Study Guide

The Plague Part 2, Chapter 4

By Albert Camus

Part 2, Chapter 4

  • People finally start freaking out about the plague, right around the time Paneloux delivers his sermon.
  • One night shortly after, Grand and Rieux see a lunatic laughing silently out in the street and swaying from side to side.
  • The two men head to a café for a drink.
  • Grand tells Rieux about his book; he seems rather ambitious about the project.
  • It seems the man is trying to get the language for his book exactly right. So much so, in fact, that he spends "whole weeks" sometimes on a "mere conjunction."
  • They end up at Grand’s place, and Rieux takes a look at this manuscript.
  • Grand has written…one entire sentence. And it (that sentence) isn’t done yet.
  • Want to hear it? "One fine morning in the month of May an elegant young horsewoman might have been riding a handsome sorrel mare along the flowery avenues of the Bois de Boulogne."
  • Yes, that’s it. What were you expecting, Milton?
  • Just then, the sound of "hurried footsteps" is heard from the streets outside. Looks like everyone is rushing the gates to try to escape.