Die Heuning Pot Literature Guide
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The Plague

The Plague


Quotes

Quote #22

Whereas in the early days of the plague they had been struck by the host of small details that, while meaning absolutely nothing to others, meant so much to them personally, and thus had realized, perhaps for the first time, the uniqueness of a man’s life; now, on the other hand, they took an interest only in what interested everyone else, they had only general ideas, and even their tenderest affections now seemed abstract, items of the common stock. (3.1.29)

People lose their humanity when they lose their individuality in the plague.

Quote #23

And here Paneloux assured those present that it was not easy to say what he was about to say—since it was God’s will, we, too, should will it. (4.4.12)

The blindness of faith is as absurd as the senselessness of a plague.

Quote #24

"That it’s illogical for a priest to call in a doctor." (4.4.20)

If a priest really believes in a powerful, loving God, why would he need a doctor? Paneloux would argue that it’s the difference between fatalism and active fatalism. The latter justifies the desire for medical attention, yet at his death Tarrou does not want assistance from Rieux.

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