| Quote #10
But from now on it was different; they seemed at the mercy of the sky’s caprices—in other words, suffered and hoped irrationally. (2.1.14)
The irrationality of the weather represents the indifference of the universe to human suffering.
| Quote #11
Yet they were still not sensational enough to prevent our townsfolk, perturbed though they were, from persisting in the idea that what was happening was a sort of accident, disagreeable enough, but certainly a temporary order. (2.2.3)
The citizens of Oran deceive themselves in order to cope with the plague. Rather than first accepting and subsequently fighting the pestilence, they blind themselves with false assurances that this will pass quickly.
| Quote #12
Naturally the picture-houses benefited by the situation and made money hand over fist. They had one difficulty, however—to provide a change of program, since the circulation of films in the region had been suspended. After a fortnight the various cinemas were obliged to exchanged films, and after a further lapse of time, to show always the same program. In spite of this their takings did not fall off. (2.2.6)
People waste their lives in repetition – before and after the outbreak of the plague.