Camus’ View of the Absurd

Topics: The Myth of Sisyphus, Absurdism, Meaning of life Pages: 3 (1136 words) Published: April 20, 2013
Camus view of the world was seen to have centred on life, the meaning and values of existence, and how absurd it all was. The view of the absurd was a man's futile search for meaning, unity and clarity in the face of an unintelligible world devoid of God, eternal truths and values. Which then implies that there is an absence of any reasons to live there being no predefined purpose to the world or universe. To which the answer seems to be suicide, to remove yourself from a world that is decidedly strange and unfamiliar. Yet Camus does not seem to feel this is the answer that suicide is not the revolt although it certainly seems to be upon first glance. Camus feels that to revolt one must continue to live the absurd, to find your own values and meaning through your experiences of life. That even Sisyphus is happy through his eternal task. Cast as an absurd hero Camus uses Sisyphus as a metaphor for humanity, yet he says that we must imagine Sisyphus happy in his absurd predicament of meaningless work.

The puts that absurd is a quality or condition of existing in a meaningless and irrational world, the incompatibility of man and the world, yet they are inseparable (Gilbert G Hardy, 1979, Happiness beyond the Absurd, p372). We live in an absurd and irrational world and suicide is the first impulse to end the absurd, towards the revolt it would seem, yet Camus feels different. He feels that suicide “Is confessing that life is too much for you...that you have realised that the uselessness of suffering and absence of any profound reasoning for the continuance of life” (Camus, 1955, Myth of Sisyphus, p179). He sees suicide as eluding the problem of the absurd, escaping from it the extreme measure of escape. To revolt against the absurd we have to keep living it, to contemplate it, a constant confrontation between man and his obscurity (Camus, 1955, Myth of Sisyphus, p183). The revolt gives life its value, what we want from the world meaning, values and eternal...

References: Camus, Albert
Myth of Sisyphus
1955, Translated by Justin O’Brian
Egan, David.
SparkNote on The Myth of Sisyphus, 7 May, 2009 <>.
Hardy, Gilbert G
Happiness Beyond the Absurd: The Existentialist Quest of Camus
Article from Philosophy Today, Win 1979, P 367 – 379
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