I understand that Saint-Just was a Jacobin leader during the French Revolution. But I wonder why the journalist compared the doctor to Saint-Just. Could anyone help please?
The context is: The journalist is asking the doctor Rieux for information about the sanitary conditions in Arab.
Here is the sentence in the context:
“I mean,” Rieux explained, “would you be allowed to publish an unqualified condemnation of the present state of things?”
“Unqualified? Well, no, I couldn’t go that far. But surely things aren’t quite so bad as that?”
“No,” Rieux said quietly, they weren’t so bad as that. He had put the question solely to find out if Rambert could or couldn’t state the facts without paltering with the truth. “I’ve no use for statements in which something is kept back,” he added. “That is why I shall not furnish information in support of yours.”
The journalist smiled. “You talk the language of Saint-Just.”
from The Plague