The Myth of Sisyphus

Meaning of Life in Camus’ The Myth of Sisyphus and Nietzsche’s View of the Camel, the Lion, and the Child

March 18, 2021 by Essay Writer

The The Myth of Sisyphus and Nietzche’s concept of “ the camel, lion, and child” discuss the meaning of life. Their topics debate whether life is meaningful and if it is, how does an individual find it. Both authors share their belief of existentialism. While Nietzsche explores the possibility of life having meaning, Camus proposes a new idea of accepting and living a life devoid of meaning.

Both philosopher’s philosophies reject Christianity as a means of discovering value in the universe. However, each philosopher’s conclusion differs from the other. Camus believes that individuals should embrace the meaninglessness of life. Instead of pursuing one’s meaning, humans should acknowledge that there is no higher metaphysical order. On the other hand, Nietzsche argues that there is a metaphysical presence in the world. However, according to him, human beings need to earn it through curiosity and facing challenges on a daily basis. Through this, a being evolves into Nietzsche’s ubermensch (superman).In simple words, whilew Camus proposes that life is meaningless, Nietzsche puts forth the idea of life having a purpose but losing its value.

Camus and Nietzche share similar views as well. They both have a connection to existentialism and support freedom of choice and thought. For instance, in The Myth of Sisyphus, Camus tells his audience that committing suicide is a choice made by an individual. He further explains the thoughts that influence the individual to make such a choice, while also discussing the the liberty associated with suicide. Furthermore, he speaks to his readers about the immense guilt and consequences suicide attempts bring to a person. Camus’s idea ofregarding the freedom to commit suicide ties in with existentialism, which connects him with Nietzche. Through existentialism, Nietzsche attempts to portray metamorphosis, in which a person has the liberty to decide if he/she wants to be a camel, then a lion, and then morph into a child. Each stage involves specific characteristics an individual needs to possess and certain traits needed to proceed to the next stage. Each respective stage has different expectations that an individual has to meet through free will, similar to Camus’s idea of being suicidal by one’s own choice. Nietzche and Camus both base their concepts of life’s meaning on existentialism.

Nietzche and Camus describe the concept of purposefulness in an individual’s life. Although both authors believe in individuality and base their work on existentialism, each author feels a different way about life. Nietzsche believes that life has meaning, but an individual has to meet challenges and thrive to find purpose. However, Camus introduces a new concept of accepting and living a meaningless life to the fullest. The Myth of Sisyphus and Nietzsche’s unique view of “the camel, the lion, and the child” have many differences but at one point shared the same beliefs.

The The Myth of Sisyphus and Nietzche’s concept of “ the camel, lion, and child” discuss the meaning of life. Their topics debate whether life is meaningful and if it is, how does an individual find it. Both authors share their belief of existentialism. While Nietzsche explores the possibility of life having meaning, Camus proposes a new idea of accepting and living a life devoid of meaning.

Both philosopher’s philosophies reject Christianity as a means of discovering value in the universe. However, each philosopher’s conclusion differs from the other. Camus believes that individuals should embrace the meaninglessness of life. Instead of pursuing one’s meaning, humans should acknowledge that there is no higher metaphysical order. On the other hand, Nietzsche argues that there is a metaphysical presence in the world. However, according to him, human beings need to earn it through curiosity and facing challenges on a daily basis. Through this, a being evolves into Nietzsche’s ubermensch (superman),. – In simple words, whilew Camus proposes that life is meaningless, Nietzsche puts forth the idea of life having a purpose but losing its value.

Camus and Nietzche share similar views as well. They both have a connection to existentialism and support freedom of choice and thought. For instance, in The Myth of Sisyphus, Camus tells his audience that committing suicide is a choice made by an individual. He further explains the thoughts that influence the individual to make such a choice, while also discussing the the liberty associated with suicide. Furthermore, he speaks to his readers about the immense guilt and consequences suicide attempts bring to a person. Camus’s idea ofregarding the freedom to commit suicide ties in with existentialism, which connects him with Nietzche.

Through existentialism, Nietzsche attempts to portray metamorphosis, in which a person has the liberty to decide if he/she wants to be a camel, then a lion, and then morph into a child. Each stage involves specific characteristics an individual needs to possess and certain traits needed to proceed to the next stage. Each respective stage has different expectations that an individual has to meet through free will, similar to Camus’s idea of being suicidal by one’s own choice. Nietzche and Camus both base their concepts of life’s meaning on existentialism.

Nietzche and Camus describe the concept of purposefulness in an individual’s life. Although both authors believe in individuality and base their work on existentialism, each author feels a different way about life. Nietzsche believes that life has meaning, but an individual has to meet challenges and thrive to find purpose. However, Camus introduces a new concept of accepting and living a meaningless life to the fullest. The Myth of Sisyphus and Nietzsche’s unique view of “the camel, the lion, and the child” have many differences but at one point shared the same beliefs.

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Camus’s The Myth of Sisyphus and Rick and Morty

March 18, 2021 by Essay Writer

Presumably, since the beginning of time, we, as human beings, have tirelessly sought out answers toward a greater, predetermined and/or significant purpose in our lives. The question is still unanswered, but the desire remains — what is the point? The contradiction between searching for order, reason or existential purpose and the inability to find any type of purpose in an essentially meaningless and indifferent universe is what French philosopher, Albert Camus, considered “Absurd.” Any hopeful searching for concrete meanings is met with the discouraging and disheartening realization that there are no true meanings. For many of us, the idea of the world being made with no fated purpose or that any individual effort made toward changing the world will be met by a forgetful and meaningless universe that will continue to be indifferent toward our existence is a despairing notion.

Camus believed The Myth of Sisyphus to be the embodiment of the Absurdist struggle as, according to Greek Mythology, Sisyphus was a king who deceived the Gods and was sentenced to an eternity of rolling a boulder up a mountain by hand. The twist that punishment is that the boulder will only roll back down upon reaching the mountain’s summit. This left Sisyphus repeating his pointless task endlessly, eventually coming to an understanding of the emptiness of his condemned doing.

Camus believed Sisyphus was representative of humanity that is bound to an existence of meaninglessness and senselessness, and sentenced to never-ending labor with no real reward; and that is the core of the late-night satirical episodic created by Dan Harmon and Justin Roiland’s, Rick and Morty (2013) that airs on Cartoon Network-owned Adult Swim. The show is laced with many Absurdist undertones and that is represented throughout all three seasons, but in the absurdist universe depicted in Rick and Morty, the episodic model used for the show stands as an embodiment for the absurd existence mirrored in the world that we inhabit. Loosely based on characters from Back to the Future (1985), the show takes place in a universe where there are infinite realities and worlds and dimensions with extraterrestrial species and spacefaring adventures. In the show, both title characters, Rick and Morty, inhabit expendable worlds that are easily replaceable with the push of Rick’s self-created portal gun. Any species’ perception of self-importance or distinction is completely rejected by the rest of the universe’s indifference toward their existence.

For example, in the eyes of citizens of Earth — whichever Earth Rick and Morty may be on — the idea of destroying a planet and its inhabitants by the Cromulons, a species of enormous floating heads introduced in the episode, “Get Schwifty,” appears as an act of wickedness and cruelty. For the Cromulons, destroying planets and its inhabitants is a form of entertainment as they are hosts of an intergalactic game show where planets are picked and its inhabitants must create and sing a song in order to make it to the next round or be faced with watching their worlds end. Think of this episode as an episode of NBC’s America’s Got Talent, but with giant floating boulder-textured heads, with egos that are bigger than the combination Randy Jackson, Simon Cowell and whoever the other interchangeable host is.

