Study Guide

Dr. Rieux’s Wife in The Plague

By Albert Camus

Dr. Rieux’s Wife

An invalid, Rieux’s wife is sent away to get better health care at the beginning of the novel. As a result, the doctor is separated from his wife throughout the novel, destroying his ability to comment objectively on the state of parted lovers. He expresses guilt at not being there to take care of her, but it’s unclear whether he feels genuine love or just the obligation of duty towards his wife. Sadly, Rieux receives news of his wife’s death at the end of the novel, just after he loses his friend Tarrou.