| Quote #22
That evening hour which for believers is the time to look into their conscience is the hardest of all hours on the prisoner or exile who has nothing to look into but the void. For a moment it held them in suspense; then they sank back into their lethargy, the prison door had closed on them once again. (3.1.29)
Introspection comes with a price tag in times of imprisonment; the act of thinking is the most beleaguered process for the citizens of Oran.
| Quote #23
"When I suggested to him," Tarrou continues, "that the surest way of not being cut of from others was having a clean conscience, he frowned. ‘If that is so, everyone’s always cut off from everyone else.’ And a moment later he added: ‘Say what you like, Tarrou, but let me tell you this: the one way of making people hang together is to give ‘em a spell of plague.’" (4.1.16)
The citizens of Oran are not only isolated from the rest of the world, but emotionally exiled from one another.
| Quote #24
Rieux agreed, merely adding that the long separation was beginning to tell on him, and, what was more, he might have helped his wife to make a good recovery; whereas, as things were, she must be feeling terribly lonely. (4.1.5)
Is Rieux really more exiled from his wife now than he was before she left? Or is he just exiled in a different way?