Albert Camus The Plague

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In “The Plague,” Albert Camus explores the philosophy on the Absurd. He choses to express this theme through natural disaster, the bubonic plague, to represent the unpredictability absurd forces of nature that are hostile to men and how they react. The symbolic plague represents a multitude of ideas, but its purpose is to put humans to thought and action whereby they rise above themselves. Even though the plague is just an expression of men’s lack of power in the world, Camus esteems the wonderful nature of human effort to live and love and make meaning in spite of the Absurdity. Camus intends in “The Plague” to use literary techniques to enhance the Absurd ideas in life, to provide man a mental image of the Absurd, to demonstrate the human desire for meaning, and also to reveal the protagonists’ motivations to continue in life despite the Absurd. Camus does this through his impersonal style of narration which lets the author act on…show more content…
He includes an array of characters to demonstrate the acceptable and unacceptable reactions to those absurdities. Through Rieux, Camus states his changing belief that the absurd prevents any hope of a future. Instead, man chooses either to deny it, succumb to its power, cling to abstractions, or revolt against it. Nevertheless, man always continues to search for meaning in life. Camus discovers that man can never effectively fight the absurd as displayed in this quote. “Rieux could only stand, unveiling, on the shore, empty-handed and sick at heart, unarmed and helpless yet again under the onset of the calamity. And thus, when the end came, the tears that blinded Rieux’s eyes were tears of impotence.” (269) However, Camus concludes that since man always searches for meaning, “they know now that if there is one thing one can always yearn for and sometimes attain, it is human love.”
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