‘The myth of Sisyphus,’ authored by Albert Camus, is a philosophical essay. This essay originally published in the year 1942 but became famous only after its translation into English from the French language. Camus, in this essay, presents an absurd man’s unsuccessful search of the god, truth as well as eternality. The author presents a thorough analysis of the absurd man’s struggle in a realistic manner. This paper intends to discuss the ideas that Camus mentions in his essays and further analyses other related aspects of the area under discussion.
Camus explores several artistic creations and fictional writings as an archetype of the absurd life. Camus’sabsurd man corresponds with the absurd life. Absurd man is aware of his absurd actions and knows that he cannot take these actions seriously. Absurd man is pretending to live in a symbolic manner instead of living fully and taking care of his actions and reactions. The absurd life is symbolic, and the action of creation is even a bigger symbolism (Camus).
Camus suggests that all efforts to differentiate art and philosophy are usually vague. He also suggests that a number of people use art in order to escape from the absurdity, however, he is little susceptive whether art also can be absurd. Camus discards the notion that a philosopher performs from within his system, but an artist constructs from without system. Camus believes that both, philosopher as well as artist work to falsify their perspectives about the world and they must remain so in order to remain creative (Hochberg).
Absurd creation should be comfortable in describing instead of explaining. Camus suggests that an absurd art cannot vow of transcendence like an absurd man cannot be sure of perfection. Absurd creation has a tendency to pretend that everything is all right and does not make an effort to improve or change the situation. Absurd creation maintains the status quo by citing the universal picture of the situation (Simon).
It appears that Camus suggests that a common person, who is leading a common life, keeps moving ahead on the basis of his hopes and determinations. He always feels that there are several things in his life that he must do. The absurd man, on the contrary, believes that there is nothing left for him, and further assumes that whatever he is doing, is insignificant. Absurd man, this way, lives without any illusions.
Absurd man has no aspirations and ambitions. He believes that all his acts, thoughts and passions are finally trivial. Absurd man just lives because he has to live. He simply watches others playing their roles but he constraints himself from these things. Absurd man always keeps in his mind that he is just playing his role. He thinks that other people are deceived by not thinking in the same manner (Camus).
Sisyphus commonly remembered for the weird treatment according to the Greek mythology. Camus suggests that an absurd man considers life as a hopeless struggle. Sisyphus had the same feeling while pushing the rock up the mountain. Sisyphus was very much aware that his efforts are going into vain and that he is not going to make, but he did not quit and kept making efforts. Sisyphus efforts remind of Camus’s definition of the absurd man. Fate of Sisyphus cited as an example of hopelessness (Camus).
One prominent theme of Camus’s essay is the message that life is full of struggle. He further suggests that absurd man accepts this struggle as the sole truth of their life while others keep trying to change the situation. They keep trying to change the situation and improve things in their favour. On the other hand, absurd man surrenders before the challenges of the life. Camus suggests that things are only worse in the situations where people are aware that the situation will remain the same and anything cannot change it but keep trying (Spelletich).
Camus, at the end of his essay, argues that happiness is connected to the absurd awareness. Camus suggests that people can be happy when they accept their fate and relate the same with their life. In the concluding sentence, Camus says, “One must imagine Sisyphus happy” (Camus, The Myth of Sisyphus). Here he wants to suggest that whether people are happy or not but do they have any other alternative. Sisyphus is the absurd hero who loved his life than anything else, but finally his life turned into a hopeless labourer.
After conducting analysis of the abovementioned subject, the paper concludes that Albert Camus was ahead of his times. He presented a quite mature analysis of the human life and art in a philosophical manner. The author uses numerous symbols in his essay and conveys his thoughts through different examples. Camus appears as a very practical and visionary man who viewed things in a true sense. It is reasonable to agree with the findings of Camus to the extent that he has talked about very realistic things of life that matters in our life.
Camus, Albert. The Myth of Sisyphus. USA: Penguin UK, 2013.
Camus, Albert. "The Myth of Sisyphus." dbanach. 19 May 2014 <http://dbanach.com/sisyphus.htm>.
Camus, Albert. "The Myth of Sisyphus by Albert Camus." New York University. 19 May 2014 <http://www.nyu.edu/classes/keefer/hell/camus.html>.
Hochberg, Herbert. "Albert Camus and the Ethic of Absurdity." Ethics, 75(2) (1965): 87-102.
Simon, Elliott M. The Myth of Sisyphus: Renaissance Theories of Human Perfectibility. Cranbury, NJ: Fairleigh Dickinson Univ Press, 2007.
Spelletich, Kal. "The Myth of Sisyphus." MIT Press Journals, 36(5) (2003): 359.