Study Help Essay Questions


1. Considering only the remarks about Oran in Chapter 1, what can you say concerning the character of the anonymous narrator?

2. Rambert insists on leaving Oran; is it because he fears death? Why or why not?

3. What events prompt Tarrou to try to live as a saint? How does he define "sainthood"?

4. In general, what are the differences between the two sermons of Paneloux? What is responsible for the change?

5. Why does Rieux not consider himself a hero?

6. Why does Rieux say that Grand might be considered hero-like?

7. What is the function of Rieux's mother in the chronicle?

8. Account for Rieux's sympathy toward Cottard.

9. Of the many reunited Oranian lovers, why does Rieux single out Rambert as representative?

10. In terms of Rieux's objective narrative, do you think it necessary to describe so minutely the suffering of Jacques Othon? Why or why not?

11. What is accomplished by having Rieux and Tarrou take a night swim together?

12. What prompts Grand to ask Rieux to burn his years of accumulated manuscript?

13. Before he dies, does Tarrou find the peace of mind that he has said he seeks?

14. Does the book seem an obvious allegory? Why or why not?

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