Note: plague and difference

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The Last Man, Edited by Steven E. Jones

Although it is a commonplace that the plague serves as a leveling force, destroying hierarchies of rank, class, and wealth (see for example Thomas Hood's "Last Man"), it is arguable on the contrary that any epidemic disease actually reinforces differences, beginning with the distinction between the infected and the uninfected, but including the marking of foreigners and marginal groups as potential scapegoats.

Published @ RC

October 1997