Die Heuning Pot Literature Guide
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Quotes

Quote #10

Things went so far that the Ransdoc Information Bureau (inquiries on all subjects promptly and accurately answered), which ran a free-information talk on the radio, by way of

  • publicity, began its talk by announcing that no less than 6,231 rats had been collected and burned in a single day, April 25. (1.2.73)

  • The announcing of facts changes the nature of the plague and the reality of people’s lives.

    Quote #11

    The narrator proposes to give the opinion of another witness on the period that has been described. Jean Tarrou…Good humored, always ready with a smile, he seemed an addict of all normal pleasures without being their slave." (1.3.2)

    Look at the narrator’s word choice ("witness") used to create the illusion of objectivity.

    Quote #12

    Tarrou’s description of Dr. Rieux may be suitably inserted here. So far as the narrator can judge, it is fairly accurate.

    "Looks about thirty-five. Moderate height. Broad shoulders. Almost rectangular face. Dark, steady eyes, but prominent jaws. A biggish, well-modeled nose. Black hair, cropped very close. A curving mouth with thick, usually tight-set lips. With his tanned skin, the black down on his hands and arms, the dark but becoming suits he always wears, he reminds one of a Sicilian peasant.

    "He walks quickly. When crossing a street, he steps off the sidewalk without changing his pace, but two out of three times he makes a little hop when he steps on to the sidewalk on the other side. He is absentminded and, when driving his car, often leaves his side-signals on after he has turned a corner. Always bareheaded. Looks knowledgeable." (1.3.43-45)

    Since Rieux is the secret narrator he cannot objectively describe himself; that’s why he uses Tarrou’s journal to do so. He seems to be forgetting that, in choosing this description of himself, he removed the possibility of objectivity.

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