Critical Approaches

When The Plague first appeared in 1947, it was met with a somewhat reticent reception by its left- wing critics. Pierre Henri-Simon criticised it for its lack of utopia. He believed it did nothing to promote a society in which there was perpetual and absolute happiness. 5 years later, Roland Barthes did not hide his exasperation when he reproached Camus for creating an anti-historical model and "a political solitude". Critics such as Gaeton Picon take a directly historical viewpoint however and write of the symbolic representation of Nazism in Occupied France. Yet more recently, critics such as Albert Cruickshank have pointed out that the outbreak of the plague cannot correlate with the outbreak of war, because the former represents a conflict between men whilst the latter is a conflict between men and something of which the origins are impersonal and entirely obscure.

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