Like the cathedral, the station affords relief from the searing midday sun of Oran. Cottard's revelation that he is a blackmailer and a criminal makes little difference to Rambert. This bit of faraway musing that is stimulated by Grand's repetitive gesture of "Hats off!" For the remainder of Chapter 15 Rieux is host to Tarrou and is more explicit concerning his driving, godless optimism. Rieux noted earlier that the Oranians had felt a vague sense of union because they were equally in trouble. The Plague Summary. Rats are emerging into the streets, where they move awkwardly in a sort of dance, then bleed profusely and die. Moreover, the disease is no longer merely "plague." In April, thousands of rats stagger into the open and die. Before, they thought principally of themselves and of their accumulation of money and material things. Their talk is over in minutes. Deciphering hieroglyphics may be possible for the priest, but deciphering the meaning of the plague is beyond his capabilities. Although Tarrou's plan of action is exceptional, Rieux cannot describe its members in such language. Only for the present is he trapped. Besides the Oranians, there is one more type of prisoner in Oran. The priest charges the Oranians with "criminal indifference." It does not ignore Oran's epidemic. Remembering the first days after the gates were closed, Rieux pulls back the focus of his narrative for a long general view. Rieux thinks that his wife is lying about the state of her health in her telegrams. Rambert has one small reason for hoping: he is being considered. The clerk does have a potential for a life beyond the boundaries of statistics and graphs. His irony is icy when he concludes that this limited despair saves Oran from total panic. Camus intends for this character to carry considerable symbolic weight. In the Eleventh Plague, a series of events happens to change the story later on in the book. Yet, when Paneloux has captured their wills by emotional means, he exhorts them to "take thought." A small village in Derbyshire called Eyam, 6 miles north of Bakewell, has a story of tragedy and courage that will always be remembered. In 1957, at almost 44, the Algerian-born Camus became the second youngest Nobel Prize winner ever. If there is distinction in creating a national image, Father Paneloux is responsible for a share. Now, as though he is asking for a parole to go back to Paris, he appeals to Rieux. The heroic is the human. This is significant because Grand and Cottard also talked in this fevered tempo. They cast about, worried and irritated, for someone to blame. Here was revolt. In spite of Rieux's having seen excruciating suffering and dying, he is aware that good intentions have not always considered the grisly reality involved. Dr. Castel . There is always scope for insight, growth, and change. While listening to Grand talk about perfecting his prose, Rieux hears a commotion outside, goes to the window and sees people racing through the streets toward the city gates. There are two possible reasons: first, Rieux has doctored him, shown kindness, and offered to protect him; second, Rieux is a doctor and can function meaningfully only when people are sick or dying. And joins two ideas innocuously; but, however, follows a statement, qualifying it with a second statement. The defunct iron stove is fired only by memory now; its function is ornamental during the plague's duration. This new variety of plague increases its successful destructiveness by threatening the townspeople with pulmonary innovations. His commitment is offered at a time when he and Rieux realize that soon the plague will be out of hand and that Oran's few doctors will be obsolete. To initially commit oneself is, simply, the most difficult trial. With expected irony, Rieux remarks that the idle crowds filling the streets make the city look festive and holiday-like. They feel free from the town and the plague, and are “conscious of being perfectly at one, and the memory of this night would be cherished by them both” (257). This is not contradictory. Rambert's remarks stem, of course, from his disappointment and failure to get a certificate of release, but there is a certain truth in his attack. As actual homes and family living are being exterminated by something abstract, human beings are destroying abstract symbols of that home. Even within this nobody, this drudge, there is life and an individual sense of purpose being kept alive. The Oranians are lucky because their suffering is selfishly and limitedly personal. Besides the idea of "taking thought," there are two more ideas concluding Paneloux's sermon which Camus would champion, but which he would interpret antithetically. Before leaving the chapter, note the poetic images Rieux records. It has nothing of hope in it; it is information necessary for Oranian clerks should Rambert die during the plague. Thus, one can kill time during a death sentence by two diametrically defined ways of hoping. Rieux's task becomes more difficult. Rieux was a workman's son and the medical profession was the most rigorous challenge available. Jacques is M. Othon's small son. Because her life with Grand was bleak, silent, and doomed did not mean that she had to submit to its certain fate. Paneloux concludes his sermon saying that a prayer of love might help matters. The novel presents a snapshot of life in Oran as seen through the author's distinctive absurdist point of view. The tone is less intense. Nor does common sense seem to care when taverns boast that spirits are the most effective agents against infection. Camus conceived of the universe in terms of paradoxes and contrasts: man lives, yet he is condemned to die; most men live within the context of … The Atlantis Plague Summary. It is the 1940s in Oran, a French-occupied Algerian colony. © 2020 Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. The only man in town who seems content is Cottard. The townspeople rashly turn this parasitic publication into the city's most profitable enterprise. At first the journalist was rational and insistent that he be allowed to leave the city. His attempt to write the perfect book is cerebral, a kind of passionless fantasy. Truth has a victory. Grand's contact with Rieux is a bit more fruitful. Failing, he became as rash and fierce as a Don Quixotish figure fighting the quarantine's decree. Because this first chapter of Part II is a jumble of summary, perhaps it is best to begin considering Oran's new environment and the adjustment of the townspeople toward it. It was likely terrifying, yet what takes shape within people during a harrowing Sunday sermon has partially dissolved even by Monday morning. Paneloux desires the congregation to take his thoughts. The present, as Rieux tells Rambert, is their only time. It is hard, for example, for him to choose between but and and. They are doubly imprisoned — within Oran and within themselves — and this double-barred atmosphere of each man is awesomely new and menacing. Plague is no longer