Cottard : character in the novel The Plague.

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       An Eccentric Figure, Silent and Secretive : Cottard lives in the same building as Joseph Grand. He does not appear to have a job, although he describes himself as "a travelling salesman in wines and spirits". Cottard is an eccentric figure, silent and secretive, who tries to hang himself in his room. Afterwards, he does not want to be interviewed by the police, since he has committed a crime in the past and fears arrest.

An Eccentric Figure, Silent and Secretive : Cottard lives in the same building as Grand. He does not appear to have a job, although he describes himself as "a travelling salesman in wines and spirits".
Cottard


      Plague Brings about a Change in His Personality : Cottard's personality changes after the breakout of plague. Whereas he was aloof and mistrustful before, he now becomes agreeable and tires hard to make friends. He appears to relish the coming of the plague, and Tarrou thinks this is because he finds it easier to live with his own fears now that everyone else is in a state of fear, too. Cottard takes advantage of the crisis to make money by selling contraband cigarettes and inferior liquor.


      A Man of Fluctuating Moods : When the epidemic ends, Cottard's moods fluctuate. Sometimes he is sociable, but at other times he shuts himself up in his room. Eventually, he loses his mental balance and shoots at random at people on the street. The police arrest him.


      Suspicious, Paranoid and Mercurialst : Cottard is suspicious, paranoid, and mercurial. In the past, he committed a crime that he does not name, so he constantly fears arrest and punishment. When Oran falls under total quarantine, Cottard is happy because he no longer feels alone in his state of constant fear. Moreover, the plague occupies the authorities entirely, so he does not fear arrest. He engages in the profitable smuggling trade during the epidemic and eschews all responsibility to help fight the disease.

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