The Plague Essay

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In the following essay, Kellman discusses the impact of The Plague in the 1980s with the widespread emergence of AIDS.

Even before his narrative begins, Albert Camus offers a cue on how to read The Plague. He positions a statement by Daniel Defoe as epigraph to the entire work. Any novelist writing about epidemics bears the legacy of A Journal of the Plague Year, the 1722 text in which Defoe recounts the collective story of one city, in his case London, under the impact of a plague, and uses a narrator so self-effacing that his only concession to personal identity is the placement of his initials, H.F., at the very end. Camus's The Plague insists that it is the "chronicle" of an "honest witness" to what occurred in Oran, Algeria, a physician named Bernard Rieux who is so loath to impose his personality on the story that he...

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This section contains 2,199 words
(approx. 6 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Plague Study Guide
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