This is also an episode where the citizens of Earth questioned their religious beliefs, eventually tying a thief, a gothic woman, and a “movie talker” to a bouquet of balloons, in hopes that they will float toward their newfound “gods,” the Cromulons, for judgement and punishment.

Absurd deaths are laced throughout the series, and while death is an impactful to some of the show’s characters and storytelling, death is almost used as a punchline as the laughter comes from a character within the show or from the viewers themselves. In the episode “Anatomy Park,” a character named Alexander meets his demise as a result of a cough/sneeze from a homeless, drunk Santa Claus whose organs and body have been turned into a theme park thanks to Rick’s imagination and genius technological and scientific advancements. The episodic-essence of Rick and Morty sees its protagonists in a prolonged series of pointless and loosely connected misadventures and events, where no relationship exists between one instance and the next.

The absurdity is primarily based on the idea that despite their extraordinary interdimensional adventures — and their best attempts to make a difference in the universe — their lives are caught in a continuous cycle of random, illogical events that never fundamentally get better or changes the universe in any way. And while in actuality, many of life’s problems are not and cannot be justified within the 30-minute span of a late-night television show, Rick and Morty breaks down our individual tendency to exacerbate trivial fears and uncertainties and daily problems that will unsurprisingly be insignificant in the grand scheme of things.

In the episode “Meeseeks and Destroy,” the Meeseeks Box was created by Rick to fulfill needs that he either does not want to fulfill or is “too busy” for, and eventually the needs of his family, in a timely fashion… each one of them greeting the family and the audience, with “I’m Mr. Meeseeks!”

Rick and Morty, themselves, are the opposite of the Meeseeks character, a happy blue mythical texture-less being that is summoned from a box to complete mundane tasks that the Smith Family cannot complete on their own. Upon completion of their objective by the person who summoned it, the Meeseeks would poof into thin air, disappearing — or dying — until another one is summoned to complete new task.

Rick, Morty, and the characters in the show’s expansive universe, are not there to serve a singular purpose. They are simply brought into the world and are now fumbling around for meaning. Like Sisyphus, Rick and Morty’s lives are characterized by unproductive and stagnancy repetition, with many attempts to forge some kind of meaning for their circumstances being confronted, reminding them, and us, that it is senseless to search for meaning.

According to Camus, Sisyphus, and by the extension, mankind not entirely hopeless as Camus believed that the consciousness to “constitute [Sisyphus’] torture” acts as an instrument of victory.

“…It is during that return, that pause, that Sisyphus interests me. A face that toils so close to stones is already stone itself! I see that man going back down with a heavy yet measured step toward the torment of which he will never know the end…” Camus continued, “At each of those moments when [Sisyphus] leaves the heights and gradually sinks toward the lairs of the gods, he is superior to his fate. [Sisyphus] is stronger than his rock…”

Sisyphus may not have been able to change the doomed situation that he was in, but he chose to accept it; and this is the same consciousness in the mind of an individual where they can claim their fate — a personal and self-motivated rebellion against the mechanical meaninglessness of the universe — and can continue to exist in the universe despite its utter pointlessness. Camus believed Sisyphus found his respite in his pointlessness task by accepting it.

This made Camus reject the idea of suicide or spirituality as he believed that only facing the Absurdity of the universe and adopting it would make someone achieve human freedom to its fullest extent. Camus endorsed that our lives will be forgotten and our existences would have been meaningless along with our accomplishments. And as opposed to melancholy, understanding those realizations can be an inspiration and comforting.

In Rick and Morty, there is a special moment that captures Camus’ understanding. In a scene from “Rixty Minutes,” Morty confronts his sister, Summer, shortly after she recently discovered that she was an unwanted pregnancy and the possible cause to her parents’, Beth and Jerry’s, disgruntled marriage. Summer begins to question whether her life has purpose, until Morty, upon hearing her distress and watching her pack her bags to run away, says “Don’t run. Nobody exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere. Everybody’s going to die. Come watch TV?’ While the understanding that no one exists for a specific purpose or reason is an unnerving notion to some, there is an alleviating idea that in the absence of all-encompassing direction and fade, significance and meaning can manifest themselves in the smallest of pleasures of life, whether they are in the form of friends, family, the environment that we put ourselves in, or simply watching a late-night television show. Camus’ philosophy is not a source of helplessness, but more of a ‘lucid invitation to live and to create in the very midst of the desert.”

Camus believed that there is no reason to be serious about finding a meaning or be discouraged about discovering that there is a lack of meaning in the world and in the universe because it contains a variety of comforts and enjoyments, no matter how small they are. To simply put, and as Rick would say, “Don’t think about it.”

Rick and Morty are conscious of their meaninglessness, but they continue to carry their experiences with them, never allowing sorrow to overwhelm their lives. And by episodically emphasizing life’s fleeting nature through a series of quickly resolved, forgettable and unimportant events, Rick and Morty is a show where the attention is on the smaller, personal stories and struggles of an abnormal American family and their day-to-day lives, and the human emotions that accompany the chaotic nature of the disgruntled family. In the absurd universe, mankind is caught in between acceptance of the meaninglessness of the universe and the ability and wanting to laugh at it. Rick and Morty, despite the show’s often bitter truths and jagged realities, is primarily a comedy for true Absurdist.

In an absurd universe that is void of order, logic and meaning, we, its inhabitants, have a lot that we can laugh about because, in the end, it does not matter if the boulder rolls back down the mountain as Camus believed mankind will always find their burdens.

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Camus’ Concept of the Absurd in Myth of Sisyphus

March 18, 2021 by Essay Writer

Albert Camus (1913–1960) was a French-Algerian philosopher, journalist and novelist. Perhaps not as much of a philosopher (as he denied himself to be) as a novelist with a strong philosophical bent, he is most famous for his work on the Myth of Sisyphus and his novels of ideas, such as The Stranger and The Plague. Camus used both his fictional novels alongside with the Myth of Sisyphus in contest with philosophy itself to present his central concern of what Camus calls the feeling of the Absurd. He claims that the Absurd is the fundamental conflict between humans’ eternal search for what we ask/want from the universe (meaning, order, or reasons) and what in turn we find in it: shapeless silent chaos. Camus states that we will never in fact find any sort of meaning that we want from life itself. People will either reach the conclusion that one may hide behind a meaning given through a transcendence by faith (leap of faith), placing hope in a God or the irrational beyond this world (which in turn would ultimately lead to philosophical suicide), or people will embrace that life is inherently meaningless.

I find that some of his explanation of the method for modern man to effectively deal with the Absurd world to be realistic, as we may never find any sort of absolute meaning. However, I discord in relation to his assumptions of meaning being in essence universal, static, “unobtainable”, and eternally searched for; which in turn leads me to think of his approach of the Absurd Man on responding to Absurdism as contradicting. Camus’ conclusion and idea of the Absurd only works successfully on the true assumption of two premises: that our being is bound in nature to the search of meaning, and that the ultimate meaning does not exist. Even if these premises are to be considered true, although there is no proof, I believe that it does not entail that we are not capable of giving a subjective meaning to our lives ourselves instead of revolting against not receiving an answer from the irrational. Apart from the fact that living to revolt against the absurd is just as similar as providing oneself meaning to escape the reality of life’s lack of one. Therefore, in order to further elaborate on my thesis, I believe that it is foremost important to provide context and understanding about Camus’ interpretation of the feeling of the Absurd and the assumptions he proclaims in reference to the Myth of Sisyphus.

