Presentation on theme: "Freedom, Justice and Morality After the War Poli 110DA 15 To love or die together."— Presentation transcript:
Freedom, Justice and Morality After the War Poli 110DA 15 To love or die together
On the whole, men are more good than bad; that, however, isnt the real point. But they are more or less ignorant, and it is this that we call vice or virtue; the most incorrigible vice being that of an ignorance that fancies that it knows everything and therefore claims for itself the right to kill. The soul of the murderer is blind; and there can be no true goodness nor true love without the utmost clearsightedness. (131)
The plague & the absurd – The absurd is the condition into which human beings are born and with which they must reckon Life & death are both absurd – Contrast with Father Paneloux sermon (94-99) Calamity has come on you, my brethren, and, my brethren, you deserved it.
The Inevitable Failure of Authority Philippe, one doesnt talk of rats at the table. For the future I forbid you to use that word. (28) – Willful failure to recognize the reality of their circumstances The usual taboo, of course, the public mustnt be alarmed, that wouldnt do at all. And then, as one of my colleagues said, Its unthinkable. Everyone knows its ceased to exist in western Europe. Yes, everyone knew thatexcept the dead men. Come now, Rieux, you know as well as I do what it is. (36)
Richard [chair of the local Medical Association], however, repeated that such matters were outside his province. The most he could do was put the matter up to the prefect. (30)
That, in fact, was what struck one mostthe excellence of their [the town officials] intentions. But as regards the plague their competence was practically nil. (106) – Offices could go on functioning serenely and take initiatives of no immediate relevance, and often unknown to the highest authority, purely and simply because they had been created originally for this purpose. (108)
Tarrou: What theyre short on is imagination. Officialdom can never cope with something really catastrophic. And the remedial measures they think up are hardly adequate for a common cold. If we let them carry on like this, theyll soon be dead, and so shall we. (124)
Projects This drastic, clean-cut deprivation and our complete ignorance of what the future held in store had taken us unawares; we were unable to react against the mute appeal of presences, still so near and already so far, which haunted us daylong. (71) – they seemed at the mercy of the skys capricesin other words, suffered and hoped irrationally. (76) – Rambert: The plague means exactly thatthe same thing over and over again. (161)
Alarmed but far from desperate, they hadnt yet reached the phase when plague would seem to them the very tissue of their existence; when they forgot the lives that had until then been given them to lead. (93)
The Individual Essence, being and freedom: – On Grand: Even before you knew what his employment was, you had a feeling hed been brought into the world for the sole purpose of performing the discreet but needful duties of a temporary assistant municipal clerk on a salary of sixty-two francs, thirty centimes a day. (44)
The Individual Grands failure to choose: – Owing largely to fatigue, he gradually lost his grip on himself, had less and less to say, and failed to keep alive the feeling in his wife that she was loved. An overworked husband, poverty, the gradual loss of hope in a better future, silent evenings at homewhat chance had any passion of surviving such conditions? (82)
The Individual Happily, happily, Grand muttered, then paused. Rieux asked him what he had been going to say. Happily, Ive my work. (101) Its a bit more difficult to decide between and and then. But definitely the hardest thing may be to know whether one should put an and or leave it out. (103)
Meaning and Absurdity Rieux: Whats true of all the evils in the world is true of plague as well. It helps men to rise above themselves. All the same, when you see the misery it brings, youd need to be a madman, or a coward, or stone blind, to give in tamely to the plague. (126)
Rieux: Father Paneloux hasnt come into contact with death; thats why he can speak with such assurance of the truthwith a capital T. But every country priest who visits his parishioners and has heard a man gasping for breath on his deathbed thinks as I do. Hed try to relieve human suffering before trying to point out its existence. (126) – Experience as the enemy of truth – Suffering more important than truth
Tarrou: Why do you yourself sho such devotion, considering you dont believe in God? If Rieux believed in an all-powerful God, hed leave everything to Him. But no one in the world believes in a God of that sort; no not even Paneloux, who believed he believed in such a God. And this was proved by the fact that no one ever threw himself on Providence completely. Anyhow, in this respect Rieux believed himself to be on the right roadin fighting against creation as he found it. (127)
Rieux: Since the order of the world is shaped by death, mightnt it be better for God if we refuse to believe in Him and struggle with all our might against death, without raising our eyes toward the heaven where He sits in silence?
Tarrou nodded. Yes, but your victories will never be lasting; thats all. Rieuxs face darkened. Yes, I know that. But its no reason for giving up the struggle. No reason, I agree. Only, now I can picture what this plague must mean for you. Yes. A never ending defeat.
Rieux (to Rambert): Theres no question of heroism in all this. Its a matter of common decency. Theres an idea which may make some people smile, but the only means of fighting a plague iscommon decency. What do you mean by common decency? Ramberts tone was grave. I dont know what it means for other people. But in my case I know that it consists in doing my job. (163)
The Individual Grand: Plague is here and weve got to make a stand, thats obvious. Ah, I only wish everything were as simple! (134) – If it is absolutely necessary that a narrative of this type should include a hero, the narrator commends his readers, with, to his thinking, perfect justice, this insignificant and obscure hero who had to his credit only a little goodness of heart and a seemingly absurd ideal. This will render the truth its due, to the addition of two and two its sum of four... (137)
The Insufficiency of Ideas Rieux: Man isnt an idea, Rambert. Rambert sprang off the bed, his face ablaze with passion Man is an idea, and a precious small idea, once he turns his back on love. (163) -Particularity