Hope evolves throughout the course of The Plague. At first, the hope that the plague will quickly dissipate on its own is injurious, as the citizens rely on their wishful thinking instead of taking the necessary preventative measures. Later, as the plague worsens, hope vanishes from the town altogether as the citizens give up on the town’s recovery. Finally, a distinction is made between different types of hope. If man hopes for that which is possible – the humble love of another human being – he will be rewarded. However, if he hopes for anything more, he will surely be disappointed.
In The Plague, hope does more good than it does harm.
In The Plague, hope does more harm than it does good.