Friday, April 4, 2008

Class Discussion Response

Throughout history, humans have always had a desire to obtain a sense of recognition and gain meaning in life. However, Albert Camus states that human life is absurd and through it, nothing is accomplished. In his essay, “The Myth of Sisyphus,” Camus shows through the shift in his tone and his definite, allusions to mythology, and concise diction that, although life is considered absurd and meaningless, happiness still is obtained through it.

Michael R.’s thesis seems to have good thought behind it. He clearly states his interpretation of the essay to the reader early on so the reader knows where the explication is heading. He gives a brief example of symbolism Camus uses in his essay which shows Camus’ purpose for writing it. However, he can still elaborate on the other techniques Camus uses. Otherwise, this thesis would have been ideal.

Elina has stated in class that Sisyphus’ repetitious punishment gives him meaning and supports Camus’ own views of modernism. Camus states that “at the very end of his long effort measured by skyless space and time without depth, the purpose is achieved” (2). Although he is in the underworld, he finally obtains a sense of worth. When he pushes the boulder to the top of the hill, there is a sense of achievement that is sure to fleet. Even though Sisyphus goes through so much trouble to push the rock, it is during this “hour of consciousness” (2) when the rock falls that he gets to think and is “superior to his fate” (2). In his moment of consciousness, Sisyphus discovers a flaw in human nature. All his actions are absurd, that all his efforts in pushing the boulder are, and will always be, in vain. The seemingly worthless pushing of the rock is symbolic of one’s endless struggles in life. Through the timeless myth of Sisyphus, Camus expresses his own modernist thoughts on life that nothing that is done in life will matter. Camus states that “happiness and the absurd are two sons on the same earth” (4). It is inevitable that “one always finds one’s burden again” (5). Therefore, if Sisyphus were to enjoy the moments of satisfaction throughout his eternal torment as Camus suggests, then his actions are “neither sterile nor futile” (5). It is as if every action that human beings do is only its worth.

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