Tuesday, October 16, 2007

The Myth of Sisyphus Class Discussion Period 6



After skimming your Williams papers, I think we need a little more work on developing thesis statements for explication--after all, if your thesis lacks depth, your paper probably will as well. Please refer to handout on explications--and remember that your thesis must show HOW meaning is developed through writing. This is a hard concept by the way--and if you are having trouble with it, it is because it is a really hard thing to master. You are certainly not alone here, but we still need to figure it out.

This post is worth 20 points:
It is due by Friday at 3:00p.m.

  • 5 points for--generating a successful thesis statement.
  • 5 points for--explaing why one of your peer's thesis statements is successful. (You may need to post twice if you are one of the first to go.) I want some depth here--not just language from a rubric. I want an explanation of WHY the thesis staement is one of depth.
  • 10 points for--a continuation of something from class discussion. Just like last time, there should be some depth here (I think 250 words is a minimum) and you should be providing specific textual evidence to analyze. Let's work on integrating the evidence here this time instead of pasting large chunks of text in the post.

PERIOD 6 POST HERE PERIOD 6 POST HERE PERIOD 6 POST HERE

32 comments:

Kathy L. 6 said...

thesis:
In The Myth of Sisyphus by Albert Camus, the author tried to explain why sometime death is easier to escape then living. Death, they only have to suffer once but living they have to suffer for eternity. Once they suffer, they have to suffer for eternity and there is no escaping. There is no hope and no one can save them. They can’t blame anyone but themselves for the actions they had made. Everyday there is nothing to look forward to but endless pain and torture mentally and physically.

During class discussion someone in class mention that the rock is a sign of emotion and I agree to that. On pg.2 it say that, “A face that toils so close to stones is already stone itself.” A stone can represent Sisyphus because Sisyphus is like a rock that doesn’t have any emotion. Not only that but it will be the only thing he will touch or be with as well.

Sarah also mention about fate, how his fate belong to him and that’s on pg. 4 as well. Not only that but she also compare Sisyphus to Meursault in The Stranger, which is also written by Albert Camus. In The Stranger, at the end of the novel Meursault started to realize that his fate does belong to him and it’s up to him to make his own decision. That was when he decided to live his life once again.

At the end on pg. 5 the language started to change because it wasn’t the narrator that was speaking. It was one of the gods that was talking.

“He is, as much though his passions as through his torture. His scorn of the gods, his hatred of death, and his passion for life won him that unspeakable penalty in which the whole being is exerted toward accomplishing nothing. This is the price that must be paid for the passions of this earth.” This is trying to say that Sisyphus has such a passion for life, so god tried to destroy his spirit because he had disrespected the gods. Gods wanted him to feel like if he was never even born.

Michael R. 6 said...

In Albert Camus’ essay about the Myth of Sisyphus, Camus enlightens on the myth in a modernist way. Camus uses the idea of absurdity throughout his essay in connection with the myth to help explain Sisyphus’ predicament and the rolling of the stone. Camus makes the connection that Sisyphus’ punishment is eternal and that this life is like that of a workman who does the same work everyday and gets nowhere; it is meaningless. Camus states that if man continuously looks for happiness and does not find it, a depression takes over the heart and life becomes too heavy to bear. In Camus’ words this is what the rock represents in the Myth of Sisyphus.

I think that Kathy did a good job of identifying an obvious theme from the essay. She was able to realize that fate is a profound idea in the essay but does not actually say the word itself. I do not know who “they” was referring to but I read it over and over again. She means that humans cannot escape their fate and it will be easier to die than live up to the point of death. But their fate is the result of their actions made during the time up until their death. Kind of hard for me to get but I think that is what she was saying.

Michelle was able to point out in our discussion today that we were kind of straying away from the assignment of explicating the meaning in Camus’ essay and drifting towards finding the hidden meaning in the myth itself. She reminded the class of existentialism and how it is present in the essay by Camus and The Stranger, also by Camus. In both the myth and the book, the main characters make their own choices which determine their own fates. Muersalt does so by killing the man and Sisyphus does so by walking around feeling better than the Gods. Their actions have consequences. By definition, these themes closely resemble the idea of existentialism. I do not think Michelle made that connection but simply identified we needed to make it. In Camus’ essay, the word existentialism is not found in his diction but the meaning is subtle. Camus uses a quote by Oedipus stating, “I conclude that all is well” (4) and then goes on to say that this remark is sacred because it means that now humans, as a whole, have realized that we are free to make choices and free from the God’s who prefer making our lives miserable and we are free to make our own choices. Humans are now in control of their own fate. Camus stresses this idea also known as existentialism. Camus states that in the myth, when Sisyphus turns to his rock to begin rolling it up the hill, Sisyphus creates his fate. Sisyphus realizes his punishment is eternal and that this is his fate; just like the “blind man [who is] eager to see who knows that the night has no end, he is still on the go.” (4). Camus is saying that the blind man is always going to wonder what its like to see but never will because it is his fate. The blind man is doomed to die blind. While the blind man and Sisyphus are still alive, “the rock is still rolling” (4).

