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* Jean Tarrou: Jean Tarrou arrived in Oran some weeks before the plague broke out, for unknown reasons.
He is not there on business, since he appears to have private means.
Tarrou is a good-natured man who smiles a lot.
Before the plague came, he liked to associate with the Spanish dancers and musicians in the city.
He also keeps a diary, full of his observations of life in Oran, which Rieux incorporates into the narrative .</ br > It is Tarrou who first comes up with the idea of organizing teams of volunteers to fight the plague.
He wants to do this before the authorities begin to conscript people, and he does not like the official plan to get prisoners to do the work.
He takes action, prompted by his own code of morals ; he feels that the plague is everybody's responsibility and that everyone should do his or her duty.
What interests him, he tells Rieux, is how to become a saint, even though he does not believe in God .</ br > Later in the novel, Tarrou tells Rieux, with whom he has become friends, the story of his life.
His father, although a kind man in private, was also an aggressive prosecuting attorney who tried death penalty cases, arguing strongly for the death penalty to be imposed.
As a young boy, Tarrou attended one day of a criminal proceeding in which a man was on trial for his life.
However, the idea of capital punishment disgusted him.
After he left home before the age of eighteen, his main interest in life was his opposition to the death penalty, which he regarded as state-sponsored murder.
However, years of activism, and fighting for the Republican side of the Spanish Civil War have left him disillusioned .</ br > When the plague epidemic is virtually over, Tarrou becomes one of its last victims, but puts up a heroic struggle before dying.

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