Albert Camus graduated specializing in philosophy, while also obtaining certificates in sociology and psychology at the University of Algiers. There he was brought to contact with two of the major branches of twentieth century philosophy: existentialism and phenomenology. Although he self-proclaimed not to be a philosopher or an existentialist at the very least, he opposed systematic philosophies and rationalism. Nevertheless, his line of thought explicitly rejects religion as one of its foundations, centering his work on choosing to live without God. The latter is clearly evident in the manner that Camus comments on religious existentialists, such as Kierkegaard (although it is not necessarily fair and correct to label him as such), and his critic of other existentialists approach to the discovery of the absurd.

Camus wrote both his first novel, The Stranger, and his first philosophical essay, The Myth of Sisyphus, around the same time at the beginning of World War II. when he was working for the French Resistance. Even though it isn’t fair to reduce an author’s idea to their autobiographical background, the special circumstance in which both papers were written can help express the tone of their content. Perhaps Camus’ metaphor of individualistic exile that he uses to describe part of humans’ predicament of meaningless and futile struggle had a personal influence. From his own experience as a man alone and far away from his home eternally struggling against this seemingly relentless unconquerable power (ie. Germany, and other countries). Furthermore, Camus idea of acceptance of his fate could be influenced by the cruel reality that one soldier probably must have to accept the fate that independent of their efforts and struggles, their influence toward either fate of defeat or victory in the war could prove meaningless on the grand scheme of things. Therefore, in the place of this eternal of this contradiction, would anything but suicide prove to be the only escape from this conflict?

Camus opens the essay on The Myth of Sisyphus exactly by asking the same question. “There is only one really serious philosophical problem,” Camus says, “and that is suicide. Deciding whether or not life is worth living is to answer the fundamental question in philosophy. All other questions follow from that” (MS, 3). Perhaps a proper manner to display this question would be of under what circumstances is suicide justified? Does this latter conclusion that life is meaningless and that is pointless to struggle for an answer necessarily lead one to commit suicide? If life has no meaning, does this imply it is therefore not worth living? Given the content of The Myth of Sisyphus, however, it seems that essential philosophical question assimilates more to simply whether or not one should kill themselves. For him, it seems clear that his concern about such is less theoretical than actually practical over this life-and-death issue of whether and how to live and not the justification of death.

I believe that it is of importance that Camus’s argument for suicide is explained as a logical contradiction. He expresses that by suicide, one only amounts to confessing that life is not worth the trouble. As seen in Camus’s political continuation of Absurdism,“The Rebel”, he states:

‘Every solitary suicide, when it is not an act of resentment is, in some way, either generous or contemptuous. But one feels contemptuous in the name of something. If the world is a matter of indifference to the man who commits suicide, it is because he has an idea of something that is not or could not be indifferent to him. He believes that he is destroying everything or taking everything with him; but from this act of self-destruction itself a value arises which, perhaps, might have made it worth while to live. Absolute negation is therefore not consummated by suicide.’ – The Rebel, 7.

Someone who commits suicide recognizes ‘the absence of any profound reason for living, the insane character of that daily agitation, and the uselessness of suffering’ (MS, 6). Suicide, is acceptance taken to the extreme, instead of a denial of the Absurd. One accepts their fate and leaps toward it, in which “Suicide settles the absurd” (BW, 480). In other words, to stay alive means refusing to resign oneself to the absurd, to be aware of the inevitability of death and also to reject it. Suicide does not follow revolt, one must die unreconciled and not of one’s own free will (BW, 480).in order to achieve the logical result of revolt

It seems that Camus perceives the question of suicide as a natural response of people’s encounter and discovery of feeling of the Absurd. One perhaps might say it is absurd to continually keep attempting to reach an understanding of meaning in life when there is none, and that it is also absurd to hope for some form of answer to existence, or a continuation of such existence, after death given that such results in the extinction of our being. However, Camus also thinks it absurd to try to know, understand, or explain the world; any attempt to rationalize or gain rational knowledge of life is seen as useless. Therefore putting himself against science and philosophy, he dismisses any form of claims from rational analysis: “That universal reason, practical or ethical, that determinism, those categories that explain everything are enough to make a decent man laugh” (MS, 21).

If we are to consider all previous premises to be true, wouldn’t our other main options is but to take a leap of faith in order to escape? However, Camus describes the Absurd to be seen as the ultimate contradiction that cannot be reconciled, hence any attempt to reconcile it is simply an attempt to escape from it. Therefore he clearly depicts that any choice of those two options is inherently futile and that leap of faith, just as suicide, is a form of acceptance of the Absurd. In his eyes, existentialist philosophers such as Kierkegaard, Chestov, and Jaspers, and phenomenologists such as Husserl, are all able to understand the contradiction of the absurd but then try to escape from it; they find no meaning or order in existence and then attempt to find transcendence or meaning in this very meaninglessness. “They deify what crushed them and find reason to hope in what impoverishes them. That forced hope is religious in all of them” (BW, 463). Camus believes that these existentialist philosophers are incoherent between their initial premise and conclusions: “starting from a philosophy of the world’s lack of meaning, it ends up by finding a meaning and depth in it” (MS, 42). However, Camus evidently agrees that although we may attempt to avoid such escapist efforts and irrational appeals through one’s life, he’s conscious of the human desire of submitting to such. He would say that we are unable to free ourselves from “this desire for unity, this longing to solve, this need for clarity and cohesion” (MS, 51). Nevertheless, when he states “The absurd is lucid reason noting its limits” (MS, 49), he emphasizes that it is urgent for one to recognize and not succumb to the temptation to leave rational thought in order to attempt on reconciling the irrational with logic. Therefore Camus is only interested in pursuing a last possibility; instead of attempting to flee from the conflict, we can revolt against it and live in a world empty of meaning. However, what exactly are we ought to revolt against exactly?

Camus introduces his concept of the Absurd within the following: “In a universe suddenly divested of illusions and lights, man feels an alien, a stranger. His exile is without remedy since he is deprived of the memory of a lost home or the hope of a promised land. This divorce between man and his life, the actor and his setting,is properly the feeling of absurdity (MS 6)”. Camus believes that the recognition of the Absurd happens when we become aware of our meaningless existence in the world and of the overall unimportance of our daily actions. It is interesting to think that by his definition, Absurdity comes to us in our ordinary life as a feeling before an idea. Consider that most if not everything in our lives is mechanical and methodical. People just go through work, transports, eating, meeting friends without questioning the world around us until the very day one looks back to themselves and asks “why?”. This “flash of reality” comes randomly from some kind of weariness at times when one has become tired of the mental and physical routines. At this point, one no longer recognizes the beauty in nature, but only its incoherency.

When we are faced with the Absurd, we begin to re-evaluate all that is known to be true: beliefs, morals, and perhaps even our own existence. However, the consequence as one once has come to terms with this truth is that it becomes part of one’s self. This means that once one has become aware of the absurd, they are tied to its reality. Although consequential, Camus depicts this moment as not so bad in his way of thinking, because this moment of weariness is when conscience is clarified and invites one to reinhabit oneself and review the previously given truths of the world; distinguishing between what is true and false in the world. In result, Camus asserts that all one will find is an immensity of contradictions, but this remounts to no reason on stopping of one’s search.

