Symbolism in Camus' "The Plague"
For the first essay for Integrative Studies 300 I would like to write on the Camus work, The Plague. Since Albert Camus has a philosophical view unlike that of many western writers, the book can serve as an excellent reflection on an unpopular view of life, living, and death. Life without a god poses many ironies; Camus attempts to satisfy those ironies. By using many examples of symbolism, Camus conveys his own philosophy in a certain way so that his characters are subject to his personal ideals and morals. Camus believes there is no god, and essentially that human beings need to be responsible for their own lives, happiness, and decency. Through the eyes of all of his characters, the author answers questions like: "Why be optimistic?", "Why be moral?", "Why live if we are just going to die?", and
"Why hope?". Camus contends that there are human values that are good in themselves; it is just good to be moral. In this essay I plan to connect the characters, symbolism, and my personal feelings and values with this idea. Such evidence as people being good to a neighbor in time of need or people volunteering to adopt a family for the holidays are many times based on a desire to simply do something good, not a necessarily a desire to please a god or receive a reward. Finally, without a god (or even with a god for that matter) Camus says that we need to be responsible and create our own hope. By looking carefully at the characters in the book, I plan to also show Camus' press for responsibility among the people. The ultimate goal of this essay is to make prominent Camus philosophical views of a godless world in which the people hold the responsibility of living a moral and hope-filled