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The Plague

The Plague


by Albert Camus

Dr. Richard Timeline and Summary

  • Richard informs Dr. Rieux that he, too, has found swollen ganglia in his patients.
  • Later, Richard reports that his patients always seem to get better!
  • But then they die.
  • Understandably, Rieux is alarmed and suggests beginning a process of quarantining, but Richard says only the Prefect can do that.
  • In a meeting with said Prefect, Richard is all, "Let’s not overreact." He wants to treat the problem without running amok yelling "Plague!" He’d rather pull a "wait-and-see," since after all they don’t even know that the disease is contagious (though we think the rat example was rather conclusive).
  • Richard says they’re going to have to apply the strict measures mandated in the Code; except in order to do this, they first have to admit that the pestilence is indeed plague. To avoid having to admit this, they therefore shouldn’t take any desperate action.
  • He then obsesses for a bit over the word "plague" and whether or not that is really the case here.
  • With the pestilence at its peak, Richard declares the good news is that the plague can’t really get any worse.
  • The plague matches Richard’s optimism and raises him. He dies of the plague.