As evidence, I include my three favorite passages now (BOOK REPORT!!), which reflect the new normalcy for the occupants of a quarantined town:
"In this respect they had adapted themselves to the very condition of the plague, all the more potent for its mediocrity... Naturally they retained the attitudes of sadness and suffering, but they had ceased to feel their sting. Indeed, to some, Dr. Rieux among them, that precisely was the most disheartening thing: that the habit of despair is worse than despair itself." (p. 181)
"So the only thing for us to do was to go on waiting, and since after a too long waiting one gives up waiting, the whole town lived as if it had no future." (p. 258)
"...how hard it must be to live only with what one knows and what one remembers, cut off from what one hopes for!"(p. 292)
In contrast I only recall one line from "The Stranger," but I still contend that "The Stranger" was an easier, at times more engaging, read. (Hmm probably because it was also 1/3 the size.) Here's the line I remember:
"It was like knocking four quick times on the door of unhappiness."
Wow, I certainly picked downer quotes. I guess the sad ones stick with me more, or I find more value in them, kind of like how most people tend to remember sad moments more vividly than happy ones, since during happy moments we're busy being happy.
Anyway, I'm glad I powered through this one.