Nalkis But his journalistic activities had been chiefly a response to the demands of the cammus in Camus retired from political journalism and, besides writing his fiction and essays, was very active in the theatre as producer and playwright e. His origin in Algeria and his experiences there in the thirties were dominating influences in his thought and work. He was a stylist of great purity and intense concentration and rationality. Agnieszka rated it it was amazing Dec 03, Refresh and try again.
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Major characters[ edit ] Dr. Bernard Rieux: Dr. Bernard Rieux is described as a man about age 35, of moderate height, dark-skinned, with close-cropped black hair. It is Rieux who treats the first victim of plague and first uses the word plague to describe the disease.
He urges the authorities to take action to stop the spread of the epidemic. However, at first, along with everyone else, the danger the town faces seems unreal to him. He feels uneasy but does not realise the gravity of the situation. During the epidemic, Rieux heads an auxiliary hospital and works long hours treating the victims. He injects serum and lances the abscesses, but there is little more that he can do, and his duties weigh heavily upon him.
He never gets home until late, and he has to distance himself from the natural pity that he feels for the victims; otherwise, he would not be able to go on. Often, the relatives plead with him not to do so since they know they may never see the person again.
Rieux works to combat the plague simply because he is a doctor and his job is to relieve human suffering. He does not do it for any grand, religious purpose, like Paneloux Rieux does not believe in God , or as part of a high-minded moral code, like Tarrou. He is a practical man, doing what needs to be done without any fuss, but he knows that the struggle against death is something that he can never win. Jean Tarrou: Jean Tarrou arrived in Oran some weeks before the plague broke out for unknown reasons.
He is not there on business since he appears to have private means. Tarrou is a good-natured man who smiles a lot. Before the plague came, he liked to associate with the Spanish dancers and musicians in the city.
He also keeps a diary, full of his observations of life in Oran, which the Narrator incorporates into the narrative. It is Tarrou who first comes up with the idea of organising teams of volunteers to fight the plague. He wants to do so before the authorities begin to conscript people, and he does not like the official plan to get prisoners to do the work.
What interests him, he tells Rieux, is how to become a saint even though he does not believe in God. Later in the novel, Tarrou tells Rieux, with whom he has become friends, the story of his life. His father, although a kind man in private, was also an aggressive prosecuting attorney who tried death penalty cases, arguing strongly for the death penalty to be imposed.
As a young boy, Tarrou attended one day of a criminal proceeding in which a man was on trial for his life. However, the idea of capital punishment disgusted him. After he left home before 18, his main interest in life was his opposition to the death penalty, which he regarded as state-sponsored murder.
However, years of activism, and fighting for the Republican side of the Spanish Civil War have left him disillusioned. When the plague epidemic is virtually over, Tarrou becomes one of its last victims but puts up a heroic struggle before dying.
Raymond Rambert: Raymond Rambert is a journalist who is visiting Oran to research a story on living conditions in the Arab quarter of the town. When the plague strikes, he finds himself trapped in a city with which he feels he has no connection. He misses his wife who is in Paris and uses all his ingenuity and resourcefulness to persuade the city bureaucracy to allow him to leave. When that fails, he contacts smugglers, who agree to help him escape for a fee of ten thousand francs.
However, there is a hitch in the arrangements, and by the time another escape plan is arranged, Rambert has changed his mind. He decides to stay in the city and continue to help fight the plague, saying that he would feel ashamed of himself if he pursued a merely private happiness. Joseph Grand: Joseph Grand is a fifty-year-old clerk for the city government. He is tall and thin. Poorly paid, he lives an austere life, but he is capable of deep affection.
In his spare time, Grand polishes up his Latin, and he is also writing a book, but he is such a perfectionist that he continually rewrites the first sentence and can get no further.
One of his problems in life is that he can rarely find the correct words to express what he means. Grand tells Rieux that he married while still in his teens, but overwork and poverty took their toll Grand did not receive the career advancement that he had been promised , and his wife Jeanne left him.
