The Plague, Camus. A, Book Review.docx - Sharon Shakya Academic English BBA Book Review Essay \u201cThe Plague\u201d by Albert Camus \u201cBut what does it mean

The Plague, Camus. A, Book Review.docx - Sharon Shakya...

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Sharon ShakyaAcademic English, BBABook Review Essay.“The Plague” by Albert Camus.“But what does it mean, the plague? It’s life, that’s all.” (Camus, 1947)Albert Camus’ “The Plague” explores a deadly crisis that befalls a tiny, irrelevant townon the coast of Algeria. This book embraces the inevitability of death, but also the uncertainty ofit all the same. It creates the warmth that a community can gather in times of need and in timesof certain death. Camus’ ideology of existentialism is portrayed well in “The Plague” and isexpressed through the characters scattered throughout the book. Albert Camus, a French philosopher and journalist, was considered one of the fathers ofexistentialism. His main belief was his philosophy of “idea of the absurd”. Camus found itabsurd that we, as humans, search for happiness and meaning in our lives, in a world whereneither of those are offered. The only thing certain is death in this world, he claims. Hence, mostof his work of fiction is based on and revolves around mortality. Camus’ works of fiction,namely “The Stranger”, “The Fall” and “The Happy Death” are all based on the impermanenceof life and reinforce his belief of existentialism. “The Plague” (originally La Peste)shares thisidea of mortality as well.
“The Plague” was originally published in early 1947 in France. This psychological fictionshowcases the happenings of a town when it is overwhelmed by the bubonic plague. The novel isbelieved to be based on the plague that hit the town of Oran in the 1850s but the book illustratesthe time period to be around the 1940s. Camus depicts an objective third-party view of thebubonic plague through the eyes of an unnamed narrator. Divided into five parts, the slowchurnings of the plague is incorporated into the story. Each part emphasizes a certain layer of thedisease. The first shows how it begins, with the appearance of dead rats in each corner of eachhouse, piling up in the streets and causing havoc in the otherwise calm and routine lives of thetownsfolk. The second displays recognition, the wildfire-like spread and the initial response.Both the authorities – the government – and the citizens were not ready to admit that their townwas infested (“…302 deaths in the third week of the plague did not stir the imagination.” Pg 61).

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