He is tall and thin and, as Tarrou observes in his journal, "his small, beady eyes, narrow nose, and hard, straight mouth make him look like a well-brought-up owl." M. Othon: M. Othon is a magistrate in Oran. Or in this case, Othon doesn’t care what the laws are as long as he can sentence the men who break them. But the serum is ineffective, and the boy dies after a long and painful struggle. As the death toll begins to rise, more desperate measures are taken. [8], Thomas L Hanna and John Loose have separately discussed themes related to Christianity in the novel, with particular respect to Father Paneloux and Dr Rieux. After Jacques dies, Othon volunteers to stay in the isolation camp – even after his own period of quarantine is up – because it makes him feel closer to his son. The novel reveals the feelings of the people that experienced the disaster of living in a plague stricken tone. M. (Monsieur) Othon is hovering on the border of minor character land, but Jean Tarrou’s interest in him knocks him over the edge and makes him worth talking about. The Plague, by Albert Camus, is a vivid description of a horrid epidemic. Official notices enacting control measures are posted, but the language used is optimistic and downplays the seriousness of the situation. The Death of a Child in La Peste.” Orbis Litterarum LVI (2001): 399-416. Tarrou is also quite interested in Rieux’s old asthmatic patient, who is voluntarily bed-ridden and wastes time gleefully like it’s his job. This is best done by focusing one character (perhaps two, but not more—for the sake of focus). There are still some deaths (M. Othon, Rieux's wife, and worst of all, Tarrou), but it's ending. [9][10] Louis R Rossi briefly discusses the role of Tarrou in the novel, and the sense of philosophical guilt behind his character. Jacques Othon is M. Othon's young son. "The Plague" is a famous allegorical novel by Albert Camus, who's known for his existential works. MCCARTHY, P. “The Use of Narrative in The Plague.” Tarrou and Rambert visit one of the isolation camps, where they meet Othon. When he contracts the plague, he is the first to receive Dr. Castel's anti-plague serum. ... M. Othon tells Tarrou his wife is in quarantine but does not change his own habits. He begins a gun fight in town and soon his taken into custody by the police. After extended negotiations with guards, Rambert finally has a chance to escape, but he decides to stay, saying that he would feel ashamed of himself if he left. Tarrou watched the little old man, and the little old man spat on the cats. So it’s up for grabs.Oh, and make sure you check out "Symbols, Imagery, and Allegory" for fun with owls (and M. Othon). The Plague study guide contains a biography of Albert Camus, literature essays, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis. Hysteria develops soon afterward, causing the local newspapers to report the incident. Part 1 After the death of his son, some gentleness appears in Othon’s character, but he dies of plague … M. Michel: M. Michel is the concierge of the building in which Rieux lives. For the best experience on our site, be sure to turn on Javascript in your browser. Tarrou, a mysterious guy, records more journal entries. He reflects on the epidemic and declares he wrote the chronicle "to simply say what we learn in the midst of plagues : there are more things to admire in men than to despise". He inquires about the death of his son Jacques and whether the child suffered very much before he passed away. When the daily number of deaths jumps to 30, the town is sealed, and an outbreak of plague is officially declared. Cottard, on the other hand, seems to flourish during the plague because it gives him a sense of being connected to others, since everybody faces the same danger. However, as more deaths quickly ensue, it becomes apparent that there is an epidemic. The engine … Rambert informs Tarrou of his escape plan, but when Tarrou tells him that there are others in the city, including Dr. Rieux, who have loved ones outside the city whom they are not allowed to see, Rambert becomes sympathetic and offers to help Rieux fight the epidemic until he leaves town. Grand begins working on his novel again. Finally, there is M. Othon, the magistrate of Oran. After he contracts the plague, he is the first to receive some of Dr. Castel's plague serum. At the end of October, M. Othon’s son is treated unsuccessfully for the plague and dies. The main character, Dr. Bernard Rieux, lives comfortably in an apartment building when strangely the building's concierge, M. Michel, a confidante, dies from a fever. Paneloux cannot produce a moral or rational explanation for an innocent child's horrible death. People try to escape the town, but some are shot by armed sentries. The Plague is considered an existentialist classic despite Camus' objection to the label. The book begins with an epigraph quoting Daniel Defoe, author of A Journal of the Plague Year. The Plague Who is M. Othon in The Plague by Albert Camus? Homes are quarantined; corpses and burials are strictly supervised. MCCANN, J. The town gates are shut, rail travel is prohibited, and all mail service is suspended. An old man, he is the first victim of the plague. The Plague Who is M. Othon in The Plague by Albert Camus? "[16], This article is about the novel by Albert Camus. The separation affects daily activity and depresses the spirit of the townspeople, who begin to feel isolated and introverted, and the plague begins to affect various characters. Last updated by Jill D on 29 Jun 12:48 Answers: 1. Despondent, they waste away emotionally as well as physically. By entering your email address you agree to receive emails from Shmoop and verify that you are over the age of 13. To us, this sounds great – but how would it sound to Camus? The Plague. Cottard is distressed by the ending of the epidemic from which he has profited by shady dealings. "What an odd statement! Rambert is reunited with his wife. When he contracts the plague, he is the first to receive Dr. Castel's anti-plague serum. He is tall and thin and, as Tarrou observes in his journal, "his small, beady eyes, narrow nose, and hard, straight mouth make him look like a well-brought-up owl." Madame Rieux The mother of Dr. Rieux. Part 1 (99% in) M. Othon, the magistrate , assured Dr. Rieux that he had found the preacher's arguments "absolutely irrefutable. A few days after the sermon, Paneloux is taken ill. His symptoms do not conform to those of the plague, but the disease still proves fatal. Authorities, including the Prefect, are slow to accept that the situation is serious and quibble over the