Literature Study GuidesThe PlaguePart 2 Chapter 11 Summary

The Plague | Study Guide

Albert Camus

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The Plague | Part 2, Chapter 11 | Summary

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Summary

The town is about a month into the plague, and there is another sharp increase in cases. A Week of Prayer is declared, although normally the people of Oran are not "particularly devout." Father Paneloux, known for his "lectures on present-day individualism," gives a passionate sermon claiming that the plague is God's punishment of Oran, because despite His love for them, its people have neglected Him. He encourages the people to offer a prayer of love to God, and trust God to "see to the rest."

Analysis

Like Rambert, who wants his logical arguments to convince the authorities to let him out of the city, Father Paneloux also wants to apply some sort of logic to the situation. Part of the point of the novel is that plague, like war and weather, is not logical, but irrational. While Rambert wants to reason his way out of the plague, Paneloux wants to make the plague itself a logical, predictable occurrence—the logical consequence of the lack of piety among its population.

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