| Quote #10
Nightfall, with its deep, remote baying of unseen ships, the rumor rising from the sea, and the happy tumult of the crowd—that first hour of darkness which in the past had always had a special charm for Rieux—seemed today charged with menace, because of all he knew. (1.8.52)
The suffering caused by the plague corrupts even the landscape of Oran.
| Quote #11
Hitherto his patients had helped to lighten his task; they gladly put themselves in his hands. For the first time the doctor felt they were keeping aloof, wrapping themselves up in their malady with a sort of bemused hostility. (1.8.67)
Patients transfer their fear of death onto the doctors who wish to help them; it seems that suffering makes people irrational. (That or everyone is irrational all the time. Take your absurdist pick.)
| Quote #12
He had examined the old man and now was sitting in the middle of the dingy little dining-room. Yes, despite what he had said, he was afraid. He knew that in this suburb alone eight or ten unhappy people, cowering over their buboes, would be awaiting his visit the next morning. (1.8.75)
What is it that Dr. Rieux fears most, his own suffering, or the suffering of the patients he is forced to witness? Is there a difference between the two?