The Plague

The first part of The Plague, by Albert Camus, begins in describing the large French port called Oran which is on the Algerian coast of Africa. The smug town is inhibited by people largely concerned with business. The normal flow of the town is abruptly interrupted by thousands of rats coming out of the sewers and dying. The concerned town people are delighted to find an end to the disgusting rats, but are then faced with a more severer problem. A fatal fever has swept the town. It takes government officials quite a while, but a state of plague is proclaimed. A doctor by the name of Dr. Bernard Rieux, who was recently separated from his wife due to another illness, has taken on the task of treating the plague.
In part two of The Plague, the town of Oran is taken over by the illness. Everything is different now that Oran can't interact with the rest of the world. The town was put into exile. Auxiliary hospitals are opened to hold all the victims of the plague. The death toll rises from 302 deaths a week to 137 deaths a day. Many people lose close ones who have fallen from the plague. A somber tone has taken over the town. No one smiles anymore. Dr. Rieux continues with his work, but finds it hard when supplies run short. After a much respected Catholic priest gives a sermon blaming the plague as a punishment for the people's sins, a man named Tarrou starts work to try to aid the government in dealing with the destruction. Tarrou forms sanitary squads, with volunteers as workers. The hot summer weather scorches Oran and inhabitants fond it hard to cope. Many manage by going to cafes for alcohol. Security must be heightened since many are trying to escape the plague.
In part three of The Plague, conditions in Oran get considerably worse. The summer heat is still unbearable, and the lack of rain brings clouds of dust over the town. As the number of victims from the plague increase, the room for the bodies decreases. Soon the number of coffins is insufficient as well as burial-places. When this occurs the government first begins burying mass bodies in large ditches, covering each layer with quicklime and soil. Later the authorities decide to make use of the crematorium and streetcars which haven't been working since exile. They put the deceased into the cars and bring them to be burned. The number of public servants helping with the plague also becomes low. Although, since others were losing their office jobs, they soon replaced the lost workers. Some jobs besides the sanitary squads were grave diggers and stretcher-bearers. Time in Oran Has seemingly stopped. Inhabitants that previously were only concerned with their own problems of being secluded from loved ones, now realize they are in the same boat as everyone else. When a curfew is enforced to lower crimes such as the burning of houses and escapes, Oran seems lifeless at night. The plague is killing the town.
In part four of The Plague, conditions are still awful in Oran. Dr. Rieux is working harder than ever. He gets only four hours of sleep, and he and his fellow workers are always exhausted. When someone is diagnosed with the plague, they usually always die, so Dr. Rieux's job has changed from curing people to diagnosing them. Oran's inhabitants are getting restless. Numerous riots and various crimes occur daily. Although the number of deaths were no longer increasing many people close to Dr. Rieux died. After delivering a second, less hostile sermon, Father Paneloux came down with the plague. Another doctor that worked with Dr. Rieux, named Dr. Richard, died as well. A horrible death from the plague was a son of a magistrate. He was given an experimental serum that cured later patients, but just prolonged his suffering. That serum, was acclaimed as the reason for the decrease of deaths. Also the serum was accounted for the strange cases where people recovered from the plague. One positive occurrence at the end of part four was the appearance of rats again. They were healthy and running around. That's a good