| Quote #19
"But confound it," Rambert exclaimed, "I don’t belong here!" (2.2.32)
Rambert tries to maintain his individuality in the face of the crisis by claiming he is a stranger in town. The point of the narration, however, is that every man is similarly exiled from every other man, similarly lives in isolation. It doesn’t matter where you’re from; you’re a stranger everywhere you go.
| Quote #20
Thus week by week the prisoners of plague put up what fight they could. Some, like Rambert, even contrived to fancy they were still behaving as free men and had the power of choice. (3.1.1)
Take a look at this passage in the context of Tarrou’s later claim that man is always living with plague, it’s just that some are unaware and some are OK with that as is. What does it mean to contrive to be free, as opposed to really be free? Tarrou would argue that awareness is the key difference. Does The Plague seem to agree with this diagnosis?
| Quote #21
Strongest of these emotions was the sense of exile and of deprivation, with all the cross currents of revolt and fear set up by these. (3.1.1)
Again, it is not so much the confinement itself, but rather the thought that they have been exiled that bothers the people of Oran. Abstractions, anyone?