an irritant or even a frightening, shadowy menace. Grand seems to be thinking, if not about the plague, then at least about the past, and thinking is an Oranian rarity. Tarrou is the first nonprofessional to commit himself and offer a plan for defense. And besides the dead, he speaks of the living, especially of their habits — such as the old man waiting for the cats — the habits such people retain lest they lose their sanity. Thus, they try changing; they ritually remember a mother's face throughout the day; they become model husbands for the wives beyond the walls. © 2020 Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Reasons can be weighed by examining their validity, considering who gives the reasons, what the man's background is, and how objective he is. The former recounts the numerous business-like dead ends that Rambert encounters as he tries legally to leave Oran. Rieux's values are not those of the military; awards are not given to the foolhardy who fear nothing and accidentally survive an excess of bloody skirmishes. The city's lazy summer dogs are gone and the streets sizzle in the noon heat. In fact, the pounding of the rain and the pounding of Paneloux's rhetoric join forces to drive the crowd to its knees. He has moved from the fringes of Oran's social structure into one of its major supports by becoming a part of a common solid unit combating a common enemy. If, because of ignorance, he shirks, then ignorance is vice. Grand trembles violently, gulps his drinks, mutters, and is on edge. They have never expressed conventional emotions, and thus it is frustrating and useless to speak of the extreme emotions that the plague produces. Death is the adversary of man. It begins to have a diversity and an adaptability belonging to the philosophy of adapting and surviving. Now, besides lives, there are values which are being annihilated. Summary and Analysis Part 3 Part III consists of only one chapter — a short, intense chronicle of the crisis weeks in Oran, the time when two natural powers — the plague's rising fever and the midsummer sun-incinerate the city's prisoners. It compounds confusion by creating guilt and fear when strength and courage are needed. It is a fact and it has firmly rooted itself around Oran's perimeter. Rambert is a journalist; after the plague Cottard will be arrested and he will need all of the character references possible. The morning is fine, the month is May, the rider is a lady and elegant, her horse handsome, and their path flowering and running through a park filled with greenery. Before leaving the chapter, one might note that for a holy man, Paneloux's image during the service has an ironic blend of the satanic. Finally, there is another example of irony. Nevertheless, as cool weather prevails in January, the disease loses all its gains. Rieux no doubt was sympathetic to Tarrou's ironic copy. Grand's tone is fatalistic as he continues the episode. And and but are hard to choose between, but harder yet are but and then. Only someone or something able to furnish hope or illusion for the troubled: bars and movie houses. Camus’ The Plague shows us the worth of “the path of sympathy” in these troubling times or, as Rieux says, that “a loveless world is a dead world”. Rieux notes that the journalist talks "incessantly, as if his nerves were out of hand." The suburbs have steadily felt its growth and have become part of a tightening belt of death that draws together toward the center of the city. Thanks for exploring this SuperSummary Plot Summary of “The Atlantis Plague” by A.G. Riddle. The plague is already very real to us. This is no longer true. All of the places of rendezvous have this mad, surrealistic atmosphere. Oran's enemy is not a textbook villain. Remembering his wife, Paris, and evening walks, Rambert visits the railway station. Paneloux's responsibility lies in fanning the flames of panic — of giving impassioned and unverified reasons for the deaths. Self-deception, of course, can only be confessed by Rambert. Within Camus' situation of Rambert's ineffectiveness in his dealings with the city and its underground, there are smaller ironies. The town is smug and placid, stiflingly hot, and everyone is bored with the “same feverish yet casual air” (4). The word connotes a continuance, an evolution. All rights reserved. There may be a degree of self-deception in his narrative, but his attempt to ponder is admirable. This is how it was, he seems to be saying and his tone is that of a man who has survived, but only barely. He is being ironic in return and implying that life rarely has I to 3 logic. Paneloux refers to man's neglecting God; Camus' concept is in terms of a conscious and intense humanism. Before the Week of Prayer's Sunday sermon, people had been harried by something irrational and meaningless. In bed, however, for a quarter of a century, he is little more than a verbal mainspring of his timepiece of peas. In general, there seem to be two ways of coping with the quarantine. Rationality usually averts panic. To say a lifetime of no to death and an ever yes to life, with unflagging perseverance, is the essence of the revolt of Dr. Rieux. Absurd, perhaps, but also admirable. It is a sharp focus on the ineffectiveness of his hope and perseverance versus the absurd. The plague itself is based on several cholera and plague epidemics that swept through Oran during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. At one time Rambert's collaborators insist on meeting in a hospital section of Oran, a section full of wailing relatives, clotted together in hopeful masses, crying for news from within. After this emotional exercise one is not ready for an immediate, feverish movement. Are you sure you want to remove #bookConfirmation# Another time, preparing the escape plans, the plotters meet near the war memorial — a spot commemorating those who did not escape death and their duty. Now, in a reversal, the Oranians are soggily leaving the streets and going inside a church to escape the plague. Moreover, the disease is no longer merely "plague." But for Rambert it is as evocative as a holy statue. He honestly admits to occasional periods during which pity dies and he becomes indifferent, but it is during these times that he sleeps and forgets and heals an exhausted mind and body. The bubonic plague that struck Europe in 1665 in London is no doubt one of history's worst tragedies. Her remark that one needn't be happy to make another start suggests that groundless optimism is as ridiculous as the pessimism that her marriage was fostering. Death held little interest for them — particularly when it was a numerical statistic. They float and drift, completely at peace. Thought, for Camus, would include thinking, not a substitution of mass confusion or mass acceptance of a doctrine of punishment handed down by a furious representative of the Unknown. In the first sentence, Rieux means that the word truth be understood conversely. 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