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Absurdity: The Myth Of Sisyphus Essay

1676 words - 7 pages

As humans we are creatures of habit. We settle in to our daily routines: waking up, going to work, studying, etc. At times, we have moments of lucidity which break these routines temporarily, these junctures of time provoke you into contemplating your own existance. If there is no meaning or point to life our existence is absurd. Our aspirations for ourself will cease, and so will those of the next generations, so on and so forth until everything ceases. Our existence is a reflection of Sysiphus', always pushing the boulder up the mountain but never truly completing the task, it is how we function with the knowledge of our absurdity and making life worthwhile.
The legend of Sisyphus and his fate is an echo of our own. Sisyphus was a very wise mortal who was condemned by the gods. They punished him to a never ending absurd task. Sisyphus was forced to roll a boulder up a mountain, and once he reached the top the boulder would roll back down. Sisyphus would then have to attempt to complete the task again meeting the same results for eternity. Readers feel sympathy toward Sisyphus because he has no control over his actions, and reminds us of our own habits, we like Sisyphus are doomed to our own repetition of pointless task until our lives come to an end, our own sense of eternity.
Philosopher Albert Camus writes about absurdity in his essay The Myth of Sisyphus. He believes that the myth of Sisyphus is an echo of our own stories. We are slaves to our own habits, until one day we arouse our awareness, “At certain moments of lucidity, the mechanical aspect of their gestures, their meaningless pantomime makes silly everything that surrounds them,” (Klemke & Cahn 75). Once our conscious mind awakens within ourselves we suffer two consequences: suicide or recovery. Camus believes that once we have cognizance of the reality of life a conflict arises. This conflict is a clash between reality and our aspiration. As humans we long for clarity and meaning, however we are faced with reality, the total absence of meaning, and this is when absurdity arises.
Thomas Nagel assertions in his essay The Absurd partially corelates with Camus' belief that absurdity arises when there is a clash between need and reality; however, Nagel believes that the conflict is more so between our ambitions in our life and the way life (reality) fails to meet them. Both philosophers agree that there are lucid moments within ones life, these junctures of time lead people to contemplate there existence. Most people reach an epiphany at this time: their desire for what the world should be conflicts with how the world actually is. (EXAMPLE)Nagel believes the collision of these two viewpoints is what makes life absurd, “The sense that life as a whole is absurd arises when we perceive, perhaps dimly, an inflated pretension or aspiration which is inseparable from the continuation of human life which make its absurdity inescapable, short of escape from life itself,” (Klemke and...

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