Serendip is an independent site partnering with faculty at multiple colleges and universities around the world. Happy exploring!

EvoLit 2011: From the Plague to Adaptation



From the Plague to Adaptation
12 April 2011 (PG)

From the forum discussion

Camus intended for his underwritten characters to be familiar, and to suggest that pointlessness - sorry, the plague - of life follows everyone. The lack of definite characterization in the novel means that readers cannot write off any disturbing conclusions they reach as the unique trouble of a few individuals ... Lynn

the plague serves as a metaphor for randomness or an algorithm for justice?  instead, the plague serves as a form of equality, reminding us that we are all going to die, and regardless of current situations any of us could potentially die at anytime, whether due to the plague or something else ... bee27

Infected citizens of Oran and their family members asked themselves or some higher figure “why me?” Those who belief it is a matter of chance that the plague resurfaced in Oran would answer their questions with chance. The priest in the novel might answer their question with some reference to “an eye for an eye” justice. A scientist on the other hand, would answer the “why me” question with the science behind the plague.  Although we may not know all of the details and minute scientific reasons behind the plague’s emergence in Oran, I believe they exist and that leads me to believe that the plague isn’t a product of chance. ... There had to be some cause and effect. Thinking about the plague in this light makes me wonder if chance can be a part of the equation when the equation makes sense on its own ... dfishervan

Thornton Wilder, The Bridge at San Luis Rey

Inverting the relationship between randomness and meaning

this desire for meaning is our plague ... hlehman

A quarantine did actually occur on Bryn Mawr’s campus in 1918 because of the Spanish Flu ... could we really see ourselves in a situation like this and would we act similarly to the characters in the story? ... kgrass



Anne: Adaptation as a way of dealing with the plague?