In The Plague, Rieux, the main character of the novel, in Chapter 15, claims that

I've seen too much of hospitals to relish any idea of collective punishment.

What does he mean by that? How exactly does seeing a lot of patients make one averted to the possibility of collective punishment? One line of reasoning that I can see is that in hospital, one encounters a lot of different and unique medical conditions, thus the idea of collective punishment doesn't make sense, which presumes a uniformity in the disease that is sent upon the masses. But in the case of Rieux, the argument wouldn't work since it was the plague itself which was termed to be the collective punishment (which is a lot uniform in its symptoms).



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