Emily R 6 said...

In Camus’ essay , “The Myth of Sisyphus”, Camus shows through symbolism that in life, someone can struggle and work achieve a goal, but the result that one attains means nothing. Because of Sisyphus’ defiance to the gods, his punishment is to eternally push a rock to the top of a mountain, and once the rock had fallen down the mountain, he must push the rock back up again. Camus chooses this to be a symbol of life. In class during the discussion, someone mentioned that the rock was symbolic to emotions, which I also agree Camus is trying to portray. The rock is continuously going up and down, just as one emotions do in life. The rock also is a symbol of the struggle that one endures in life during work and everyday life. People work to reach that point where they are at the top of the mountain, where they have obtained that goal, only to go back down to work to achieve something else. This is linked to the “absurdity” that Camus reflects in the essay. The absurdity being, “The workman of today works every day in his life at the same tasks, and this fate is no less absurd” (3). Camus is saying that Sisyphus’ “futile and hopeless labor”(1) is symbolic to the work that people in his time endured. People work unconsciously throughout their whole lives, unknowing of the worthless struggle they bear, but they will continuously keep pushing until they reach the top, only to fall and start over.

Christina H 6 said...

In “The Myth of Sisyphus,” Albert Camus reveals the unyielding power of a man’s consciousness when Sisyphus overcomes his punishment. Camus exaggerates the pointlessness and cruelty of Sisyphus’ eternal sentence to rolling an enormous rock up a hill through repetition and his choice of diction. The author tone remains subtle throughout the story until the last paragraph. Camus makes a strong statement at the end of the story, which summarizes his lesson for the readers. Similarly, it is at the end of a myth that Sisyphus, the tragic hero, realizes his consequences and accepts his fate.

Michael R’s thesis is off to a good start. He identifies many key aspects of the poem such as the idea of absurdity and the symbol of the rock. Michael explains how the author uses to rock to show the heaviness in Sisyphus’ life and his mundane punishment. I think Michael could go a little more in-depth with how the author goes about portraying idea of absurdity. The phrase “modernistic way” also seems vague.

During our class discussion yesterday, Benwit calls attention to the last line: “One must imagine Sisyphus happy” (5). Benwit said that for many years people thought that Sisyphus’ punishment is suffering, but Camus is able to turn this idea around and make the people contemplate even more. I think this line is significant because it summarizes the lesson of this myth. Camus stresses the word must. It is the people’s duty to recognize that one must overcomes the difficulties of life physically and mentally in order to continue and succeed. Though it is true that the physical aspect of this punishment is laborious, the mind must continue to believe that it is possible to push the rock to the top of the hill again. The mind must “imagine” that Sisyphus is happy. One must overcome the emotional obstacles in order to advance. Sisyphus is “stronger than his rock” (2). The rock is huge, heavy, and represents an obstacle. However, Camus believes that Sisyphus is stronger and better than this rock. Sisyphus can overcome this obstacle by imagining that this is just a task instead of thinking that it is a punishment. Likewise, in The Stranger, when Meursault is in jail, the guards take his cigarettes away. At first, he constantly thought about the cigarettes. By losing his freedom to smoke, he felt as if he were being punished. However, after a couple of days, Meursault comes to a realization that his frustration of not being able to have a cigarette was making the situation feel like a punishment. Therefore, if he overcomes his emotion, he wouldn’t see the situation as a punishment.

thespina g 6 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
sarah c 6 said...

In “The Myth of Sisyphus,” Albert Camus shows that death is worth more than living and suffering. Albert Camus displays a belief that life is pointless. An example of this belief is when Sisyphus has to keep pushing the rock but getting nowhere with it. If Sisyphus had just died and stayed in the underworld he would not be eternally suffering. There is no point to go back to Earth because there is nothing there for Sisyphus anymore. He must accept that he is alone and that his death is his own.

