The Plague book summery

September 17, 2020

Today's world is in a state where reality and cruelty are a reflection of Albert Camus's book The Plague (French - "La Peste"). Translated into English by Stuart Gilbert

Albert Camus, the second youngest person to win the Nobel Prize in Literature. In 1956, at the age of 44, he wins the novel prize. He is a French-Algerian citizen born in 1913 in Oran or Algeria. The city of Oran, or Algeria, was then a French colony. There is a beautiful story about the naming of the city of Oran, which I cannot resist the urge to tell.

    Oran is a language that comes from North Africa, which means Lion. It is known that there was a mountain near Oran with some lions around it, it is not known exactly why the last two surviving lions were killed, but after their death, the mountain was named La Montagne des lions (The Mountain of Lions). Since then, sculptures of two large lions have carried the identity of the city of Oran.

    At that time the struggle of the French to grow up with great blessings like poverty, with adversity like deprivation, oppression, restricted freedom of speech, career, writing, journalism

    Everything seems to bring a gentle vibration to his nerves. He painted a picture of the plague and that is, The Absurdism (which highlights the urge to find mankind's own and innate values ​​and the ultimate contradiction of the failure to find meaning in life in this irrational, meaningless, chaotic universe.)

    The practical application of which he has arranged perfectly in this book. When he started writing, he could still hear the unbearable horrors of World War II.

    By 1940, Nazi forces had invaded Paris. Seeing that the situation was dangerous, the writer wanted to escape, but just then he Trapped in the French Resistance (a kind of movement or resistance system where an association of armed men and women is formed and the mass media for the exchange of some secret and strategic information by which the French can fight the Nazis)

    The cruelty and killings of Hitler and his Nazi forces are still rooted in history. Which the author never mentions in the book, doesn’t even indicate the melody of the French cries, but he shows it in the form of a cholera epidemic.

    "Once plague had shut the gates of the town, they had settled down to a life of separation, debarred from the living the warmth that gives forgetfulness of all."
    __Albert Camus

    He described at the beginning, his hometown of Oran, where there was no fluttering of birds' wings, only the sound of gunpowder, The sweet sunshine of the sun was occupied with the cruel domination, and instead of the cold fog of winter, there was poisonous black smoke floating through the burned black wounds of the bombed-out city houses, graves, and places.

    In fact, Albert Camus himself was a direct witness to this black chapter. His description of the real inhuman situation metaphorically refers to the cholera epidemic, which can be understood by reading the novel.

    "There have been as many plagues as the war in history, yet always plagues and wars take people equally by surprise."
    __Albert Camus

    As a sign of the terrible nature of the epidemic, especially mass infant mortality. In the midst of so much horror, every man is still desperate to save his life with the lamp of hope. Peeking at the list of survivors in the midst of countless death rows, whether you will see your name or not, whether you will have the opportunity to bathe in the light of a new beginning and a new sun, whether you will be able to witness a new sunrise with your loved one in your hands. , Just waiting for the opportunity given by the Creator.

    "The love of God is hard love. It demands total self-surrender, disdain of our human personality. And yet it alone can reconcile us to suffering and the deaths of children, it alone can justify them, since we cannot understand them, and we can only make God's will ours. "
    __ Albert Camus

    Among the few main characters in this novel, I liked most of the following three characters;

    Dr. Bernerd Rieux

    Dr. Bernerd Rieux, age 35, is a very optimistic entity who has black hair with a medium figure. But indifference to the Creator, he can be an atheist. It is not his identity, his existence is ignited when, when all the countries are swept away in the epidemic, survival is as mysterious as a smile of fate, in that crisis he becomes an angel and descends alone to serve the sick. How much more can a man do? He was the first to use the word "plague" in this epidemic. Moreover, when he realizes that his struggle for all these indifferent and helpless sick people will be defeated by inevitable death,

    Even then, this real man, inspired them with the hope of living in a new way from the weak, which kept them mentally alive, because his religion is hope. 

    Jean Tarrou

    Jean Tarrou, a young man always smiling, was coming from Oran to Paris on business and personal business. His morality, ideology, and sense of responsibility have trapped me in the web of bias towards him. He organized with the first volunteers, where he put it in everyone's head that this epidemic is part of everyone's sense of responsibility, morally no one can move away from it. Dr. Rie came to help to make this initiative a little smoother.

    Not to mention one more person,

    Raymon Rambert

    Raymon Rambert, a journalist. He was trapped because of the research on the living conditions in Arabia, he found no way to communicate with anyone. Through the government, private, and bureaucracy he tried every possible legal way to get out of Oran. His strong desire to see his girlfriend took him to smugglers and human traffickers also. But when the way comes to get out of Oran, only then can he realize that his desire can never be greater than the cries of innocent people in the plague today. He decided that this epidemic, this instability was his as well as everyone else's.

    The novel is a witness to the freedom of the individual, the freedom of speech, the platform to express one's own opinion, the freedom to think. Albert Camus has unveiled the mask of government exploitation, deception, and hypocrisy so well.

    The dim light of the crisis when the awaiting assurance of rebirth from the eyes of the townspeople to their hearts made them so confident that they turned not only the plague but the liberation from the fall of The French government into a victory and defeats the Nazis. Thus, as the epidemic subsides, the author seeks to indicate that the new day is about to emerge, casting doubt on the reader about its permanence.
    "If there is one thing one can always yearn for and sometimes attain, it is human love."
    __Albert Camus

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