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Emotional turn around

rachelr's picture

 In my last post about The Plague I commented on the lack of emotion and personal distancing that I was feeling from the narration and in relation to the main characters. On page 192 I noticed the first shift towards more emotions- the death of a child, friends, and the toll that was taken by the doctors in particular. As more personal and close friendships were tried and lost, I saw the marked difference and began to connect and empathize with the characters more deeply. And, as often happens in novels, the end of the book presented an explanation for what I felt to be dispassion. With Rieux as the narrator I now feel that this distancing was necessary for the audience (the readers) to ultimately trust his account of all the happenings throughout the plague outbreak. If he as the narrator had added more personal details and emotion I feel that I would not trust his "story" as much as I do. Rieux made the effort to remain impartial because his goal was truly to give a historical account from many different views with the benefit of including more personal narratives. So upon reflection I now understand why the first half of the text was less emotional- it was to build up a trust with the audience so that upon completion of the text we might understand both the historical "facts" and the human emotion that laces such a tragedy.

 

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