"A Question of Happiness"

Good Essays
In a detailed paragraph, explain the following line:

“One must imagine Sisyphus happy.”

C

amus concludes his essay by arguing that happiness and absurd awareness are intimately connected. We can only be truly happy, he suggests, when we accept our life and our fate as entirely our own—as

the only thing we have and as the only thing we will ever be. The final sentence reads: "One must imagine Sisyphus happy." But why must we imagine Sisyphus happy? Camus's wording suggests that we have no choice in the matter. But is there an alternative? Sisyphus is the absurd hero, the man who loved life so much that he has been condemned to an eternity of futile and hopeless labor. And yet he is above that fate precisely because he is aware of it. If Sisyphus is not happy in this awareness, then absurd awareness does not bring happiness. It would then follow that happiness is only possible if we evade absurd awareness, if we leap into hope or faith.

1

If the leap into hope or faith represents an attempt to escape from the reality of our fate, and if happiness is only possible through such a leap, then happiness would essentially be an escape. Life itself would be inherently unhappy and happiness would be a sham born out of denial.
The bottom line is this: we must imagine Sisyphus happy if we want to believe in genuine happiness. Though this is the last sentence of the essay, we might see it as the initial premise that starts Camus's reasoning. Because Camus essentially believes in the idea that individual human experience is the only thing that is real, if he wants to show that happiness is real he must show that individual humans can truly be happy based on their experiences, not on their denial of experience. If happiness is real, we must be able to find happiness without relying on hope, faith, or anything else that goes beyond immediate experience. There are several lines at the end of the story to indicate that Sisyphus (the absurd

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Better Essays

    Happiness

    • 1363 Words
    • 6 Pages

    Materialism, Religion and Happiness 1. Definition of Happiness A.Difficulties of pursuing happiness B. Different levels of happiness needed in different stages 2. Relationship between happiness and materialism A. Definition of materialism B. Materialism is negatively related to happiness 3. Relationship between happiness and religion A. Definition of religion B. Reasons why religious people are happier (Christian and Buddhist) C. Religion is positively related to happiness 4.Conclusion…

    • 1363 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Good Essays

    happiness

    • 1335 Words
    • 4 Pages

    all the creatures want happiness and are afraid of pain and grief. The question, however, is 'what is real happiness?' What really is called happiness? The desire for happiness has no meaning without understanding the real nature of happiness. Generally, ordinary beings consider sensual pleasures as happiness and their attempts are also directed towards these. According to them search for happiness means search for pleasures of the senses. The question 'what is happiness' does not arise in their…

    • 1335 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Happiness

    • 442 Words
    • 2 Pages

    What is happiness? Happiness is staying simple but being the best person you can ever be. Happiness is writing a story about heartbreaks, disappointments that turn into success and well, happiness. Happiness may come and go like the seasons but in the end, every moment that you have that is filled with happiness will be well worth the sad or unnerving ones that you have had to endure. For someone to be happy they need to know that everything that has happened in their past has happened for a…

    • 442 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    happiness

    • 1085 Words
    • 3 Pages

    Happiness comes from everyday life. learning to enjoy the little things in everyday life, and everyone including the rich and the poor, the lucky and unlucky can choose to achieve it. be happy if he or she chooses to be. It is also about finding one's passion and pursuing making use of it in ones life. However, not everyone agrees with this method because there are multiple ways people define happiness. So, what is happiness? Happiness is a difficult state of mind to define. Everyone talks about…

    • 1085 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    Happiness

    • 2703 Words
    • 11 Pages

    Happiness and Virtue: Julia Annas “Virtue and Eudaimonism” Annas begins by taking stock of contemporary virtue ethics. She notices that there has been a resurgence in thinking about morality from the perspective of virtue (areté), however, at the same time, it seems as though we have not likewise taken guidance from the ancients in terms of thinking about happiness (Eudaimonia). She thinks that to focus on the one without the other is to miss the point. After all, it is tough to make sense…

    • 2703 Words
    • 11 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    Happiness

    • 958 Words
    • 4 Pages

    1 Kaithlyn Martins Mr. Jacques ENG4U1-e October 1, 2012 Happiness : The Key To Life Hap-pi-ness : the quality or state of being happy. One crucial standard for living is being able to be happy. Happiness can be found in an numerous amount of ways. It can be found by buying inanimate items that help us better our life or it can be found with communicating with someone. To truly reach full happiness you need to recognize that everything in your life if good and accept…

    • 958 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Good Essays

    Happiness

    • 980 Words
    • 4 Pages

    Happiness Is Acceptance What is happiness? Oxford Dictionaries define it as “the state of being happy”, which also means the state in which someone shows pleasure or contentment (Happiness, n.d.). In actual fact, however, happiness means differently to everyone as we are all looking and yearning for different kinds of happiness in life. Does being rich and successful means that you are happy? Some say it is enjoying life while others say it is the appreciating the little things in life, such as…

    • 980 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Better Essays

    Happiness

    • 1375 Words
    • 6 Pages

    Happiness When people usually think of happiness, they usually associate it with money, family, or morals. Can money really make you happy? Can your family make you happy? Does standing by your morals make you happy? The truth is happiness has a universal meaning. It is an independent feeling an individual achieves depending on their particular situation. In other words, what makes one person happy may make another person miserable. Yet again, this portrays the idea of a worldwide interpretation…

    • 1375 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Better Essays

    Happiness

    • 3189 Words
    • 13 Pages

    About Sharing Happiness We can only share happiness with others when we ourselves know how to be happy and are happy. If we are not happy (it means we don't know how to be happy), then how can we share happiness with others and ask others to be happy, when we don't have happiness in ourselves? We can share our joy and happiness with all beings without any discrimination of human beings or non-human beings, good beings or bad beings, happy beings or unhappy beings, wise beings or ignorant beings…

    • 3189 Words
    • 13 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Good Essays

    happiness

    • 1211 Words
    • 5 Pages

    What is happiness? Happiness can mean different things to different people. For example, for one person, it may mean being in a relationship, whereas for someone else it may mean feeling you have the ability to handle whatever life throws at you. While you might think that there are certain things that make you happy (or could make you happy if you had them), research has shown that there are certain common traits amongst happy people --- and it is not necessarily what you might have thought.…

    • 1211 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Good Essays