In class many of us brought up an idea that Sisyphus is like Mersault in Camus' book The Stranger. I think this is very much true because in the end of The Stranger Mersault realizes that death is his own and his life is now over. Sisyphus realizes that there is nothing left for him and he must live this pointless life until he dies. We also talked about symbols and how the rock can symbolize emotion. In Camus' works his characters apper to have no emotion. Sisyphus is like a rock because a rock is hard and does not move on its own. Sisyphus does not have any emotion because he is realizing he will never get anywhere. He is like a rock and nobody will help move him.

I think that Kathy has a good thesis. I like her idea and how she explains it. She does not stray from her idea. Instead of writing they, maybe she could use another word in its place. Other than that I think her thesis is going to start a good paper for her.

Ping L 6 said...

Albert Camus demonstrates men’s ability to overcome fate in “The Myth of Sisyphus.” Camus believes that God has the ability to create men’s fate. However, men have the ability to overcome such fate created by God. Camus creates this message in his essay through his use of diction and relevant examples. His straightforward language also helps to create this message.

Christina has a great thesis. She tells the readers the method Camus uses to communicate his idea. According to her, Camus uses exaggeration, repetition, diction, and tone. She further expands on these methods in her respond to the in class discussion. For example, Camus uses repetition in expressing Sisyphus’ eternal punishment to roll a rock up the mountain. Also, Camus’ tone change in the end of his essay with a purpose to express his changing feelings about Sisyphus’ punishment.

During our class discussion, Benwit has mentioned to us the importance of the last sentence in the essay. The last sentence reads, “One must imagine Sisyphus happy.” This is important because this contradicts the actual occurrence. The fact is that Sisyphus “is accused of a certain levity in regard to the gods” (1) so he is punished by “ceaselessly rolling a rock to the top of a mountain” (1). Due to this, Sisyphus should not be happy; Sisyphus has “won [himself] that unspeakable penalty in which the whole being is exerted toward accomplishing nothing” (2). This is his fate. However, Camus uses the word “won” (2). This shows that he believes that Sisyphus is happy and that such punishment is not a torture after all. He shows that Sisyphus overcomes his fate of being sad. In contrary, Sisyphus is hopeful because “hope of succeeding upheld him” (3) at every step he walks up the mountain; his hope is to push the rock up onto the top of the mountain. Camus states that Sisyphus’ “fate belongs to him” (4) and that “he knows himself to be the master of his days” (4). This suggests the fact that everyone is able to change his fate and that his fate belongs to him.

Sisyphus’ fate is to be unhappy because he is being punished by the Gods. However, since his fate belongs to him, he is able to master it and change it. In the end, he is happy, because “the struggle itself toward the [top of the mountain] is enough to fill [his] heart” (5).

Jessica F. 6 said...

In the “Myth of Sisyphus,” Albert Camu speaks about Sisyphus’ meaningless torture, which was to roll a huge rock up a hill and hopelessly watch it roll down the hill on it’s own after reaching the top, only to have him repeat the same pointless and endless task. Camu mentions that the endless task only becomes noticeable to Sisyphus once he reaches that conscious state, which occurs after overcoming his torture. Camu also changes his language and tone through the essay, he is very precise throughout the essay, but once he gets to the last paragraph in his essay he concludes his thoughts almost like a certain lesson should be learned about the “Myth of Sisyphus.” Camu thought that the tragic hero accepted his tragic fate in the myth.

I believe the thesis Christina H. wrote was focused on the explication of the essay not what she believes is the purpose of the essay. She is very thorough and knows what she is explicating she also wrote about Sisyphus and his punishment to make the thesis and topic more clear for a paper she would prepare to write. Her topic is also strong and accurate enough to find good and sufficient amount of evidence. She also writes about the author’s tone throughout the essay, which may be helpful evidence for her paper.

Benwit mentioned a passage in the last page of the essay, “One must imagine Sisyphus happy” (5). I believe in this passage what Camu is saying is that “one” as in the reader’s must “imagine” or try to see that unconsciously doing things or in Sisyphus’ case rolling the enormous rock up the hill will not be seen as punishments or torture but will seem like something that has to be done and forgotten. Imagining that people are “happy” will make physical and mental hardships easier to handle and easier to overcome. I think that this passage is the key or the lesson that Camu is attempting to point out as an important piece of text to the reader. The passage also connects to the character Meursalt because his life seemed to be spent day by day in his unconscious state because he was so careless and disconnected with his life and the world. Meursalt was not as involved in his daily life as he should have been, he chose to live that way because the days felt like something that was repetitive and had to be done and forgotten, but not viewed as punishments or torture.

Laurie M 6 said...

