Love in the Plague Essay

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Love in The Plague Introduction: In Robert Camus’ novel The Plague, Camus uses the desolate, ordinary town of Oran as the setting for an outbreak of the bubonic plague. Prior to this mass hysteria, Camus does not regard love as a high power of passion and excitement, much like one would imagine. He uses love to describe one of the many pieces of the puzzle that is Oran, as each piece represents a mere habit that comprises the lives of the townspeople. As the death rate begins to climb exponentially, the plague swallows their bleak routines. As the disease travels across the town, knowing no discrimination as to who it infects, love undergoes a transformation: love as a basic element of existence, to a form of distraction, to absent. Various characters within this novel, and the lack of a strong female character, exemplify precisely the negative facets of love. Detachment from women and irony: Subtly throughout this novel Camus displays love as a negative through the absence of prominent women characters. There is not one female protagonist in The Plague that holds a role comparable to characters such as Rieux, Rambert or Tarrou. But what is even more influential is the lack of presence of the female characters within these male characters’ lives. Every man in this novel is disconnected from the woman whom he loves. For example, Rieux’s wife is sent to a sanatorium after being ill for years, Grand’s wife had left him, Rambert’s wife resides in Paris (outside of the impenetrable walls of Oran) and Father Paneloux’s commitment as a Jesuit priest refrains him from taking a wife. This shows that even if have a wife, her love is intangible. Love is now left to survive on the dwindling memories of what it once was. The joy, happiness, lust and enthusiasm that is expected to come of love is nonexistent after the months and months of separation. Love and
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