The Plague tells the story of a town in quarantine for an outbreak of the plague. Issues of confinement and exile are hugely important to the tale. But what does it mean to be trapped? This novel reveals that the town in question isn’t really much more confined with its gates closed than it was when the people were free to come and go. Confinement comes in many forms, the least of which is geographical. Confinement spans emotional to spiritual to mental dimensions. Freedom, it seems, is a state of mind more than a physical condition.
Emotional exile is the most harmful result of the plague for the citizens of Oran.
Although the plague is temporary, exile is a fundamental and permanent aspect of the human condition in The Plague.