Camus often also refers the feeling of absurdity with the feeling of exile. As rational beings, we instinctively associate life with meaning or purpose. Hence when we act under this assumption, we feel at ease and familiar. However, as said before, once we have acknowledged the validity of the perspective of a world without values or meaning, there is no turning back. As a result, those who have acknowledged the Absurd may feel like strangers in a world lacking of reason. Even if we choose to live as if life has a meaning, escaping through a leap of faith, the absurd will linger. The feeling of absurdity exiles us from the familiar comforts of a meaningful existence.

Although one may think the opposite, Camus did not intend to apply a negative connotation to the Absurd. He simply observed and interpreted an absence of a universal meaning. By dismissing the idea of an universal absolute purpose, he turned to creating one’s own definition of the world. He believes that as one accepts to living with the Absurd, it is only a matter of facing this fundamental contradiction and maintaining awareness of it. Facing the absurd does not lead to suicide, but allows one to feel free from the existential conflict of searching for meaning and to live life to its fullest. This result is in fact displayed through Sisyphus depiction as Camus’ Absurd Man by the conclusion of the essay, where Sisyphus is seen as ‘stronger than his rock’ after he has accepted his fate and the futility of attempting to obtain a different one.

Camus elaborates on the three consequences that result from one living in acceptance and against the Absurd and characterize the Absurd Man: ‘my revolt, my freedom, and my passion.’ The first (revolt) refers to one not ceasing in both search for reason and of being aware that such is only futile; one eternally revolts hopeless of an answer. The concept of “freedom” refers to one’s act of concentrating not on one’s liberty from the irrational (such as God or physical laws), but rather on freedom on an individual level. Meaning that one isn’t committed on living to a particular goal, but for every new moment. Although Camus is not worried by the restraints done by the irrational anymore, he still acknowledges the problem of freedom of an individual in relation to the state, as well as that of the prisoner to social norms. Lastly, Camus refers to ‘passion’ as the final consequence of living the absurd, in which one lives beyond the concern of future and of the past and enjoys the present moment to its fullest.

In accordance to the consequences of living as an Absurd Man, Camus provides four different fictional characterizations of what an Absurd Man ought to be. First he depicts the seducer, Don Juan. He who moves from woman to woman, seducing each one in turn with the same tactics previously used. Although counter intuitive, Camus dismisses the accusation that Don Juan hopes to achieve any transcendence beyond his daily journeys; he pursues the passions of the moment. Second is the Absurd Man as the actor, who is not content on simply observing life and therefore imagines living many different from his own; The actor gathers and accumulates the diverse intensity many lives into the span of his only one career. Third is the Absurd man depicted as the conqueror, or rebel, who is drawn to rebellion and conquest in order to overcome their individual’s full potential. One may may induce Camus own personal view as the conqueror as he partook on the Second World War. Fourth is the Absurd Man depicted as the artist, who doesn’t attempt to reason, explain, and picture the world as it would be universally, but creates entire particular worlds.

In conclusion, after providing understanding of the origin of the feeling of the Absurd and of solution as the Absurd Man and his different examples, I believe it is clear to see some of the contradictions of his point of view. I believe that when Camus advocates on embracing the absurd he is not necessarily asking for one to find their our own meaning independently of social conditions but that he ultimately promotes that one makes their struggle against the Absurd their meaning. Although it doesn’t constitute to finding their own meaning, as in Nietzsche’s Egotism, but another form of philosophical suicide. Similar to that of the other existentialists, Camus seems to embrace this answer, which in turn would actually be the lack of one, given from the irrational and formulating a way of life based on it. He attempts to prescribe a way of living, which is a denial of the absurd premise of his own argument, rendering his solution incoherent. However, I believe that it is not the same leap of faith at the very least, though perhaps Camus might seem to rely on a faith of a negative kind, in the opposite direction to what Kierkegaard adopts.

Even though Camus uses the premise that there’s is no answer to any of the irrational, he seems to be more clearly determined throughout the essay to display his belief that there is no God and that life is meaningless more than he is determined to argue for that meaninglessness. It’s true that it’s not his goal, as he states, to present a philosophical system, but to display a personal diagnosis and opinion of a certain way of looking at the world, yet he still attempts in providing a formula of how to approach meaninglessness just like the other philosophers he criticized. I believe that, not only inherently contradicting, Camus’ solution is also impossible. Following Camus’ arguments, I imagine that he might concede life can be experienced in meaningful ways, such as the seducer’s passion (love) or the conqueror’s revolt (pain). Both of these examples might involuntary entail responses such as hope and despair (respectively given the character), which even on a non-universal level are clear to exist beyond the experiential qualities but are bound by the experiences themselves. Therefore creating the conflict between an individual’s moments of meaning through one’s experience and the premise that life is inherently meaningless.

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Common Themes in The Myth of Sisyphus, Waiting for Godot, and Hannah and Her Sisters

March 18, 2021 by Essay Writer

Joseph Campbell once argued “Life has no meaning. Each of us has meaning and we bring it to life. It is a waste to be asking the question when you are the answer.” Whether you believe in universal truths or finding individual meaning in life, one cannot argue with the fact that the human race greatly differs in their opinions on this subject. The Myth of Sisyphus, Waiting for Godot, and Hannah and Her Sisters are three very different stories from entirely different time periods and settings, each offering their own unique opinion on the human experience.

In Albert Camus’ essay “The Myth of Sisyphus”, he offers his opinion on the life and nature of the mythological greek figure. However, it is in Camus’ description and analysis of Sisyphus’ afterlife, rather than his earthly existence, where Camus’ opinions on the meaning of life really come to light. Our hero, forced to strive endlessly day and night to push a large stone up to the top of a hill, is cursed with the fate of watching it roll down again. He then must again partake in the arduous task of returning the boulder to its previous position up on the hill, only to watch it fall once more. This repeating cycle would be torture for any man. Camus, however, sees it in another light. Admitting that this action is indeed futile, he makes no attempt to argue that the pushing of the rock itself is a worthwhile action. Instead, he argues that the action should give Sisyphus enough meaning to be happy, saying “The struggle itself toward the heights is enough to fill a man’s heart.” Therefore, it is inferred that it is not the destination that we find meaning in, but rather the journey that makes us truly happy.

The play “Waiting for Godot” by Samuel Beckett tells the story of two lonely men, striving to find meaning and purpose in their actions. Vladimir and Estragon discuss pointless and trivial subjects, hardly ever reaching any sense of conclusion. Their setting, a tree beside a road, has no real bearing on the events of the story. Every action seems to be completely without purpose. In fact, sometimes they hardly remember what they did simply a few minutes before! They wait constantly for Godot, but it is clear at the end that they have come no closer to seeing him. They are quite utterly and completely back where they started. Ultimately, it is determined that all is useless, life simply nonsensical and meaningless. At first glance, this may seem very much like Camus’ interpretation of the Myth of Sisyphus; On second glance, however, the reader will come to realize that true happiness can never be achieved for the characters, as they are hoping for something that will forever be out of reach.

In Woody Allen’s movie “Hannah and Her Sisters”, a troubled family struggles in the midst of betrayal, insecurity, and jealousy. Allen’s comic writing and directing make for a comedy, but truly there are much darker issues lying beneath the surface. Through the film’s exploration of each character’s desire to have more out of life, each sister goes through her own life journey. Lee struggles with attention and a lack of satisfaction with the men in her life, one of whom is Hannah’s husband. Hannah’s ex-husband, Mickey, constantly worries about everything in his life, from his job to his health to his relationships. In the end, however, he overcomes his seemingly ceaseless worried attitude and realizes that in order to enjoy his life, he must free himself from his worry. It is this realization that helps him to fall in love with Hannah’s other sister, Holly, and eventually marry her. While some characters find what they are looking for and some do not, the ending is generally a happy one. I would argue that the point that Allen is making is that life can be but is not necessarily happy, we must find our own way and realize that life is ultimately what you make of it. Life itself has no purpose, we must give it purpose.