In Albert Camus’ essay about the myth of Sisyphus Camus is revealing the hidden meaning through a modernist point of view. Camus uses different methods in order to convey this point, he uses the idea of punishment in an abstract way and his use of tone difference is distinct in many aspects of the essay. Camus’ conveys the idea that if one works toward success in vain, one will never succeed but in fact fail. He uses the story of Sisyphus and his tough punishment to show that one must work toward goals in a content manner in order to reach that goal happily.

Michael R. has a very effective thesis. He uses the idea of absurdity in his thesis which is a very important aspect of the essay itself. The only advice I would give him is in his intro paragraph he has too much information. He seems to have his thoughts are a bit too much for an intro. I mean it is really well thought out, but I think he should have not mentioned the rock until later on in the essay. If he wanted to include that in his intro I think he should have not ended the intro with just mentioning it. He should have gone a little more in depth with it. I do agree that the rock is a huge symbol but adding a little more “beef” to mentioning the rock would make this a great intro paragraph. Other than that he clearly states his thesis and it seems like a great topic to write about.

In our class discussion Fehedra mentions the idea of working in vain is pointless and will not lead you into success. I believe this is totally true and it was a great way to view this essay. It was easy to connect him to Meursault because he worked in vain and it did not get him anywhere. Also when Kathrine mentions the whole idea of Pluto being intimidated by Sisyphus is very interesting. It made me think about how people who others are afraid of usually don’t pick fights with them. The last line of the essay also brought up many important aspects. In connected to The Stranger in many ways, which was obvious because both pieces of literature had an existential twist on them. The last line “one must imagine Sisyphus happy” was Camus’ way of extending his views on how he wants a person to be viewed in the end after having suffered a lot. Like Meursault he wants to be seen as happy because he over came a huge obstacle. Which is what most people have to go through in life in order to realize true happiness.

Matthew S. 6 said...

In “The Myth of Sisyphus” by Albert Camus, he explains the struggle that Sisyphus goes through as he is being punished by the Gods. During the class discussion, I believe it was Katie who brought up that the rock that Sisyphus brings up and down the mountain is symbolic because of how the rock is being pushed up and down by Sisyphus just like his emotions in his life. For example, how it says in the text, “A face that toils so close to stone is already stone itself!” (3). In addition, Benwit mentioned the importance of the last sentence in the essay. The last sentence reads, “One must imagine Sisyphus happy.” This is ironic since the fact that Sisyphus “is accused of a certain levity in regard to the gods” (1) and having to roll the rock up and down the mountain in an endless cycle expresses how he shouldn’t be happy. Moreover, Camus talks about how the “absurdity” (1) of the poem which explains the irony in the passage and how the things going through with Sisyphus being the tragic hero and realizing his consequences with his punishment.

thespina g 6 said...

Thesis:

In "The Myth of Sisyphus", Albert Camus uncovers the firmness of one's consciousness when Sisyphus accepts his fate. Camus exaggerates the senslessness and barbarity of Sisyphus' eternal fate of rolling a huge rock up a hill through choice of diction and reiteration. Throughout the essay, Camus' tone remains calm and subtle. In the conclusion paragraph is when Camus' tone changes abruptly. He expresses a strong message at the very end of the essay, which abbreviates a lesson mapped out specifically for the reader. This happens as well in the actual myth itself, when Sisyphus realizes and accepts his fate at the very end.


Laurie M's thesis does a great job at explicating the essay. She states that a meaning is revealed by the author and at the same time, intertwines it with the modernist point of view. She develops it further by saying that Camus uses the story of Sisyphus to teach a lesson. She includes details as to how the author gives the essay meaning such as, his tone and his use of ideas. The way she ends the thesis shows that she is focusing on author's purpose as opposed to the deeper meaning of the myth.


During the class discussion, I recall Fehedra mentioning that the idea of working and struggling results in nothing as an end result. This is extremely interesting considering the fact that Camus' strongly believed in absurdity. This involves one accepting one's fate and being content after having accepted it. The absurdity comes into play once man's desire to understand meets the unreasonableness of the world. Sisyphus had the desire to remain on earth and not go back to Pluto even though he knew he had to. Once back in hell, Sisyphus was sentenced to pushing an enormous rock up a hill and letting it roll back down once having reached the top for eternity. At that point in the myth, Sisyphus is displeased with his fate and not looking forward to an eternity full of pushing a rock up a hil over and over. However, Camus plays on how at the end, Sisyphus accepts his fate and even shows happiness after having let go of his despair and desire to achieve something. Once Sisyphus accepts his fate, is when he can truly be happy, even with the horrible sentence he has for eternity. Camus' last sentence is : "One must imagine Sisyphus happy"(5). Benwit mentioned this in class. He went on to say that for quite a long time, Sisyphus' punishment was considered to eb a great deal of suffering. But, Camus is able to put an absurd spin on that very assumption. Camus believes that Sisyphus didn't suffer at all with his punishment because he simply accepted it and continued doing it for eternity. He found peace and happiness among his suffering. This also connects to Mersault who was in jail and had everything he loved and was used to taken from him. These things were replaced with a horrible life if convictions and jailcells. However, he doesn't suffer throughout the whole thing. In the beginning, like Sisyphus, there is suffering and frustration. But, eventually both characters accept their fates and find happiness. And if not happiness, then freedom.

