Group Response Assignment
ENG – 2300
April 12, 2016
Stated by Martin Luther King Jr., “ The ultimate tragedy is not the oppression and cruelty by the bad people, but the silence over that by the good people.” The Plague, a forlorn novel written by Albert Camus describes the horrific consequences when the city of Oran gets struck with the bubonic plague. This plague, also known as the Black Death, was an appalling infection caught by many in the city of Oran, causing serious illness and in countless cases, death. The story describes both the despairing and the little hopeful aspects of the effects of the infection on the city. We see the views of the characters that go about their daily lives not caring about anything else. They ignore the signs of the plague and continue on with their lives. Once the plague is full blown and the people in the city are quarantined you see even more that they only care about their lives personally. They typically would go about their day like nothing was even occurring, and are more worried about being able to leave the city than exposing others to the disease. However, one by one through personal pain and loss of loved ones, they begin to gain insight of what needed to be accomplished, not just for them to survive, but also for everyone to survive. But isn’t that what it takes sometimes? Personal pain to help us see and change?
The three characters who most depict the human condition are Dr. Bernard Rieux, Joseph Grand, and Cottard. In a sense, each possesses characteristics which illustrate both positives of the human condition. Dr. Rieux embodies the definition of a hero. However, even though he realizes that the plague he is fighting cannot be stopped, he refuses to quit. Emotionally, he feels for his patients, but he also realizes that he must separate his emotions from his job. This says that some people will continue to do what needs to be done even when they only see failure. When speaking to the...