The Many Faces Of Suffering

Essay by EssaySwap ContributorHigh School, 11th grade February 2008

download word file, 2 pages 0.0

Downloaded 16 times

It was once said that "the suffering of one man is a tragedy but the suffering of many men is a statistic. Suffering, which crushes human beings both physically and spiritually, is the central theme of the novel, The Plague, by Albert Camus. The plague, which is described as an irrational force and a depersonalized evil, is the main cause of suffering. The people endure physical suffering because of the plague. Furthermore, the plague also causes psychological suffering. Finally, the plague causes suffering through exile and separation.

The plague kills without regard to age or social status causing suffering throughout the city. The first victim of the plague "was in constant delirium and had started vomiting again and he died soon after." This first death marked the beginning of the suffering for the people of Oran. A minor character by the name of "Grand, …, had suffered during his long death".

He was another victim to the plague that is causing physical suffering throughout the city. The narrator of the novel along with his colleagues" watched as Paneloux died on his bed". These people bare witness to a major characters death in the novel. This event gives a more personal understanding of the suffering going on throughout the city.

The plague's psychological effects on the people of Oran are almost as severe and horrible as of the physical affects. According to the narrator, "the habit of despair is worse than despair itself." The people of Oran begin to break down and the way they are acting is in fact worse than the plague itsself. The main mindset of the people of Oran is "that pestilence is a mere bogy of the mind, a bad dream that will pass away." But it doesn't always pass away and, from one...