I wrote Unwind for lots of reasons, and it poses questions about alot of subjects. To state it briefly, I wanted to point out how when peopletake intractable positions on an issue, and stick to extreme sides,sometimes the result is a compromise that is worse than either extreme. Imeant it as a wake up call to society -- and to point out that sometimes theproblem IS that we take sides on an issue, when a different sort of approachis needed. It's also to pose questions about what it means to be alive.Where does life begin, where does it end -- and point out that there is nosingle answer to these questions. The problem is people who think there aresimple answers. People who see things as simple black-and-whiteright-and-wrong are the type of people who will end up with a world like theworld in Unwind.
I know positively - yes Rieux I can say I know the world inside out as no one on earth is free from it. And I know too that we must keep endless watch on ourselves lest in careless moment we breathe in somebody's face and fasten the infection on him. What's natural is the microbe. All the rest- health integrity purity if you like - is a product of the human will of vigilance that must never falter. The good man the man who infects hardly anyone is the man who has the fewest lapses of attention. And it needs tremendous will-power a never ending tension of the mind to avoid such lapses. Yes Rieux it's a wearying business being plague-stricken. But it's still more wearying to refuse to be it. That's why everybody in the world today looks so tired everyone is more or less sick of plague. But that is also why some of us who want to get the plague out of their systems feel such desperate weariness a weariness from which nothing remains to set us free except death.
If she did not wish to lead a virtuous life, at least she desired to enjoy a character for virtue, and we know that no lady in the genteel world can possess this desideratum, until she has put on a train and feathers and has been presented to her Sovereign at Court. From that august interview they come out stamped as honest women. The Lord Chamberlain gives them a certificate of virtue.