| Quote #13
"What do you mean by ‘common decency’?" Rambert’s tone was grave.
Here’s an idea for you: Rieux is jealous of Rambert. In fact, Rieux isn’t a selfless healer at all – he’s just trying to avoid having to take care of his wife. Tending victims of the plague is his excuse for not tending the woman who needs him most. He envies Rambert’s conviction and the strength of his love for his "wife" in Paris. Do you agree?
| Quote #14
"I suppose you don’t know that Rieux’s wife is in a sanatorium, a hundred miles or so away."
Faced with the example set by others, Rambert realizes his duty is in fact to the town. Of course, he’s still going to leave town ASAP, but it’s a step in the right direction. Rieux, being himself, doesn’t judge Rambert, either, for any of his decisions.
| Quote #15
"Then why don’t you stop my going? You could easily manage it."
More evidence for our Rieux-doesn’t-want-to-take-care-of-his-wife theory. Not only is he complicit in Rambert’s illegal escape by his silence, but now he’s actively helping the man by alerting him to growing suspicions. Because Rieux can’t do for his own wife what Rambert is doing for his, he seeks love and happiness in this vicarious manner.