Literary Devices Used in Albert Camus' The Plague

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A book of horrors, fear and death. “The Plague” is a book by Albert Camus which weaves these emotions and events into one suspenseful tale. Each paragraph and section is written and structured in such a way as to give the reader insight into the feelings of the victims of the plague, and to show somewhat of a theme. The passage from section 4, part 4, line number 1 to line number 35 gives us a glimpse of the melancholy of the people of Oran to their dead loved ones to the extent that they do not attend All Souls' Day, for they were thinking of them too much as it was. Albert Camus fills this passage with figurative devices, including, diction, personification, pathetic fallacy, metaphors, irony and a turning point. The first two paragraphs …show more content…
Diction is seen to be used greatly in conveying the suitability of the town for All Souls' Day. Pathetic Fallacy is also used to portray the message by Albert Camus. Also, the “cool wind”, “big clouds...trailing shadows”, “glossy” and “oiled clothing” give the impression of a cool, damp shadowy day, with clothing mimicking this, portraying the psychology of the people of Oran when they are in melancholy for their loved ones. However, from around the third paragraph onwards, a turning point is seen. As previously suggested, it was a suitable time of the year for mourning and All Souls' Day, but ironically this did not occur. Albert Camus' devices and literary intelligence make it very clear that the melancholy of the town was to the extent that All Souls' Day was neglected. It is seen by a turning point, “But these familiar aspects of All Souls' Day could not make us forget that the cemeteries were left unvisited”. This turning point suggests that All Souls' Day did not occur as it was previously suggested through earlier devices, mainly due to the already prevalent grief towards the dead. Albert Camus' metaphors clearly clarifies this, “they (the dead) were no longer the forsaken to whom...you came to justify yourself” and “they (the dead) were intruders whom you would rather forget”.Also, these metaphors give insight to the attitude of the townspeople towards their dead, that the extended period of thinking and grief over their dead has caused them not…