Son N. 6 said...

In “The Myth of Sisyphus” by Albert Camus, Camus explains the love and passion for life that Sisyphus has even though he was punished by the Gods. Although his punishment is to carry a large boulder onto the top of a mountain for eternity so that it can just fall back to the bottom, he has the chance to stay alive and a job to accomplish. The last sentence that is used in the essay is “one must imagine Sisyphus happy.” One must imagine Sisyphus happy because he was able to cheat death and obtain life for eternity as well as a challenge that he is able to accomplish and tragically accepts.

I believe that Jessica S., has a very good thesis statement for explaining how Sisphus accepts his punishment. She includes Sisyphus meaningless and pointless torture and explains how this torture becomes noticeable to Sisyphus once he reaches his conscious state. Her thesis may help her explain the repeated mistakes he made, as well as the same way how his punishment is a repetance.

In classroom discussion, I believe that many of my classmates made comparisons between Sisyphus and Meursault the characters created by the same author, Albert Camus. I believed that both Meursault and Sisyphus as opposites. Meursault is someone who knows that death is inevitable so he doesn’t do much about life. All he knows is that he’s going to die one of these days. While Sisyphus knows that death is inevitable but he tries to cheat death. Sisyphus has passion for life. In the end I believed both got what they deserved, since Meursault believed death as inevitable and knows he’s going to die, it just matters how, and he was to get executed. Sisyphus got what he wanted as well, he accepted his tragic fate yet he is still alive. He still has life even though he is punished for eternity.

Katie S6 said...

Katie S.
10-18-06

Thesis:
In the Albert Camus’ “Myth of Sisyphus,” Camus uses Sisyphus’ myopic character to show that every human life is nothing but a daily routine of pushing a rock up and down a hill. Camus does this because all humans truly do is live by a routine of work, which connects to Camus’ last sentence in the essay, “One must imagine Sisyphus happy.” One is forced to imagine him happy because it is how we live life ourselves. Camus does this by using the symbol of the rock that Sisyphus pushes up and down a hill all day, everyday. The rock connects to the idea of work and how one works with no emotion, it is simply something one does because it is the only thing one is asked for in his life, hard work.

I really loved Christina per.6 thesis statement. I loved mostly that it flowed and made sense the entire way and it stayed exactly on topic about what she was trying to talk about. She also looks deep into authors purpose which I know is a big part of explicating a poem. She did a very good job.

Someone in class brought up the connections between the life and the rolling rock that Sisyphus pushed up the hill everyday. I had to agree slightly on this because I personally thought the point Camus was trying to get across was this idea of emotions and I believe that the rock symbolized just that. They said that life had no challenges but yet life is not meaningless. I have to disagree slightly with this because is life has no challenges then where is the meaning? Everyday Sisyphus pushes that rock up a hill and yes it may have no meaning but then what is Camus doing with this idea. I think he was trying to say that the rolling rock is a ball of emotions; everyday Sisyphus pushes that rock up the hill, meaning he tries to achieve a sense of happiness and yet everyday the rock just rolls back down the hill which could symbolize the idea of failure or sadness. I feel Camus was trying to relate the myopic character of Sisyphus to everyday human life. We as humans push that rock all the way up the hill to achieve a sense of overall happiness yet sometimes life is blinded by our emotions which causes the rock to fall back down and its up to us to push it up again. It’s a continuing cycle of emotions that keeps life challenging which I agree Camus was trying to point out from the beginning.

Simon M 6 said...

In “The Myth of Sisyphus,” Albert Camus conveys the meaningless of faith through Sisyphus’ eternal rolling of his stone. Faith means that one will be happy when a goal is accomplished. Sisyphus’ goal may be to take the rock to the top of the mountain, however, that is not what happens. Therefore faith is turned into sadness and despair. Accepting fate without the faith to influence it is what Camus attempts to show in his essay. Sisyphus absurd character accepts his never ending torment and finds happiness in it. Sisyphus owns the rock, and he can push it around as desired. Happiness will come after accepting fate and taking what’s given.

