The Plague Essay

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In the following essay, Kirp, Koehler, and Rossi discuss The Plague and Orwell's 1984 and how these works have helped shape the cultural landscape of the last half century.

In the summer of 1948 an English translation of Albert Camus's The Plague was published, and George Orwell's 1984 appeared several months later. During the half-century since, those two books have helped to shape the cultural landscape. Books were weapons and the stakes survival in the politics-soaked late forties, when seemingly every event was viewed through the prism of democracy and its virulent enemies. At a loyalty board hearing conducted at the Brooklyn Navy Yard in 1949, a sheet-metal worker was questioned about what book clubs he subscribed to (shades of Kenneth Starr!). "The Book Find Club," he responded. "Does Dreiser contribute?" a board member queried. "Some of their writers adhere to the Communist Party line… They weave doctrine into a story." The...

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This section contains 749 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Plague Study Guide
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The Plague from Novels for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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