpopulation is the condition of having a population so dense as to cause environmental deterioration, and an impaired quality of life. There was a great rift between the social classes. The poor were treated very badly before the plague....   [tags: The Bubonic Plague]

Strong Essays
881 words (2.5 pages)

Analysis of The Plague Essay

- The Plague is a novel describing the plague epidemic in the large Algerian city of Oran in the 1940s. In April, numerous rats staggered into the open to die. Once a mild hysteria gripped the population, the newspapers began searching for any action they could take. Finally, the authorities arranged for the daily collection and cremation of the rats, but by mid-afternoon they were already pilling up again. When a cluster of cases of a strange fever appeared, Dr. Rieux's partner, Castel, became certain that the illness is the bubonic plague....   [tags: The Plague ]

Free Essays
2017 words (5.8 pages)

The Search Essay example

- The Search      I used to work for the F.B.I., in the Portland office. It was my childhood dream to be the one who gets the bad guy. My fiftieth birthday was in just three months. I had a wife and three children, still do, and the same job I'd had since my graduation from Quantico. We were living just outside Portland. My oldest son, John jr., was in his third year at Washington. The twins were high school seniors at this time and my pride and joy, daddy's little girls. Carolyn and I had celebrated our twenty- fifth anniversary, that's the silver one I think, the previous Thursday night....   [tags: Creative Writing Search and Rescue Essays]

Strong Essays
4126 words (11.8 pages)