Michael’s thesis statement is a great start. I too believe that the rock represents something important in life. He has a good start and the topic can be widely discussed. I can see what Mike is saying, but there are also some issues he brings up that a bit off topic towards his thesis such as modernism and absurdity. Anyway, he has a good thesis and it will provide for a good explication.

During the class discussion on “The Myth of Sisyphus,” Benwit mentioned that Camus twisted the meaning of the story. On the last page, “One must imagine Sisyphus happy” (5). This refers to the absurdness of his punishment. Rather than pain and torture, Camus states that Sisyphus should be happy. I also linked his character to Meursault of The Stranger. Sisyphus’ downhill march after the rock resembles Meursault’s time spent in jail. They both come to a realization and are ready to start over again. In Sisyphus’s case, it is journeying up the mountain again; Meursault is ready to start a new life after his death. During life, people experience both happy and sad events. Because Sisyphus renews his life each time the rock falls, he obtains a mass of happiness. On his way down the mountain, he is conscious of his sadness, and has time to recover his mind. There is also a bit of irony in the myth. Sisyphus’ “passion for life won him that unspeakable penalty in which the whole being is exerted toward accomplishing nothing” (2). He is, indeed living even after leaving earth, in the underworld. One would view this as an eternal torture and exactly the opposite of what is expected to be gained from living. The absurd character of Sisyphus is seen as happy because he is still living, even if it is meaningless. This also shows the absurdness of the world. Do people find happiness in the repetition of their lives? Accepting what a person does is what makes the world run.

Jessica S. 6 said...

The “Myth of Sisyphus” is about a man’s downfall that leads him to his tragedy. Sisyphus a deceitful man who betrayed Zeus secret which is punish by the gods to constantly roll rocks over hills. This punishment was cruel, according to the god because it was futile, basically the punishment was meaningless. In “The Myth of Sisyphus,” Albert Camus use allusions and symbols to assert that the obstacles that ones struggle do not affect their purpose in life because in the end it means nothing.

Christina’s thesis statement is “In “The Myth of Sisyphus,” Albert Camus reveals the unyielding power of a man’s consciousness when Sisyphus overcomes his punishment”. I think this thesis statement is clear and will have many textual evidence that are relevant to the “unyielding power of a man’s consciousness” because in the essay Camus brings up many reasons behinds consciousness which related to Sisyphus himself. And I think it is an important topic of the story of Sisyphus because his consciousness is what help overcome the punishment and create a purpose.


In our class discussion I remember Benwit mentioned the line “One must imagine Sisyphus happy” (5). I want to touch upon the meaning of that line and why Camus uses it to describe the punishment. Throughout this essay Camus basically turns the idea that Sisyphus story is a tragedy into the opposite. The punishment is created by the gods for Sisyphus to push rocks over hills because there’s no meaning or purpose. But from Camus point of view, the moment that Sisphus walks over to push the rock over the hill he has a purpose.

Quan T 6 said...

In “The Myth of Sisyphus”, Albert Camus explains Sisyphus’ punishment in a new light. Sisyphus is condemned to “ceaselessly rolling a rock to the top of a mountain, whence the stone would fall back of its own weight” (1). One would assume that “there is no more dreadful punishment than futile and hopeless labor” (1) for Sisyphus; however, Camus does not conform to this idea. Through Camus’ alteration of the common interpretation of Sisyphus’ punishment, he forces the reader to contemplate on the absurdity of life. If one can accept life as it is and that there is no other preferable, existing alternative, one can truly be happy.

Simon’s thesis statement seems to be at a good start. I also agree with Simon that Camus is trying to convey that happiness is gained through acceptance of one’s fate. Simon’s theory is interesting and the story holds a lot of evidence to support his thesis. However, I believe that Simon’s thesis will be more successful if he integrates the effect of Camus’ word choice to support his thesis. Overall, Simon is well on his way to explicate this essay.

During the class discussion, Benwit suggests that Camus successfully manipulates his readers to view Sisyphus’ story in his viewpoint instead of the common perspective. Myths are believed to be true by those who attach a religious or spiritual significance to them. Camus exposes the flaws of believing in myths and sheds light into accepting reality to influence the reader to view Sisyphus’ punishment through his perspective. He compels you believe his words when he drops the passive voice. Camus gives the reader no choice to make his own opinions regarding the text. He informs the reader that Sisyphus “is the absurd hero” (2) and he “is as much through his passions as through his torture” (2). Camus believes that “myths are made for the imagination to breathe life into them” (2). Therefore, when one becomes conscious and accepts reality “he is superior to his fate” (3). In the end, “one must imagine Sisyphus happy” (5) because Sisyphus becomes aware of futile fate and accepts that there is no other preferable alternative existing.