It is utterly impossible to come up with one meaning of life that everyone can agree on. Each religion, philosophy, and even each individual has their own perception of what gives life meaning according to them. Some may agree that purpose is found in the struggle of day to day life, others may argue that true meaning is always out of reach, and still others may believe that life is what you make of it. Whichever one’s opinion is, we are not alone in attempting to discover it. The quest for meaning in life is an eternal journey for every member of the human race.

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Understanding Of The Myth of Sisyphus

March 18, 2021 by Essay Writer

The Myth of Sisyphus Analysis

Many people think that the most essential philosophical problem is understanding the meaning of existence. That’s a problem that Albert Camus explored in his essays. His answer was quite disheartening. Camus thought that life has no meaning, anything that could ever have meaning does not exist, and therefore the human pursuit to find meaning is absurd. What would be the point of living if the thought of life is absurd? This is the question Camus asks in his essay, The Myth of Sisyphus. Because of this, the question of suicide rises. Could suicide be the only sensible choice to the absurdity of life?

Camus sees suicide as “a natural response given that life is absurd in many ways”. Both the presence and absence of life add on to two responses. It is absurd to keep finding meaning in life when there is none, and it is absurd to believe in the afterlife given that death results to extinction. He also believes that it is absurd to try and understand, or find meaning in the world. Gaining knowledge is useless to him. Camus states, “Rising, streetcar, four hours in the office or the factory, meal , streetcar, four hours of work, meal, sleep, and Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday and Saturday according to the same rhythm-this path is easily followed most of the time” (12-13). As people continue to follow this routine, they slowly become conscious and they hit the absurd wall. They must choose whether to go back and stay in the past, keep hitting the wall, or go over it. This choice predicts if the person will commit suicide or live life fully although it has no meaning.

Rationalism is the idea that human reason can make sense of the world. Why make sense of the world when life has no meaning? Camus does not agree with rationalist because of their beliefs. They build a system according to which all experiences can be explained. They want to be able to say how and why things are. For instance, clouds are white for this reason, I exist for that reason, or the universe works for that reason. His thoughts on time and nature all lead to death. For example, when one is young they are ready to be older, but when they get older they want to be younger because death gets closer. As for nature, people are outcast. They don’t exactly fit in because the world is cruel and inhuman. Death is inevitable for humans and is part of reality. Camus illustrates a particular meaning in life that doesn’t really have meaning when he says, “All the pretty speeches about the soul will have their contrary convincingly proved, at least for a time. From this inherent body on which a slap makes no mark the soul has disappeared” (15). Therefore, when people see the dead they believe their soul is in heaven, but the body is right there in front of them without life.

Deciding whether or not life is worth living is to answer the essential problem in philosophy. Some may object that suicide is not a question, but an act of despair and inability to cope with life. Camus sees suicide as an attempt to take humans out of the equation of absurdity. Does he promote suicide? No, his interest in suicide corresponds to his belief on how life has no meaning. With humans in the equation, The Absurd remains because they want to try to understand. The mind wants to know what the meaning of everything is. Because of this, Camus sees this as The Absurd due to life having no meaning. Camus states, “If I were a tree among trees, a cat among animals, this life would have a meaning, or rather this problem would not arise, for I should belong to this world” (51). If humans were taken out of the universe, nothing would be absurd. There would be no one to question or try to understand the meaning of life.

The concept of the Absurd states a basic conflict in our existence. It is the product of an opposition between our human desire for purpose and meaning in life. Camus sees it as an unavoidable human condition. His solution on absurdity is to simply accept it, and continue living. After Camus sought the actual meaning of suicide, he came to a conclusion. If people decide that a life without purpose or meaning is not worth living and commit suicide, he sees this choice as cowardly. Basically, they are refusing life which is not a true revolt. As for freedom, rejection of hope is simply not believing in anything more than what a life of absurdity provides. If one hopes for nothing, they are free.

Albert Camus’s idea of “life has no meaning” has an understandable reasoning. Before reading The Myth of Sisyphus, I never really thought “why”, I just assumed everything had a purpose. I don’t believe that life has no meaning, but I do think those who commit suicide do. Although suicide can result from other reasons, such as bullying, they seem to coincide. I don’t think suicide is the answer, but I haven’t been in that situation to fully understand. People should face the situation that leads them to suicide, but then again I haven’t experienced this. Growing up I was always told that life is a precious gift that we were given and to not take it for granite. So, I see it as having meaning. Also, being catholic and believing in a God may be a big factor in my belief of life having meaning. Those who have guidance in their lives tend to appreciate it and feel as though they have a purpose in life. Religion has a big role in whether people think life has meaning or it doesn’t. It is not a bad thing if one believes life has no meaning. People are entitled to their own beliefs, but I don’t think suicide is the answer if life has no meaning. I do agree with Camus on his perspective of absurdity. Accept a life of absurdity and keep living fully.

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Magical Realism in Four Different Novels

March 18, 2021 by Essay Writer

Magical Realism Essay

The term Magical Realism derived from what one Fritz Roh coined “Magischer Realismus” in 1925 or as we know it today, Magical Realism. Magical Realism is a very interesting genre in the literary world it looks at the world with fresh new eyes, it celebrates the mundane, and in stories that are apart of this genre for example “Eva Is Inside Her Cat” by Gabriel Garcia Marquez everything has a much deeper meaning than what just appears on the surface. Other stories like “The Metamorphosis” by Franz Kafka, “No Exit” by Jean Paul Sartre, and even the mythology used in Albert Camus’ “Myth of Sisyphus” are similar in many different ways to Marquez’s work “Eva Is Inside Her Cat.”

To begin, Kafka’s “The Metamorphosis” and Marquez’s “Eva Is Inside Her Cat” are very similar being that they were written in two different parts of globe from two completely different people. In Kafka’s work the main character, Gregor transforms into a bug overnight. Gregor’s favorite drink when he was human was milk. In order to make her brother feel human again Gregor’s little sister, Grete brings him some milk. Since Gregor turned into a bug he lost his taste for milk. In Marquez’s the main character Eva is dead all she is, is a soul and in the story she wants to turn into a cat for she desires. Eva has a craving for a orange and since she is a spirit she can not eat anything. Eva frets that once she turns into the cat she will immediately forget about wanting the orange and give into her cat nature and not wanting but milk and catching mice.

Secondly, there’s a sense a of mythology in Marquez’s story “Eva Is Inside Her Cat” and as well in Albert Camus’ work “The Myth of Sisyphus”. In “Eva Is Inside Her Cat” we can relate this story to the myth of Tantalus and how he was punished in hell with fruit tree just out of his reach and his body was submerged in water that he could not drink because the water level would lower when he went for a sip. Eva has this sudden thirst for an orange that she will never be able to quench which is how “Eva Is Inside Her Cat” is connected to mythology. Camus’ work, “The Myth of Sisyphus” it does not draw from a particular mythological story but nonetheless it does use elements of mythological story because in “The Myth of Sisyphus” a man who is doomed to hell is put up to a task by the gods where he has to keep on pushing a rock up a hill and when he gets to the summit and it rolls down the other side of the hill that is his break and he has to continue that for eternity. This how both stories cultivate a sense of mythology in thier respective plots.

