What heroic qualities are exhibited by the townspeople in their fight against the plague in the novel "The Plague" by Albert Camus.

Essay by r0xleyCollege, UndergraduateA, September 2005

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It is necessary to point out, throughout Albert Camus' novel "The Plague", heroic qualities are evident in all characters during the time of the plague. Such qualities, shared by all, are values that are subject to an individual's own interpretation of what makes one "heroic". As such interpretations are consistently variant, there is a need to narrow down and restrict such a generalized view on heroic traits, and define the exact qualities that make an individual universally heroic, that is to say, the qualities that are classical components of heroism, identifiable in certain characters throughout the novel. Whether such heroic deeds are due to a sense of duty, loyalty to the goodwill of mankind, or even the resistance to accept death and grasp survival; heroism in itself is exhibited in many such forms by the various townspeople dealing with the plague. For only through the oncoming of such a crisis, are the people able to display their stringent moral worth and the values that isolate them as 'heroic' in the opinions of those surrounding them.

Truly, the plague is a terrible burden upon the townspeople and mankind in general, however, it also uncovers the most admirable traits in mankind and is thus seen to force an exhibition of the heroic qualities the townspeople possess.

Heroism can be seen as a duty that one must undertake, and certainly for Riuex, it is his undying dedication to the practice of helping people that enables him to possess heroic traits. His loyalty to his job, and his sense of commitment to the townspeople, go hand in hand as he could be seen to become the foundation of a "hero" within the novel. The claim that "morality is first of all a question of curing people", further reiterates Riuex's strong moral...