Elina R 6 said...

During our class discussion, Michelle pointed out the Camus’ existentialist point of view throughout the essay. And Laurie pointed out “hidden meaning through a modernist point of view” in her introduction. She then continues by providing clear examples of the methods Camus uses to portray his view. After rereading the essay, it can be concluded that Camus uses both his existential and his modernist point of view to teach a lesson. Lorie mentions Sisyphus’ punishment to show that it is necessary to work hard in order to reach happiness. However, Camus intentions are a bit different. He believes that in order to truly reach happiness, one must find a meaning to the work that one is doing. This meaning will bring purpose to one’s life, which in turn will bring the ultimate happiness.

Human existence and its meaning were highly questioned throughout the nineteenth century. Philosophers introduced new theories that identified the efforts of human beings to create a sense of meaning to their lives. Modernism and Existentialism became popular philosophies because they contradicted traditional principles as well as rationalism. In “The Myth of Sisyphus”, Albert Camus incorporates these two movements in his myth about a man, Sisyphus, who constantly fails. Through the use of mythological writing, real life examples, and metaphor, Camus is able to create the meaning of existence.

In the myth, Sisyphus is “accused of a certain levity in regard to the gods” (1). He lacks respect and appropriate behavior towards his superiors, which leads to his punishment. He is obliged to, for the rest of his life, push a heavy rock up a mountain, and then see it tool back down. Then he pushes the rock back up, and then sees it roll back down. Sisyphus is condemned to this pointless cycle with no hope of keeping the rock from rolling back down. Camus writes, “The hour like a breathing-space which returns as surely as his suffering, that is the hour of consciousness”(2) referring to the sad point of Sisyphus realization of this never ending cycle. However, Camus then writes “At each of those moments when he leaves the height and gradually sinks toward the lairs of the gods, he is superior to his fate. He is stronger than his rock”(2), and introduces Sisyphus’ new modernist way of thinking. For a moment, he thinks realistically and becomes conscious of his task, but then realizes that it is not to be considered a punishment. Through his use of this mythological character, Camus introduces the modernist belief that humans have the power to improve. Sisyphus teaches the reader that he becomes superior to the gods by finding a meaning to this “pointless punishment”. He improves his situation by realizing that his task not only has a meaning within itself, but it gives a meaning to his own life. Sisyphus’ new purpose is to push a rock up the mountain.

Camus continues by comparing the myth of Sisyphus to real life. He write, “The workman of today works every day in his life at the same tasks, and his fate is no less absurd. But it is tragic only at the rare moments when is becomes conscious” (3). By comparing Sisyphus’ task to that of a workman, Camus is suggesting that people in real life find meaning in their work as well. Going to work everyday gives people a purpose, a reason to get up every morning. Individuals become existentialist by creating a sense of meaning in their lives. Camus then writes the word “rare” referring to the few moments that people stop and realize that without their everyday task, they would be meaningless. He describes this occasion as “rare” because it is painful to admit that someone’s existence it pointless unless they have a purpose.

As the myth unravels, Camus writes that “There is no sun without shadow, and it is essential to know the night”(4). He uses the sun as a metaphor for life, the shadow as a metaphor for existence, and the night as a metaphor for reason. Camus once again reveals that there is no life without existence; therefore it is necessary to know the reason for existence. Albert Camus combines his modernist and existentialist views to conclude that in order to live life, people need to find a purpose for their bring.

Faedhra said...

