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

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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 of the tenets of the existentialism Camus is known for, and of the futility of life....

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