Mushtaq Ahmad WahidyCollege Prep ClassMr. Schwartz 21 Jan 2018What is the Plague?”The evil in the world comes almost always from ignorance, and goodwill can cause as much damage as ill-will if it is not enlightened.” As Aristotle also argues that there is the main difference between the end and activity. Some the activity is the end but some the end is beyond the activity. Here in the town of Oran ignorance rooted in everywhere. People were trying to find happiness through momentary pleasure and wealth was one of them. The ignorance shut their heart and they didn’t have any idea what was going on around them until they confront the reality, the reality which every common good changed. People were getting out of their pleasure life with the epidemic reality. It shocked everyone in the town. Thus, the rats were dying on the streets but no one cared as if nothing was wrong. The whole population of Oran was living the life of pleasure which most gathered in the cafe to spend time and enjoy.  But when people like Dr. Rieux attempted to be the first one to encounter with the plague and asks other people to join him and help the town. He also asked the government to control this epidemic. Indeed, Dr. Rieux was becoming aware of something, the reality, which no one was aware of it yet. “Then hurriedly he begged her to forgive him; he felt he should have looked after her better, he’d been most remiss.” He started to live a contemplative life and the town Oran become more important than his own life and were exiled from his wife. On the other hand, Cottord who refused to be a common man and become a criminal which he exiled himself from society. Exile is a theme in the town whether you get the pleasure life, you will be exiled. Finally, when the reality hits everyone in the town, the town become exiled and closes it’s gate as Aristotle said that contemplative people would do but they were still not into a contemplative life. It’s then where the pleasure life ends and people start to understand the situation around themselves. The reality changed people to start and have a political life. People started to consider others approval as their base of living. Religion got so important and people were seeking approval. The father Paneloux became the God’s approval on the earth. He motivated people to come to the church more often. At first, people were not sure enough to join but as time passed people become thirsty for the approval. Father considered the plague as the punishment for their sins and the only way to be forgiven was to accept whatever the father said. This approval from the father granted the people of Oran a hope. But this hope was extremist because all people started to live in one end. People paid everything for the father. But his social contract didn’t contribute to the common good and the idea of highest good. There was no moderation in their action and the took one side as a blind and ignorant who just changed from a life of pleasure and understood that their previews way of life was no use. When it came to the idea of ethics, it was okay to get out of this situation and run away. But virtually and according to their political life, as they seek approval, they all stayed together and they build a virtue in the town.  By confronting reality, made people think about whatever action they are talking. They finally chose to do. It was not an ignorant decision or decision based on other people. The contemplative life started in the town. The myth of Sisyphus pointed that Sisyphus took a decision and started an action by the choice, even though he had to repeat it all over but because he took the decision himself, he was happy. The highest good is always coming from a wise decision not from what people think. The contemplative life made people take action for it. They came up to understanding that they had to confront reality and made a decision to do so. It was their own choice and the life of pleasure for the town was over. Dr. Rieux talked about heroism and the idea of being in the society and shouldn’t be locked by love and that showed contemplative life and it changed Rambert’s view too. On the other hand, Tarrou practiced the contemplative life way before Dr. Rieux. He practiced the essence of the human being before Dr which he himself didn’t care about closing the gates because he was already in there. Tarrou took decisions based on common good and he did not care about what people would think of him. Moreover, the old Spaniard life was a “meaningless” life but the most important think about him was the time. He represented the meaning of time. As time passed people changed even if himself was not much use in the plague.Finally, the ugly town of Oran had a turn with its people living there. The life which was first forced for them now changed to a life that they took action for the common good. They experienced happiness not from a momentary pleasure but for choosing to get in the society and work collectively for a common good. The individual was not important but the common good becomes a virtue in the society.  And here the contemplative life started and everyone started to think before taking action. The idea of approval by others faded away and there they confronted the reality, a reality that changed the life of people. 

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