by Albert Camus
The Plague Part 1, Chapter 7 Summary
- Rieux somehow convinces the authorities to get together at the Prefect’s office and talk about the fact that, hey, everybody’s dying and it’s starting to smell.
- He gives Dr. Castel a ride there. The man is worried about the fact that they have no anti-plague serum.
- Rieux reveals that he already sent a message to Paris asking if maybe they had some plague serum lying around somewhere that they could send, you know, as soon as they had some free time.
- At the meeting, Castel argues that they have to figure out whether or not this is the plague.
- Actually, he adds, he knows it’s the plague, but if the officials want him to lie about it, he’d be happy to do so (to prevent panic and quarantine, it would seem).
- Rieux jumps in and adds that he had the pus from a patient analyzed; it is indeed the plague.
- BUT, there are some subtle differences in the bacteria identified.
- Either way, Rieux says, everyone has to act now.
- Richard, on the other hand, is more of a "let’s wait and see" kind of guy.
- Now this is interesting: Richard asks Rieux to confirm that the word "plague" is absolute correct term. (More about words, see?)
- Rieux responds that it’s not the word that matters – what matters is that they act quickly before time runs out. "It doesn’t matter […] how you phrase it," he says.
- After the meeting, a bleeding, plague-ridden woman screams as Rieux drives past and stretches out her arms towards him. Which is clearly a chapter-ending image.
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