Date

5-13-2020

Description

This research argues that the physical quarantine in Albert Camus' The Plague creates a psychological isolation that puts into question the limits of the human in the diseased environment. In The Plague quarantine is enforced to stop the spread of disease and fear and to maintain their hope and evade fear, the characters cast themselves into their memories. Since there is no end to the quarantine in the future and the present is ravished with fear, fear even that this outbreak is the punishment of god, the characters have nothing left but the past. Their memories allow them to once again imagine their bodies in free space, before the quarantine, on the same streets. As such, the boundaries of the mind become more significant than that of the quarantined space--psychological isolation, an intent to turn inward to memory, becomes a matter of survival and a rejection of the disease. We will read scenes where those in the quarantined zone contemplate burning houses or are threatened with imprisonment all as though they are not already imprisoned. Their bodily space will repeatedly become more and more threatened as the quarantine becomes a more and more severe way to protect those outside without regard for those within. Here quarantine is no longer about stopping the spread of suffering but is instead for those quarantined the enforcement of suffering.

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May 13th, 12:00 AM

Bodies Behind the Lines: A look at Quarantine in Albert Camus' The Plague

This research argues that the physical quarantine in Albert Camus' The Plague creates a psychological isolation that puts into question the limits of the human in the diseased environment. In The Plague quarantine is enforced to stop the spread of disease and fear and to maintain their hope and evade fear, the characters cast themselves into their memories. Since there is no end to the quarantine in the future and the present is ravished with fear, fear even that this outbreak is the punishment of god, the characters have nothing left but the past. Their memories allow them to once again imagine their bodies in free space, before the quarantine, on the same streets. As such, the boundaries of the mind become more significant than that of the quarantined space--psychological isolation, an intent to turn inward to memory, becomes a matter of survival and a rejection of the disease. We will read scenes where those in the quarantined zone contemplate burning houses or are threatened with imprisonment all as though they are not already imprisoned. Their bodily space will repeatedly become more and more threatened as the quarantine becomes a more and more severe way to protect those outside without regard for those within. Here quarantine is no longer about stopping the spread of suffering but is instead for those quarantined the enforcement of suffering.