appropriate action to take. Check out the conversation between these two men. The Plague Who is M. Michel in The Plague by Albert Camus? The Plague by Albert Camus takes place in an Algerian city known as Oran. M. Othon: M. Othon is a magistrate in Oran. Last updated by Jill D on 29 Jun 12:49 Answers: 1. Asked by bookragstutor. Cottard, a criminal remorseful enough to attempt suicide but fearful of being arrested, becomes wealthy as a major smuggler. Rieux is alone, reveals that he was the narrator this whole time (gasp! He also hardens his heart regarding the plague victims so that he can continue to do his work. Is Othon portrayed positively or negatively by this reaction? The Plague (French: La Peste) is a novel by Albert Camus, published in 1947, that tells the story of a plague sweeping the French Algerian city of Oran. M. Michel is the concierge of the building in which Rieux lives. When Othon's period of quarantine ends, he chooses to stay in the camp as a volunteer because this will make him feel less separated from his dead son. Last updated by Jill D on 29 Jun 12:48 Answers: 1. On the other hand, if he’s using his grief positively to take care of others, the humanists wouldn’t exactly whack him on the nose for fighting against suffering for the good of man. He addresses the problem of an innocent child's suffering and says it is a test of a Christian's faith since it requires him either to deny everything or believe everything. He treats his wife and children unkindly, but after his son dies of the plague, his character softens. In mid-August, the situation continues to worsen. Here are some memorable quotes from the novel. Another character, Father Paneloux, uses the plague as an opportunity to advance his stature in the town by suggesting that the plague was an act of God punishing the citizens' sinful nature. The narrative tone is similar to Kafka's, especially in The Trial, whose individual sentences potentially have multiple meanings; the material often pointedly resonating as stark allegory of phenomenal consciousness and the human condition. Jacques Othon. “The Narrator as Special Pleader. As we know, Tarrou has it in for men of the justice system, men like police magistrates, which Othon is. M. Othon A police magistrate of Oran who is strict and severe with everyone, including his children. Cottard and Tarrou attend a performance of Gluck's opera Orpheus and Eurydice, but the actor portraying Orpheus collapses with plague symptoms during the performance. M Othon informs Tarrou that his Mme Othon is “under suspicion” for having taken care of her mother who has succumbed to plague. M. Othon does catch the plague and dies as does Tarrou, yet Tarrou struggles and fights until the disease takes him in the end. This disease takes a toll on the citizens of Oran, which make them turn on each other and for some, they question the existence of God. M. Othon: M. Othon is a judge in the city of Oran. Funerals are conducted with more speed, no ceremony and little concern for the feelings of the families of the deceased. One family he observes is that of M. Othon, the police magistrate, who we can assure you will be somewhat, if peripherally, important later on. Meanwhile, Jean Tarrou, a vacationer; Joseph Grand, a civil engineer; and Dr. Rieux, exhaustively treat patients in their homes and in the hospital. The Plague (French: La Peste) is a novel by Albert Camus, published in 1947, that tells the story from the point of view of a narrator of a plague sweeping the French Algerian city of Oran. Jacques Othon:Jacques Othon is M. Othon's young son. The narrator of the chronicle says that he is Dr. Rieux and states that he tried to present an objective view of the events. Othon treats his wife and children unkindly, but after his son dies of the plague, his character softens. One character, Raymond Rambert, devises a plan to escape the city to join his wife in Paris after city officials refused his request to leave. Two government employees approach him, and he flees. M. Michel. Dr. Rieux consults his colleague, Dr. Castel, about the illness until they come to the conclusion that a plague is sweeping the town. She comes to visit her son during the first days of the plague. Jacques Othon: The son of M. Othon, Jacques Othon dies after he receives a failed anti-plague serum. "No," the magistrate replied, "I've come to meet Madame Othon, who's been to present her respects to my family." By late January the plague is in full retreat, and the townspeople begin to celebrate the imminent opening of the town gates. Cottard goes mad and shoots at people from his home, and is soon arrested after a brief skirmish with the police. Asked by bookragstutor. Othon treats his wife and children unkindly, but after his son dies of the plague, his character softens. Fewer and fewer people die each day, and Oran begins to beat the plague. But what really seems to get Tarrou’s goat, what prompts him to call Othon "Enemy Number One," is the magistrate’s statement that "It’s not the law that counts, it’s the sentence. [6] Lulu Haroutunian has discussed Camus' own medical history, including a bout with tuberculosis, and how it informs the novel. For other uses, see, Camus (in Thody, 1970):345. Towards the end of October, Castel's new antiplague serum is tried for the first time, but it cannot save the life of Othon's young son, who suffers greatly, as Paneloux, Rieux, and Tarrou tend to his bedside in horror. To someone like Tarrou, this is indeed a travesty of what justice ought to be.But it’s hard to hate M. Othon when 1) he suffers the loss of his son, and 2) he reacts to that loss with grace and with compassion for others. Check out the conversation between these two men. Meanwhile, Rieux's wife has been sent to a sanatorium in another city, to be treated for an unrelated chronic illness. The plague, for the present, offers life to Cottard. The Plague “Sur ‘le fils de M. Othon’ dans La Peste.” Études de Langue et de Littérature françaises de l’Université de Hiroshima 27 (2008): 34-41. It seems that Dr. … In this coronavirus pandemic, their responses are mirrored by todays officials. [11] Elwyn Sterling has analysed the role of Cottard and his final actions at the end of the novel. Asked by bookragstutor. Such people include M. Othon (sad), Jean Tarrou (catastrophically sad), and Rieux’s absent, invalid wife (we didn’t really know her that well). Last updated by Jill D on 29 Jun 12:49 Answers: 1. Rats that are infected with a vicious disease known as “the plague” invade the city and nearly wipe out half of the population. 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