The Silent Men

"The Silent Men" (French: Les muets) is a short story written in 1957. It is the third short story published in the volume Exile and the Kingdom by Albert Camus.


The Common Fate

A common theme in the works of Camus is that death is the common fate of all. From the rich to the poor, privileged to the destitute, the guilty to the innocent, the old and sometimes the young. Death is inescapable and makes all equal in the end. Just like Father Paneloux and the plague-stricken young boy in Camus' The Plague, death belittles our other problems and emphasizes man's struggle to make sense of what he has.

The Silence

The silent men are the workers at a cooper's shop. They have recently returned to work after a failed strike. When the owner's daughter has a serious, acute illness requiring an ambulance, the men do not offer any words of condolence. Where once there had been a sense of being all part of a whole, they no longer feel such for the owner who had refused .

See also


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