Sisyphus

The Myth Of Sisyphus
Ryan Clair
English Literature
The myth of Sisyphus was a paper written by Albert Camus to show that life has no ultimate meaning. This goals of men and woman are false and in the end humans really accomplish nothing. Camus represented his idea of existentialism through the use of Sisyphus. This allows us to see a comparison of a mythical tale and the real world.

Albert Camus feeling towards existence was that humans were not supposed to be living in the world. Camus believed that there was a sense of absurdity for human existence. Human beings cannot feel at home in a world where chaos, death, and suffering are present. A world designed for humans would have meaning, life, and order. The world that humans presently lived in was not the real home that they should be in. The world was indifferent to the problems facing humans, thereby making humans living unwanted inside of their own universe. Camus uses Sisyphus as an example of how he believes life on earth is really taking place. Sisyphus is forced to roll the heavy rock up the mountain only to find that it rolls all the way back down and making all his work for nothing. Camus believed that this was similar to human life, through all the activities and events throughout our lives we merely accomplish nothing in the end. We work hard and try to achieve goals, but these goals are meaningless in the whole time that makes up our life.

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Camus believes that Sisyphus is an “absurd hero” because he believes that he can succeed which ultimately allows for his punishment. “If this myth is tragic, that is because its hero is conscious. Where would his torture be, indeed, if at every step the hope of succeeding upheld him?” Camus feels that Sisyphus who is a conscious human being exemplifies the lives of many humans on earth. The people feel that they can succeed and accomplish things during their lives, but in the end they die without ever solving the problems they once faced. This is similar to how Sisyphus would endlessly try to accomplish his goal of getting the rock to the top of the mountain only to have it roll back down again. This absurdity can be understood through the comparison of Sisyphus and the lives of many people living around the world. False goals and events throughout life cloud people’s vision that nothing is truly ever accomplished. Sisyphus was sentenced to life of reaching one goal, which could not be met, and this was his punishment as is many people doing the same thing on earth.

Camus’ beliefs stemmed from the horrors of World War Two. He saw all the suffering and poverty that he had lived through and been surrounded by. This gave him a basis for existentialism, which created significance behind the choices that a person makes throughout their lives. Camus saw how people were put thrown horrible situations on earth and this gave him the idea that humans were merely put onto the earth without a predetermined life. The choices that humans made no difference to the world, the suffering and injustice was just another choice that was made by a person. The world did not respond but merely went on without having any feedback. Humans tried to apply meaning to life but found that the world did not allow for it. Humans were the only entities that tried to insist on having meaning in their lives. “It absurdity makes of fate a human matter, which must be settled among men.

Camus feelings of injustice in the world and life without meaning resulted from the problems with himself and surrounding him. The suffering he saw made Camus realize that the world went on while people were living in horrible situations. People were aspiring to unreal goals which meant nothing in the whole face of life. The creation of existentialism resulted from World War Two which gave meaning to the choices that humans made. Although there was no meaning in life, people try to apply meaning to it, while there is really no meaning at all.


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