| Quote #22
Since this first onslaught of the heat synchronized with a startling increase in the number of victims—there were now nearly seven hundred deaths a week—a mood of profound discouragement settled on the town. (2.6.2)
The way the narrator interprets and therefore presents the weather has much to do with the current state of death and disease in Oran.
| Quote #23
A system of patrols was instituted and often in the empty, sweltering streets, heralded by a clatter of horse hoofs on the cobbles, a detachment of mounted police would make its way between the parallel lines of close-shut windows. Now and again a gunshot was heard; the special brigade recently detailed to destroy cats and dogs, as possible carriers of infection, was at work. And these whipcrack sounds startling the silence increased the nervous tension already existing in the town. (2.6.4)
Infected cats and dogs are shot; infected people are later quarantined (with other potentially sick people, which doesn’t really help your chances of survival). Death does indeed render men equal to animals.
| Quote #24
The incessant sunlight and those bright hours associated with siesta or with holiday no longer invited, as in the past, to frolics and flirtation on the beaches. Now they rang hollow in the silence of the closed town, they had lost the golden spell of happier summers. Plague had killed all colors, vetoed pleasure. (2.6.5)
The plague brings physical death, sure, but the narrator also focuses on the mental anguish it causes the citizens of Oran.