The PLEA: Camus and The Plague

The PLEA: Camus and The Plague

Mapping the Life of Camus

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Authorial intent is the idea that we can find greater meaning in a book by considering what the author intended when writing it. Consider how Camus’ life would have helped shape The Plague.

1913 Dréan

Camus is born to working-class French Algerian parents.

1914 Marne River near Brasles

His father was drafted into the army and dies in a World War I battle against Germany. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia.



1914 Belcourt, Algiers

His now fatherless family moves in with his maternal grandmother.

1930 l’École normale supérieure, Algiers

He catches tuberculosis and is forced to take a year away from school.

1933 to 1936 University of Algiers


Camus studies philosophy and spends two years as a member of the communist party. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia.

1940 Paris

He begins work at a newspaper while writing plays, fiction, and philosophy on the side.

1940 Lyon


Nazis invade France. His health keeps him from joining the army so Camus moves to Lyon. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia.

1942 Oran



Back in Algeria, he rises to fame with the release of The Stranger and The Myth of Sisyphus. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia.

1943 near Le Chambon

He begins writing The Plague while living by a hotbed of Resistance.

1943 Paris


Camus begins work for the underground Resistance newspaper Combat. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia.

1943 Switzerland

An early chapter of The Plague is smuggled out of France and published.

1947 Paris

The Plague is published, cementing Camus as a celebrity in France and beyond.

1951 Paris

The Rebel is published, its critique of communism costing him many friendships.

1957 Stockholm

He receives the Nobel Prize for Literature. He feared the prize signalled a career near its end. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia.


1960 near Villeblevin

Camus dies in a car crash. In the car’s trunk was a draft of his unfinished biography, The First Man.

Albert Camus' The Plague: The Learning Resource