The Absurdity of Man Essay

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Absurdity is defined as that which is contrary to reason; clearly untrue, unreasonable or ridiculous. It is often a topic in existentialist writings relating to life. This subject is prevalent in Camus’ “The Stranger” and “The Myth of Sisyphus.” Camus depicts absurdity bringing about happiness or indifference in each of these literary works. In “The Myth of Sisyphus,” it is made clear that Sisyphus is aware that his existence is absurd. He is sentenced to an eternity of rolling a boulder up a steep mountain only to let it roll back down when it reaches its peak. His tragedy lies in the fact that he is conscious of the extent of his own misery. What makes his struggle very absurd is that he knows that there is no death at the end of it.…show more content…
The fact that Meursault’s indifference led him outside the “conventional” moral code, was what brought about his death sentence. He was convicted because he admitted that he felt no sadness over his mother dying, not because he killed a man. The only thing that concerned him was his upcoming execution, and he felt that his stay in prison was the same as living in his apartment. The few hours before his death is when Meursault begins to “live.” He realizes the change that is going to take place is permanent and final. This is when he awakens to absurdity, believing that death is just as meaningless as life. His lack of understanding of change was what had caused his indifference. He realized that everyone is “privileged” with one unavoidable change in life, which is death. He never actually “lives” until change in his life is imminent. Meursault’s absurdity achieves happiness as well. He realizes that before he was imprisoned he was happy, he had a good job and a girlfriend and nothing really to complain about. Since he also realizes his absurdity and has a reason for his indifference, he is happy. Once he realizes that life or death will achieve the same thing in his situation, he’s not concerned with
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