The Plague Language and Communication Quotes
How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Part.Chapter.Paragraph). We used Stuart Gilbert's translation.
And lastly—this was the real trouble—Joseph Grand couldn’t find his words.
This peculiarity, as Rieux had noticed, was really the key to the personality of our worthy fellow citizen. And this it was which always prevented him from writing the mildly protesting letter he had in mind, or taking the steps the situation called for. (1.6.22-3)
The narrator identifies Grand’s inability to communicate as the source of all his troubles in life – his poverty, his stagnant lifestyle, his wife having left him, and his general passivity.
"The question," old Castel cut in almost rudely, "is to know whether it’s plague or not." (1.7.11)
Castel thinks that knowing the word will make things different. Silly rabbit.
"It has small importance whether you call it plague or some rare kind of fever. The important thing is to prevent its killing of half the population of this town." (1.7.17)
Rieux realizes that actions matter, not words.