Questions and Answers for The Plague

The Plague

Who is the narrator of The Plague? Support your case with evidence from the book.

As Albert Camus’s The Plague reaches its conclusion, the identity of “the narrator” is finally revealed: “THIS chronicle is drawing to an end, and this seems to be the moment for Dr. Bernard Rieux...

Latest answer posted May 6, 2019 2:57 pm UTC

3 educator answers

The Plague

In The Plague, how does religion affect the mind and decisions of the town?

As with most of the work by Albert Camus, The Plague is highly critical of organized religion. When a plague hits the Algerian city of Oran, the townspeople are left to live in isolation. Many of...

Latest answer posted January 4, 2018 2:47 pm UTC

3 educator answers

The Plague

What is the setting of The Plague? What is the city like?

Dr. Bernard Rieux, the unnamed narrator of the novel, begins his story some time in the 1940s in the city of Oran, Algeria. The French port on the Mediterranean is a mix of white, brown, and...

Latest answer posted November 20, 2009 2:31 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Plague

In The Plague, did Rieux's wife pass away from the plague while she was in the sanatorium or other causes?

We are never told exactly what Rieux’s young wife dies of, but her departure for a sanatorium at the very start of the story suggests that maybe she is suffering from tuberculosis or some similar...

Latest answer posted June 8, 2013 9:02 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Plague

 In The Plague, by Albert Camus, is the story hopeful or despairing about the human condition? Why?

While the novel is not entirely hopeful about people's reactions to adversity, it concludes on a hopeful note. As the death toll from the plague begins to slow, people feel cautious hope. Though...

Latest answer posted January 13, 2018 7:28 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Plague

How does separation as a theme work in The Plague?

Separation is of course a central theme in this masterful novel, as the characters in this city become forcibly separated from the rest of the world as they stay in quarantine thanks to the plague...

Latest answer posted November 22, 2012 6:38 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Plague

What is the meaning of the last sentence of The Plague, including the statement,"for the bane and enlightening of men"?

The last sentence of the novel begins with the juxtaposition of the sound of joy "rising from the town" with Rieux's knowledge that their joy will be short-lived. It is a philosophy of despair, one...

Latest answer posted February 6, 2010 11:28 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Plague

How is the problem of evil a guiding theme in Camus's The Plague? How does the theme of solitude manifest?

The plague that strikes the town of Oran in France is the symbol of evil in the novel. Like evil, the bacteria that causes the plague lies dormant until conditions are right for it to do its ugly...

Latest answer posted January 3, 2019 2:22 am UTC

2 educator answers

The Plague

What is the context of the nove The Plague?  

Published merely three years after the havoc caused by World War II in 1948, Albert Camus's The Plague tells the story about an outbreak of bubonic plague, historically dubbed "the plague" , in a...

Latest answer posted August 12, 2012 2:01 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Plague

Why is Cottard’s crime never specifically revealed? Does the nature of that crime make a difference?

Knowing the details of Cottard's past life might provide additional insight into his character. However, the nature of his crime matters less than the influence it has on his current actions. His...

Latest answer posted July 9, 2013 4:24 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Plague

With reference to The Plague, how do pandemics reflect the human condition? Do they show more than physical illness?...

In The Plague, Camus writes: What’s true of all the evils in the world is true of plague as well. It helps men to rise above themselves. This essentially answers the question you ask, which is...

Latest answer posted June 17, 2020 9:53 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Plague

Discuss the plague as a metaphor in literature, from A. Artaud's The Theatre and Its Double to Camus'  The Plague.

At the base of modern existential literature is the axiom that “existence precedes essence”; that is, humanity defines itself by its actions and is not pre-designed by a “creator.” The plague...

Latest answer posted March 13, 2012 1:31 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Plague

How does love contribute to the dominate theme of survival in being exiled in The Plague?

In The Plague, we learn that the whole city of Oran in Algeria is in the midst of an outbreak of bubonic plague. Dr. Bernard Rieux and another doctor, Dr. Castel, both warn the authorities that...

Latest answer posted March 19, 2015 7:48 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Plague

What are some major themes in the novel, and how are they developed?

The Plague is a novel written by Albert Camus. It was first published in 1947. Through the description of the plague sweeping through a town in Algeria, the author poses several existentialist...

Latest answer posted January 28, 2020 12:16 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Plague

Explain The Plague as a novel of ideas.  

Clearly one of the central ideas of this powerful and rather depressing text is that of existentialism and absurdism, which points towards the meaninglessness of life and all that we hold most dear...

Latest answer posted October 4, 2012 5:33 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Plague

How do you focus on the importance of human nature in reference to the main characters of the novel of The Plague by...

What is so interesting about the bleak presentation of human nature in this novel is the way in which Camus presents the various characters in this text reacting to their situation. Rieux, the...

Latest answer posted March 22, 2012 7:11 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Plague

In what ways are the people of Oran free? In what sense are they not? Is their freedom an illusion?

In The Plague, the people of Oran are physically restrained. They are walled in the city during the quarantine, cut off from their families, their jobs, and the outside world. Their actions are...

Latest answer posted July 21, 2018 12:26 am UTC

2 educator answers

The Plague

What are the social and personal changes in times of cholera--the plague--depicted in The Plague by Camus?

We can link this answer to the literary movement called absurdism, of which this text is a prime example. This movement points out the meaningless nature of life. We can see how this movement is...

Latest answer posted March 13, 2012 3:08 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Plague

Which disasters from the 20th century can be related to The Plague?

The novel, The Plague by Albert Camus takes place in the 1940s in the Algerian city of Ornan. It deals with a variation of the bubonic plague, which creates havoc and death. There have been many...

Latest answer posted November 24, 2011 12:18 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Plague

What is Rieux's place in the story The Plague? What is he supposed to portray?

Rieux is the narrator of the story, although he does not reveal this to the reader until the end. He disguises his role, speaking of himself in the third person throughout the bulk of the...

Latest answer posted May 2, 2008 1:02 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Plague

What constitutes an isotopy of language and solitude in this quote: "Such at least was Dr. Rieux's opinion... They're...

Isotopy consists in the permanence of contextual features ("classemes"), whose variations, instead of destroying the unity of the text, serve to confirm it. The features in question are...

Latest answer posted August 15, 2007 10:37 am UTC

1 educator answer