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

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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 also restricted by the new regulations promulgated to slow the spread of the plague and maintain civil order. The young people of the city initially feel a sort of physical freedom—without the usual bustle of jobs and obligations, they are free to wander the city and socialize at all hours. This physical freedom is illusory, though. As the burdens of the plague increase and the activities available to them are restricted further (for instance, by the institution of a curfew), the young people of Oran find that they cannot ultimately be free of the limitations imposed by the fragile human body and the absurdity and cruelty of a universe that would allow plagues to spread.

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