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Quotes

Quote #10

But once the town gates were shut, everyone one of us realized that all, the narrator include, were, so to speak, in the same boat, and each would have had too adapt himself to the new conditions of life. (2.1.1)

The new conditions of life are ones of community and selflessness: it is the condition of being cut off from the self for the perpetuation of the whole.

Quote #11

It might indeed be said that the first effect of this brutal visitation was to compel our townspeople to act as if they had no feelings as individuals. (2.1.2)

The plague takes away individuality and yields only the common condition of suffering. In this way, the people are personally confined – pigeonholed, actually – to common roles.

Quote #12

For actually the closing of the gates took place some hours before the official order was made known to the public, and, naturally enough, it was impossible to take individual cases of hardship into account. (2.1.2)

People of Oran are at first unaware of being shut in. In fact, it is only the knowledge of their confinement that makes it so difficult to bear. The condition itself is not nearly so bad as the implications it carries for the future.

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