Finally, Jean-Paul Sartre’s infamous work “No Exit” and Marquez’s “Eva Is Inside Her Cat” are even related and somewhat similar. In “No Exit” our three characters Garcin, Ines, and Estelle are all trapped in hell. Whilst in “Eva Is Inside Her Cat” Eva comes to the realization that she has been dead for a very long period of time plus the element of her craving this orange gives the feeling that she is in some sort of purgatory or hell even just like our main characters in Sartre’s “No Exit”. Both Eva and the main characters of “No Exit” both also have had options to leave this hell too. In “Eva Is Inside Her Cat” she could leave her hell by posseing the cat and eating the orange in the cat’s body but there was also a risk that she would give into her cat instinct and forget about the orange. In “No Exit” the door to the room they’re in literally opens but no one leaves because of their ignorance. You know what they say “Ignorance is bliss.”

To conclude, this is how “Eva Is Inside Her Cat” by Marquez is connected and is similar to “No Exit” by Sartre, “The Myth of Sisyphus” by Camus, and “The Metamorphosis” by Kafka. “Eva Is Inside Her Cat” is similar to “The Metamorphosis” and “No Exit” by Sartre. “Eva Is Inside Her Cat” shares the very same mechanics as used in “The Myth of Sisyphus”.

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Sisyphus Myth And The Significance Of Life

November 3, 2020 by Essay Writer

Nobody would point the finger at Sisyphus for surrendering but he doesn’t. Notwithstanding the obvious aimlessness of his undertaking, Sisyphus’ strength forces meaning. Life is just as absurd, yet we get up each day and do it again in any case. What’s more, it is from our struggle that we create meaning. We go to work and have similar discussions about similar subjects with similar individuals, drink a similar drink, handle similar difficulties, confront similar absurdities, and watch defenselessly as the these repetitive work piles on us. It’s never fully finished but endless. We are never done.

Sisyphus helps us to remember the recurrent idea of our work. Life isn’t direct, it spirals into the future in a progression of concentric circular segments. Here is breakfast time once again, here I am washing my spoon once more. Despite this redundancy we may be excused for giving up on the task. In any case, giving up isn’t unavoidable. Truth be told, the world is neither absurd nor not-ludicrous – it is vague. It is left for us to choose. No one but we can eliminate the state of our own significance. It doesn’t get any more pointless than pushing a stone up a slope. The stone doesn’t do anything, it isn’t for anything, and it’s similarly as futile at the highest point of the slope as at the base. However we should consider Sisyphus to be triumphant because he created the meaning for this mundane task. Every day he was given the opportunity to find the positive message in this task.

Like Sisyphus, we have the ability to transform our destiny into a gift. We can’t change the past, nor the majority of the conditions around us, however we can simply pick new perspectives about those occasions and conditions. In the boundlessness of cognizance, we are fundamentally allowed to force meaning onto the absurdities of life. It is just from our persistent responsibility and conclusive activity that importance rises. His familiarity with his part in life make him a tragic character. He continues pushing, regardless of whether he knows it’s trivial or that it won’t change his condition, however the comprehension of the futility of his assignment is the thing that influences him to acknowledge life as it is and, maybe, be content with it.

Take for example, the repetition of one taking a bus to school every day to study. Though we would take the bus every day, the conditions around us are ever changing which alters our perspectives. On a rainy day we might feel lazy to take this bus as the journey may seem long, but upon reaching our end-stop we may see it as a struggle that we managed to overcome. Whereas, on a sunny day we might rejoice at the idea of taking the bus as it provides us with an air conditioned environment to study for a test later on in the day. With the change on conditions, a simple repetitive task may easily have a different meaning each day. Our comprehension that this mundane task leads to an important role in the bigger picture, allows us to be content with it.

In any case, in actuality, I believe that it is fine on the off chance that we don’t find significance to life that fits what society anticipates us to infer. Toward the day’s end, we may never infer them, and this can influence us to feel futile. It is tied in with discovering satisfaction in spite of when we cannot discover importance to those life desires.

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The Myth Of Sisyphus By Albert Camus: An Allegory For The Human Condition

November 3, 2020 by Essay Writer

There are many reasons why the tale of “The Myth of Sisyphus” is important to Albert Camus, for one, it is an allegory for what it means to be human. Camus expertly dissects Sisyphus’ existence and relates it to three final consequences of human life with the absurd; freedom, revolt and passion. Sisyphus’ story is the epitome of the human condition, and that human beings cannot escape the condemnation of futile labor. Sisyphus is crowned as the absurd hero of the story by Camus, a title not to be taken lightly. Sisyphus lived his whole life revolting against death and was fiercely passionate about living, he always chose to fight for life. This passion, revolt and freedom is precisely why he was punished for his passions.

The absurd is a theme that much of Albert Camus’ work revolves around. The absurd is described as the gap between oneself and one’s senses, who one thinks they are and the resistance of the world to human endeavors. Camus wrote that “the world evades us because it becomes itself again. That stage scenery masked by habit becomes again what it is”. Here Camus is talking about the primitive hostility of the world, how dense and strange it is. The absurd is the realization that the world exists independently from any meaning that one attempts to give it. Camus wrote about routine and waking up, “Rising, street-car, four hours in the office or factory, meal, street-car, four hours of work, meal, sleep, and Monday, Tuesday… According to the same rhythm – this path is easily followed… but one day the ‘why’ arises and everything begins in that weariness tinged with amazement”. Here Camus explains that one can only become conscious by asking themselves ‘why’ they are doing what they are doing, usually this happens when one is unhappy, Camus expresses often in “The Myth of Sisyphus” that the human experience is not an easy one. Camus further explains that habits cover up the obscure character of the world, where the world might seem as though it serves one’s purpose, the world really has nothing to do with one’s purposes, desires or interests. “For if I try to seize this self of which I feel sure, if I try to define and to summarize it, it is nothing but water slipping through my fingers.”, essentially, the world resists any attempts of appropriation. The absurd also involves the knowledge and understanding one has. In the grand scheme of things, we cannot comprehend ourselves and our actions do not mean anything. Camus says that ultimately, we know very little and what we do know falls short of what we really want, “Yet all the knowledge on earth will give me nothing to assure me that this world is mine”.

In order to understand the relationship of the concept of the absurd and of Sisyphus’ existence one must know a brief synopsis of Sisyphus’ story. The myth of Sisyphus is the story of how Sisyphus became the “futile laborer of the underworld” tasked with rolling a rock to the top of a mountain, just to watch it roll back down and repeat the task for all of eternity. Sisyphus had a long list of misdeeds he committed against the gods, from “stealing their secrets”, to “putting death in chains”, and finally tricking Pluto into allowing him to return to earth whence he promptly ran off to live by the sea and enjoy the “smiles of the earth”. These actions made Sisyphus the absurd hero. Camus wrote that “Sisyphus is the absurd hero, as much through his passions as though his torture. His scorn of the gods, his hatred of death, and his passion for life won him that unspeakable penalty…”. Sisyphus’ punishment, Camus writes, is the “price that must be paid for the passions of this earth”. This is why Camus is so drawn to the story, the pure absurdness of Sisyphus’ life and the relation to absurd freedom. This leads into the most important moment of the story to Camus, when Sisyphus’ becomes conscious of his punishment.

