Essay by Anonymous UserHigh School, 11th gradeB, March 1995

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Why Me?

Humans are remarkably good at finding a religious scapegoat for their problems. There has always been someone to blame for the difficulties we face in life, such as war, famine, and more relevant, disease. Hitler blames the Jews for economical woes in a corrupt Germany long after the Romans held the Christians responsible for everything wrong in a crumbling, has-been empire. In the fourteenth century, when Plague struck Europe, it was blamed on '...unfavorable astrological combinations or malignant atmospheres...' (handout p2), and even '...deliberate combination by witches, Moslems (an idea proposed by Christians), Christians (proposed by Moslems) and Jews (proposed by both groups).' (H p2) The point is, someone was to blame even when the obvious reasons, flea ridden rats, were laying dead on the streets. As time progressed to the twentieth century, there have been few if any exceptions made to this phenomena.

In the case of Oran, the people raced to find a culprit for the sudden invasion of their town, which became the unrepentant man. This is one of Camus' major themes; The way a society deals with an epidemic is to blame it one someone else. Twenty years ago, when AIDS emerged in the US, homosexual men became the target of harsh and flagrant discrimination, and even today are still held accountable by some beliefs. While we may no longer lynch in the nineties, we do accuse innocent groups, like the gay male population, for the birth and explosion of AIDS in our society. Given, there are some differences between each respective situation, but there are striking similarities that cannot be ignored.

As the Plague invaded the town of Oran, the people quarantined within its walls began to look to their leaders for answers. Most likely...