He tried but failed to write a letter to her, and he still grieves for his loss. Grand is a neighbor of Cottard, and it is he who calls Rieux for help, when Cottard tries to commit suicide. When the plague takes a grip on the town, Grand joins the team of volunteers, acting as general secretary, recording all the statistics.
Rieux regards him as "the true embodiment of the quiet courage that inspired the sanitary groups. At the end of the novel, Grand says he is much happier; he has written to Jeanne and made a fresh start on his book.
Cottard: Cottard lives in the same building as Grand. He does not appear to have a job and is described as having private means although he describes himself as "a traveling salesman in wines and spirits. Afterwards, he does not want to be interviewed by the police since he has committed a crime by attempting suicide and fears arrest. Whereas he was aloof and mistrustful before, he now becomes agreeable and tries hard to make friends.
He appears to relish the coming of the plague, and Tarrou thinks it is because he finds it easier to live with his own fears now that everyone else is in a state of fear, too. Cottard takes advantage of the crisis to make money by selling contraband cigarettes and inferior liquor.
Sometimes he is sociable, but at other times, he shuts himself up in his room. Eventually, he loses his mental balance and shoots at random at people on the street, wounding some and killing a dog. The police arrest him.
Father Paneloux: Father Paneloux is a learned, well-respected Jesuit priest. He is well known for having given a series of lectures in which he championed a pure form of Christian doctrine and chastised his audience about their laxity. During the first stage of the plague outbreak, Paneloux preaches a sermon at the cathedral. He has a powerful way of speaking, and he insists to the congregation that the plague is a scourge sent by God to those who have hardened their hearts against him.
However, Paneloux also claims that God is present to offer succor and hope. Paneloux joins the team of volunteer workers and preaches another sermon saying that the death of the innocent child is a test of faith. A few days after preaching this sermon, Paneloux is taken ill. He refuses to call for a doctor, trusting in God alone, and dies.
Since his symptoms did not seem to resemble those of the plague, Rieux records his death as a "doubtful case. The Prefect: The Prefect believes at first that the talk of plague is a false alarm, but on the advice of his medical association, he authorizes limited measures to combat it.
When they do not work, he tries to avoid responsibility, saying he will ask the government for orders. Then, he takes responsibility for tightening up the regulations relating to the plague and issues the order to close the town. Castel: Dr. He realizes after the first few cases that the disease is bubonic plague and is aware of the seriousness of the situation.
He works hard to make an antiplague serum, but as the epidemic continues, he shows increasing signs of wear and tear. Othon: M. Othon is a magistrate in Oran. He is tall and thin and, as Tarrou observes in his journal, "his small, beady eyes, narrow nose, and hard, straight mouth make him look like a well-brought-up owl.
After he finishes his time at the isolation camp, where he is sent because his son is infected, he wants to return there because it would make him feel closer to his lost son. However, before Othon can do this, he contracts the plague and dies. Jacques Othon: Jacques Othon is M. When he contracts the plague, he is the first to receive Dr. But the serum is ineffective, and the boy dies after a long and painful struggle.
Rieux: Mme. Rieux is Dr. She is a serene woman who, after taking care of the housework, sits quietly in a chair. She says that at her age, there is nothing much left to fear. Richard: Dr. Richard is chairman of the Oran Medical Association. He is slow to recommend any action to combat the plague for fear of public alarm.
He does not want even to admit that the disease is the plague, referring instead to a "special type of fever. Michel: M. Michel is the concierge of the building in which Rieux lives.
An old man, he is the first victim of the plague. Raoul: Raoul is the man who agrees, for a fee of ten thousand francs, to arrange for Rambert to escape. He introduces Rambert to Gonzales. Asthma Patient: the asthma patient receives regular visits from Dr.
He is a seventy-five-year-old Spaniard with a rugged face, who comments on events in Oran that he hears about on the radio and in the newspapers. He sits in his bed all day and measures the passing of time by putting peas from one jug into another. Louis: Louis is one of the sentries who take part in the plan for Rambert to escape. Garcia: Garcia is a man who knows the group of smugglers in Oran.
He introduces Rambert to Raoul.