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Quotes

Quote #7

It was as if the earth on which our houses stood were being purged of its secreted humors; thrusting up to the surface the abscesses and pus-clots that had been forming in its entrails. (1.2.72)

Gross. And also some serious imagery of the town itself being like a human body – subject to the same illnesses and decay.

Quote #8

Only the old Spaniard whom Dr. Rieux was treating for asthma went on rubbing his hands and chuckling: "They’re coming out, they’re coming out," with senile glee. (1.2.73)

Repeatedly in The Plague we see elderly characters unfazed by the pestilence. Some are indifferent, such as Mme. Rieux or Marcel and Louis’s mother, and others are downright gleeful, such as the old asthmatic patient. What is it about old age that protects these characters from fear?

Quote #9

As he walked down the stairs, Rieux caught himself glancing into the darker corners, and he asked Grand if the rats had quite disappeared in his part of the town. (1.2.103)

Yet another structural recurrence is established: the calm before the storm.

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