The Plague Reflection

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The story of the book by Albert Camus entitled, “The Plague” conveys of a struggle of a town named Oran. This town was struck by an unknown disease that eventually led to the death of many people.

 The very first symptom of the disease appeared when thousands of rats died within the city’s premises. The death toll of the rats jumped as high as 8,000 a day. This led to some nuisance for some residents. Thus, when the city’s officials decided to handle the collecting and burning of the rats, they have no knowledge at all that this step would be the spark of the spread of the disease known as the bubonic plague.

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In this type of story about plague, it reminds me of an epidemic of a disease. It reminds me of the incident years ago about SARS that hit Asia.  Together with this, a picture would come out into my mind wherein hundreds or even thousands of people would be struck off with an unknown disease that medical practitioners do not have real knowledge of.

While many victims of the disease are struggling to survive, medical practitioners are still trying to find out the real origin of the disease, its pattern of existence and how it will be put into a halt for the reason that this specific type of disease is somewhat new to the medical world. The hardest part of this scene is that when there is no cure available. This would really bring panic to the whole residents or even the whole world in general, especially nowadays that the mode of transportation is almost instant, thus the mode of transmission of the disease would eventually turn out to be global.

This novel may have so many interpretations. In my own point of view, this novel interprets about life.

The place of Oran is somewhat not that enticing at all, with no trees or pigeons or any thing that would tell you that living things exist except for humans. The people in Oran are concentrated in getting rich. They work from morning till night and their relaxing moments after work would only be playing cards in cafes and the like. It seemed like a boring life living in Oran.

This eventually placed me into a reflection about us, human beings, and our lives at present. We are like Oran, which is dull and lifeless. All we think about life is money, how to get rich, how to be successful.

Most of us do not see the beauty of life. The color of green in trees and plants, the wonderful colors of feathers in birds, fishes, and the other animals, the color blue in the seas and oceans. We only see these things when we think about how to make money out of them. This is a sad reality.

Another realization about the novel is the sufferings of human beings. In the novel, Dr. Rieux and Father Peneloux have different views about the sufferings of humans. At first, Father Peneloux stressed in his first sermon that the plague that the whole town is suffering is a way in which God divides the good from the bad ones. However, Dr. Rieux did not agree to Father Peneloux’s perception because for him, the suffering that they are experiencing at the moment is not God’s way of separating good from the bad. Dr. Rieux is more concerned on helping the suffering people from the pain and discomfort that they are experiencing. In the end, they both agreed that in the midst of suffering, they can only do their very best to overcome it in any ways, to help the people who are in pain.

In my reflection of human suffering, it directed me to a realization that in this life, we usually see different people who are suffering in any way. People suffer from poverty, from hunger, from injustice, from abuse, from natural calamities, from death of a loved one, from illness, from being unwanted in their own families, from being unloved. With this, the very big question is that what can we do to alleviate the suffering of others, or perhaps our very own suffering?

In this novel, it teaches us to do what we can do to save others from all these pain, agony and misfortune. This novel teaches us to help others even in our own very simple way of caring for them. In times of suffering, we must help one another because in this way, we are able to overcome all sorts of suffering in this world.

In the novel, they were able to surpass the nightmare that the bubonic plague has brought to their town, Oran. In our lives, we can surpass any suffering that we see or experiencing for as long as we know how to help and care for one another. We may not know the real reason of the existence of suffering in this world, but now we know that little by little, we can eradicate suffering if we love one another, care for one another, and help one another.


Camus, A. (1947). La Peste. France: Librairie Gallimard.


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