The novel parable “The Plague” was written during the Second World War, published in 1947, received the Nobel Prize.
The explicit idea of “The Plague” is the struggle of the European Resistance Movement against fascism, the author noted.
Using the image of “The Plague”, Camus tried to convey the atmosphere of France occupied by the Germans.
The novel takes place in the Algerian city of Oran. The narrator, Dr. Rie, notes the event of the plague year, a terrible epidemic that put all the inhabitants in the face of death.
The plague begins suddenly – its first sign is rats, which are massively dying in the city, but no one attaches importance to it, only Dr. Rie immediately realizes the scale of this disaster. He gathers like-minded people – the thinker Tarru, the official Gran, the journalist Rambert and others, and organizes squads to counter the plague to the best of his ability. “The main thing is to do your job well,” he says.
The city is quarantined, but among the citizens there are those who believe that the plague is God’s punishment sent for sins and there is no other way out than humility. The priest Panlu calls for this. But after the death of the sinless boy, he understands that it is necessary to act. Finally, all the inhabitants of Oran join forces and confront the plague.
A year of intense struggle passes and suddenly the plague recedes. Dr. Rie walks the streets of the restored city, but he does not leave the thought that the plague bacillus never disappears and can return at any time if there are favorable conditions for this.
The novel reveals the problems of mobilizing people in critical situations, the will to live and fight against common evil, the problem of an eternal, absurd and invincible enemy. The image of the plague here is a generalized image of all those terrible things that humanity has been struggling with for hundreds of years. This is the unjustified cruelty of the war, which destroys a lot of lives not involved in its beginning and main goal. And merciless diseases to people who are indifferent to age and morality. The author focuses on the fact that they are always waiting for us, you just have to relax.
The main pathos and absurdity is that after defeating evil, at least temporarily, people rejoice and rejoice, but over time, when the most terrible pictures disappear in memory, everything starts again. This cyclical nature is characteristic of human society, and it is very important to break this vicious circle.