Love is tricky business – especially in The Plague. Love for mankind drives some to sacrifice their own well-being in fighting for the good of society, while love for individuals threatens to do just the opposite. Part of the novel’s conclusion is that man may hope for love but nothing more if he doesn’t want to be sorely disappointed. A priest tries to say that the plague is the result of God’s loving them all too much. If you want to keep it simple…look elsewhere.
Dr. Rieux doesn’t actually love his wife; this explains his strange actions toward Rambert and his attempted escape.
In The Plague, love doesn’t spare people from suffering, but it gives them a reason to endure it.
In The Plague, love makes suffering worse, as it makes a person suffer both for himself and for his loved ones.