The moment in Sisyphus’ story that was most important to Albert Camus is when Sisyphus gains consciousness of his futile labor. There is one specific moment, “During that return, that pause…At each of those moments when Sisyphus leaves the heights and gradually sinks toward the lairs of the gods, he is superior to his fate. He is stronger than his rock”. Sisyphus becomes stronger than his rock because he is conscious and content with his sentence, Camus even wrote “One must imagine Sisyphus happy”. Consciousness is key, this is what makes Sisyphus an absurd hero, he is completely aware of his fate in a constant cycle of futile labor.

This moment of realization for Sisyphus relates perfectly to the three consequences of the absurd that Camus outlines at the end of his essay. The three consequences were passion, revolt and freedom. Camus main thesis is that life has no meaning and that is what makes it worth living, this is the perfect introduction to passion. Passion is the commitment to life even though it is meaningless, Sisyphus does this by committing to his destiny, “he knows himself to be the master of his days. At that subtle moment when man glances backward over his life, Sisyphus returning toward his rock, in that slight pivoting he contemplates the serious of unrelated actions which becomes his fate”.

Revolt is the refusal of a certain fate, not the acceptance. A great illustration is when Sisyphus revolts against the gods, he refused even if could not win, he lived without appeal to transcendent order. Another form of revolt is saying no to death by living. Camus lists suicide as one way to evade the absurd, but the only way to revolt against it is to live and search for some kind of meaning in life even though real knowledge cannot be achieved. “The absurd man can only drain everything to the bitter end and deplete himself. The absurd is his extreme tension, which he maintains constantly by solitary effort, for he knows that in that consciousness and in that day-to-day revolt he gives proof of his only truth, which is defiance”. It is clear that Camus believes one should always keep the absurd at the front of one’s mind never suppressing it or attempting to escaping it which is exactly what Sisyphus does by accepting his fate.

Finally, there is freedom. Camus is interested in freedom from the order of transcendent value and freedom from the temporality that is defined by the future. Sisyphus is free from transcendent power because he “negates the gods and raises rocks. He too concludes that all is well”. Sisyphus owned his fate “created by him… soon to be sealed by death”. “The absurd man thus catches sight of a burning and frigid, transparent and limited universe in which nothing is possible, but everything is given, and beyond which all is collapse and nothingness. He can then decide to accept such a universe and draw from it his strength, his refusal to hope, and the unyielding evidence of a life without consolation”. Here Camus explains that no matter the life, choices or consequences, we all have the same fate, and because of this lack of hope for the future one can have a sense of “inner freedom”.

It is clear that “The Myth of Sisyphus” is an allegory for the human condition. Through the triumphant story of Sisyphus who owns his fate and his rock one can see that Camus was marked by the actions Sisyphus took against the absurd to be passionate, revolt and be liberated by the creation of his own freedom.

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The Question Of Suicide In Albert Camus’ The Myth Of Sisyphus

November 3, 2020 by Essay Writer

Albert Camus studied the philosophy of the absurd and decided that, to him, the most important philosophical question was “why not commit suicide?” In “The Myth of Sisyphus: An Absurd reasoning” (1942), he discusses his thoughts on the answer to this question. He considers the absurdity of life, how to deal with it, and explains his reasoning throughout the story of Sisyphus. He concludes his thoughts with saying “at that subtle moment when man glances backward over his life, Sisyphus returning toward his rock, in that slight pivoting he contemplates that series of unrelated actions which become his fate, created by him, combined under his memory’s eye and soon sealed by his death.” Although this may seem miserable at first, Camus clarifies throughout his writings that it is possible to find happiness in a meaningless, habitual life. He believes that “killing yourself amounts to confessing. Life is too much for you, you do not understand it,” and giving up is not the answer. Happiness can be found, and life can be lived passionately, full of experiences, but still have no purpose.

First, it is necessary to give some context on the myth of Sisyphus. In the story, it is not clear on how he came to his fate, but it does tell the readers that Sisyphus had a passion for life, and a hatred for death. He cheated the gods, and he is faced with an eternity of futile labour. He is to roll a rock up a hill, only to have the rock roll back down every time it reaches the top. Now at first, Camus suggests that the gods are clever to give Sisyphus this punishment, but at the end he “conclude[s] that all is well,” with Sisyphus, and that he is a happy man. The only way for this to happen is for Sisyphus to acknowledge his crushing truth of his eternity, and once he does this, it is just a little less crushing. He knows the whole extent of his fate and has discovered what Camus calls the absurdity of the meaningless of the habit of life, from which springs happiness. He is a master of his own days and as he walks back down the hill, he is free to reach a state of accepted content.

Camus relates this back to our own lives and that we are in the midst of filling our days with meaningless tasks, such as Sisyphus is. People look for solutions by either discovering the meaning they want through a leap of faith, or they conclude that life has no meaning. These seem to be the only two options, so if someone does not believe in a deity or any religion, and they decide that there is no meaning, should this person automatically commit suicide? Camus thinks no, that there can be a third possibility that we can accept and live in a world devoid of meaning or purpose; this is the absurd. Suicide amounts to confessing that the world is too chaotic and devoid of purpose, it is too much to handle, as quoted earlier. Camus believes that the third possibility can let us live a fulfilling life, even with accepting that it is a meaningless and absurd world. Facing the absurd in our world and accepting it, is the only way to find happiness in it.

The absurd is defined as one’s search for purpose within this life, but what is key is the inability to find any. People desire purpose in life, and this is why they make leaps of faith and jump to religion for answers, but truly knowing and accepting the absurd means that you are conscious and okay with the fact that there is no possible meaning to this confusing and chaotic world. Acknowledging the absurd, may seem like automatic suicide, but by accepting the absurd, it can be living life to the fullest, in spite of being aware that humankind is here for a short time, all people must die, and this is an unreasonable world. There is a constant conflict of what we want from the universe and what we will find in the universe. If you choose to live the third option of the absurd life that Camus proposes, there are three characteristics of the absurd; the revolt, freedom and passion. We are always aware of our desire and reality, and the difference between the two is called the revolt of the meaningless of life. Suicide is a way out of this consequence, but hope is also a way. Revolting the notion that all people must die must be constant. Freedom is the second consequence. In most people’s lives, they are under the impression that they have the freedom to make choices, and these choices usually lead to a common goal. The struggle with this, is that it limits the possibilities to comply with the goal. When the absurd is accepted, this goal has disappeared for there has been acceptance of no true meaning in life, and freedom is a whole new concept. It is a new type of freedom to think and act as one chooses, knowing that they do not have to fulfill any predetermined roll. Man is now free of any preconceptions he has or other people have for their life and may live to the fullest in freedom. Finally, the third consequence is passion. Sisyphus himself had a passion for life, and it is nice to think that this passion continued even when rolling the rock. There is no reason for doing one thing rather than another, meaning there is no reason for him to be doing anything else but rolling that rock up the hill, for, as said before, there are no roles to fulfill when living in acceptance of the absurd. In this case, it only makes sense to judge the quantity of experience in a life. Camus desires to live a full life, full of passion, the more experiences, the better. Being aware of every moment that passes us and treasuring the present can lead to a happy life.

When people discover the absurd, there is a feeling of uncertainty, just as there is in the philosophy of skepticism. The skeptic, Descartes, and Camus start on the same basis by doubting everything, and dismissing all meaning. However, this is where Descartes chooses one of the first two options, of suicide or faith, and chooses to believe in a deity in order to evade skepticism. Camus mentions a few existentialist philosophers at the end such as Kafka, and Kierkegaard who are unable to accept their absurd conditions, and instead make a leap of faith as well. Those who make a leap of faith are struggling with the absurdity and attempt to explain it with their faith, evading the fact that there is no truth. However, Camus accepts the uncertainty and knows he can only live his life to the fullest. He is similar to Hume in this sense as well, as Hume decided that absolute skepticism destroyed common sense of the physical world and created mitigated skepticism. People can doubt their daily lives, and accept the absurd, but only to the point of human intelligence. It only makes sense to live life to the fullest, with revolt to suicide, freedom and passion for life, accepting that not only is there no meaning, but that there is no purpose in looking for one for it is beyond human comprehension.

