Albert Camus' "The Plague"
The novel that I chose to do this report on was, "The Plague", by Albert
Camus. It is about a plague that hit the European countries in the middle ages.
I chose to describe the literary term of parallelism. Here are some following
facts about the story's plot that involve parallelism through the novel.
The novel begins at Oran where the plague becomes known. The main
character, Dr. Gernard Rieux, is a doctor. In the beginning of the story he
finds a dead rat on the floor. Even in those times rats were not found dead on
the middle of the floor. This was unusual, but he threw out the rat and forgot
about it. Eventually the dead rats began to pile into large masses and burned.
Soon after there were some people that got very sick, which made Mr. Rieux very
curious. These reports of these ill people and the death of the rats were the
beginning of the parallelism for this story.
Since Bernard was a doctor he was the first to actually attempt to help
one of these sick people. Michael was his first patient in this matter. He was
the sickest person that the doctor had ever seen. Michael was pale white and
vomited often, he hurt so much from the vomiting that he seemed paralyzed. Mr.
Rieux tried to help the man the best that he could, but he ended up dying.
Michael was the first person to die of this illness. After his death, many
cases of this illness were reported widespread. Again more details of sickness
and death, this is the parallelism for this novel.
As the reports of sickness and death came to inform Dr. Rieux, he tried
to comfort and cure the plagued patients. About ninety percent of the people
infected had died. He wanted a stop to this plague. Quickly he linked the rats
with the people. He knew that the rats began to get sick before the people did.
At this time many people had the plague, except for the Chinese visitors. They
never were infected. As the plot moves on death, sickness and the plague are
He studied their behaviors and everyday tasks and learned that they do
something that was never often done in these middle ages. Not many people in
these days bathed. The doctor began to notice that the people that bathed never
got sick. So he asked all of his, still living patients, to take baths
frequently. This proved to be the miracle cure for the people. The doctor asked
his other fellow doctors to follow the same practice with their patients. The
word was spread and the plague was soon wiped out.
So as you can see, the literary term of parallelism was deemed very
relevant through the ongoing plot. Death, sickness, and the plague epresented
the story's parallelism. Albert Camus made parallelism the main literary term
for this novel, given away by the title, "The Plague."