Sisyphus keeps pushing, knowing the certainty of his fate, but also knows that he is free to reach a state of accepted content. In the moment where Sisyphus walks back down the hill to retrieve the rock again, he is happy, and if he is happy with this even more absurd fate than the reality of this world, then all people have the opportunity to also find content in their meaningless, habitual lives.

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The Absurdity Of Life In The Myth Of Sisyphus By Albert Camus

November 3, 2020 by Essay Writer

The Myth of Sisyphus by Albert Camus is a philosophical essay written in 1942 that addresses the question of whether life is worth living through. From the perspective of the author, people share a similar path to the Greek hero Sisyphus, moving a boulder up a mountain only for it to roll back down and to repeat the process indefinitely. Camus’ essay represents a metaphor for life having no meaning, through his interpretations of past constructs. With the premise that all living things including humans are organisms evolved from the smallest bacteria, a package of atoms without a purpose in life or even a set of directions. Camus relates the human constructs of choice, religion and purpose to emphasize the incompatibility of human existence in the universe but in the end, unlike other philosophers, Camus feels that people should accept this to live better and to embrace the hopeless situation to get the most out of life.

Albert Camus was a French writer, journalist and philosopher, whose mother was illiterate and whose father had died from wounds during the Great War. As an advocate of human rights and a recipient of the Nobel prize, the words of Camus held a lot of weight and have undoubtedly contributed towards the philosophy of absurdity and existentialism. Thus to examine Camus’ ideas and views, one would have to take a look at his past work. In his previous work, The Stranger, it is shown that people may not express or feel emotions when another person dies. In this case, the main character Meursault, does not feel any emotions towards his friend’s death nor towards the man he shoots and kills in an altercation. Meursault feels no sadness or remorse. Only when he is sentenced to death does he express himself, stating prior to his death that he would not take the opportunity to turn to god, which Rubin finds, indicates that life is indeed meaningless when death is trivial. In addition, the absence of a god or higher figure connects to his work with The Myth of Sisyphus in which without god, there could be no choice or purpose in life. Rubin finds an interesting distinction between the two in which it is not the pointless futility to despair over, but a futility which is to be acknowledged and celebrated. Like Sisyphus, Meursault has achieved a strange peace of his predicament and himself, silencing faith and hope and finding happiness in the absurd and acknowledging the meaninglessness of life.

In Camus’ writing on The Myth of Sisyphus, the main idea can be interpreted towards life being absurd. People are born into the world in which they have no choice on the matter, “limited through the conceptions of society, resources… and the environment”. When considering the scope of the world and the universe, Whistler explains how humans are in the “limit of nothingness”, meaning that they have no real choices to make and thus no purpose. Camus presents the Myth of Sisyphus as a metaphor that explains how life is meaningless and absurd through his interpretations of purpose. It could be seen that the repetition of what Sisyphus does symbolizes the plight of humanity, representing what people do every day of their life with no alternative. Forced by the environment and surroundings which offer no choice of living differently. Camus establishes that human lives are without purpose, believing that the rest of humanity also understands but takes a leap of faith to believe that human existence does have a justified purpose. However, Elif describes Camus as someone who “does not want to make that leap,” as purpose emerges from choices, and because there is no one to choose to give people life (no god), humans would therefore lack purpose.

Furthermore, one must look at the state of being lost. Lost to god and lost to life, seeing as Camus’ writing on Sisyphus seems to be advocating the rejection of what one is bound by. Sisyphus, like the rest of humanity is condemned to perform thoughtless tasks, symbolizing the absurdity which humans live in and, as Camus believes, the lack of purpose. As nothing that anyone does is attributed towards progression in “which progression means purpose.” and the things made up by humans such as money, possessions and love are simply constructs for progression, which is to say that in the grand scheme of things, is meaningless to the universe. With the boulder also representing the fact that humanity has been condemned with a curse – as Whistler argues, the urges and the false constructs of humanity, and the things one needs to satisfy them.

In addition, it is made important to remember that Sisyphus is not moving the boulder indefinitely. Sisyphus is made to roll the boulder up a mountain, only for it to roll back down due to its weight, but in this moment, Camus expressess that “during that return, that pause, that Sisyphus should interest oneself”. In the words of Elif, it is not the act of pushing the boulder itself that is most important, but rather the brief intervals before and after each trip up the mountain. Camus puts the true cause of Sisyphus’ suffering not so much in the physical strain as he does over the the knowledge or consciousness that the futile task, set upon him is all he has to look forwards to or expect for eternity or the rest of his life. To Camus, the suffering of humanity wouldn’t be the pain that is undergone that would be unbearable but rather the conscious understanding that the pain and suffering would be all people would ever know, never leading to anything more fruitful. Camus compares this consciousness with the human condition, as every arc completed in life represents each time Sisyphus reaches the top with the boulder, which is inherently meaningless to the universe. Every test and exam passed only to move on to the next, from a larger perspective of completing elementary school to high school to university, the perspective gets larger as does the daily grind only to end in death and nothingness. What then, to leave no impact on the universe is there to continue living further when one could end it much quicker?

To Camus, Elif claims that suicide is one of the only real problems to existential philosophy. One of the major issues presented by Camus is that in a world that is meaningless and absurd, the purpose to live within suffering seems to be incompatible for many. The point that is trying to be made is that there is no solution to the problem on living in an absurd and meaningless existence. Camus’ argument is that the sole solution to confront it is to live in the absurd, therefore confirming the incompatibility of human existence, or life in general. To commit suicide does not bring about the solution to eliminating absurdity, which is why Camus says one “must imagine Sisyphus happy.” According to Whistler, all solutions to absurdity have been attempted or tried before, which Camus categorize as “honest” and “dishonest” ways, such as the use of religion for the purpose of erasing or distraction oneself from their lives. The honest way which Camus acknowledges is to live with and be aware of the absurd. Through either way, in order to avoid what Camus calls “philosophical suicide”, or the errors of absurdity again, one must imagine Sisyphus happy. In this way, one is able to achieve meaning in themselves and within absurdity. In this, Camus acknowledges the absurd and meaninglessness in life, and concludes that suicide is not the answer as it does not negate the meaningless existence to life.

Albert Camus’ writing on The Myth of Sisyphus serves as a way in which to explain his interpretations of absurdity. To understand the absurdist philosophy of Camus, it is also necessary to know about the background and interpretation of his thinkings on the philosophical subjects of suicide, suffering and purpose. It is all well and good to carve out reasons for existing and to fill the empty spaces with meaningful prospects of money and love in order to find reason from the meaningless tasks set out from the false constructs of humanity. However, if there is no ultimate meaning, or at the very least not one which would provide a trace of hope and purpose that everyone could agree to, then what would be the point of undertaking ventures at all? Camus makes a point of confronting the reader with the solution to suicide – if the ultimate conclusion to life is total obliteration, then where is the point in living at all? This is what Camus ultimately means when he writes that “one must imagine Sisyphus happy,” and thus, remains the reason as to how his writings represent a metaphor for how life has no meaning.

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