Most artists usually have someone who they model after, an artist who they try to emulate their way of doing. Throughout their work, the congruence of the model can be found, however it is the unique way that the artist assemble his/her work that makes a difference. Albert Camus in the Myth of Sisyphus, show modernist thought as he introduce us to the myopic Sisyphus who is incapable to see that every decisions he takes leads to his downfall. In our class discussion, many pointed out that Camus goal was to show how purposeless life is by making Sisyphus a tragic hero. Camus does not believe in God but he believe in the “advance age” such as Sophocles’ Oedipus “on the outset obey fates without knowing it” and Dostoevsky Kirilov. They all, as stated by Camus “give the recipe for the absurd victory.” (3)
Camus began as he shows” Sisyphus negates the gods” which brings joy to him and strength him as he raises the “rocks”. (5) That’s why “one must imagine Sisyphus happy”. Us the readers know better because as one of my classmates Meghan suggested the reason that the Camus chooses such punishment, an endless task for Sisyphus is to show human struggle in pursuing knowledge and how they would never reach it no matter how hard they try. Sisyphus unable to see his fate spends his life fighting the gods to prove them wrong about death and that was Sisyphus bliss. The readers see Sisyphus “body straining to raise the huge stone, to roll it and push up a slope a hundred times over”. (2)
Though Camus respect that of him as he said “I fancy Sisyphus returning to the rock… the images of earth cling too tightly to memory, the call of happiness becomes too insistent, it happens that melancholy rises in man’s heart this is the rock victory, this is the rock itself.” (3) Camus believes that life does not have any meaning because living life is to built on the hope for tomorrow yet it is that tomorrow that bring us closer to death. Nothing is created without his contrary “there is no sun without a shadow, and it is essential to know the night. The absurd man sys yes and his effort will henceforth be unceasing. if there is a personal fate, there is no higher destiny, or at least there is but one which he concludes is inevitable and despicable.” (4)Death is the fate of everyone who is know breathing and no matter how hard you tried to avoid death it will catch up with you.
Camus sees at the very end Sisyphus “long effort is measured by sky less space and time without depth the purpose is achieved” (2) Camus word choice of the without depth demonstrate how much a tragic hero Sisyphus really yet he is unable to see that his action is affecting his fate, he is losing depth. Every step, Sisyphus take, the hope of succeeding upheld him just like “the workman of today work every day in his life at the same task” a task that makes them happy jus like Sisyphus task was to negate to Gods by raising the rock. Sisyphus believes there is nothing wrong with a “universe without a master” which “seems neither sterile nor futile” (5) in other words, Sisyphus believe we do not need gods to do what we want. We have to live our own life with what pleases us as he lives his with contentment as he “negates the gods”. From this, Camus wants us to learn just by living our world will come to an end with or without a master because living is dying just like “happiness and absurd are two sons of the same earth”. (4)

michelle p 6 said...

Though it wasn’t elaborated in the class discussion, it was pointed out that Camus’ existentialistic style of writing is what makes The Stranger and The Myth of Sisyphus unique. It’s also the reason for so many of the views he portrays in The Myth of Sisyphus and the certain and different ways he re-writes a Greek myth told so many times before and after him. “They had thought with some reason that there is no more dreadful punishment than futile and hopeless labor” (1). Because of this, the reader gets a sense of Camus’ view of punishment, that no matter what it is always meaningless and that anything meaningless is the worst.
The essay in its whole examines the myth of Sisyphus in an existentialistic way. It highlights the trickery of Sisyphus’ life and the Gods against him. “Sisyphus had put Death in chains” (1) and “Then Sisyphus watches the stone rush down in a few moments toward that lower world whence he will have to push it up again toward the summit” (2). The gods also use, according to Camus, the idea of consciousness and realization of Sisyphus’ fate to punish him. “I see that man going back down with a heavy yet measured step toward the torment of which he will never know the end” (2).
The essay talks of all this trickery to show the existentialistic view that one is born to struggle, life is meaningless and can only be lived through consciousness.

Meaghan S6 said...

In “The Myth of Sisyphus,” Albert Camus describes Sisyphus’ task of rolling a rock up a hill after it continuously keeps rolling back down. Camus emphasizes that the Gods condemned Sisyphus to the monotony of his task, and they downcast it as “futile and hopeless labor” (1). Part of human nature is to want to make a mark on the world, to achieve some higher purpose. Camus, however, uses the allusion to this myth and diction with a god-like connotation to mock the routines of daily life and how easily people accept their fate.

Christina’s thesis statement stood out to me because it clearly points out where she plans to go with the essay. She talks about what the theory is behind her idea, but she clearly explains how he does it. She chose diction as evidence, and I think that would be very beneficial to Christina in her essay because she can easily connect to the futility of Sisyphus’ task by the type of words Camus uses. It flows well, and fluidly makes the transition behind idea and purpose. She sets herself up well for a transition into the next paragraph.

At the end of class, Mr. G brought up the question of the last line of the essay. Camus says that “one must imagine Sisyphus happy” (5). I thought about it for a little while, and I connected it with the idea of fate, and achieving fate. The last paragraph says that he “leave[s] Sisyphus at the foot of the mountain” (5) and at that point, it is the first instant when Sisyphus looks up and sees the task ahead of him with an empty mind and no thought of what he is doing. This transition back into the routine and away from the moment of realization is a crucial point. It is at this instant of time that Sisyphus is returns to his fate. Camus says that “one always finds one’s burden again,” (5) and that adds to the idea that it is impossible to escape fate; it will always comeback to haunt. Sisyphus, because he knows nothing else, says that “all is well” (5) because in the end he “teaches the higher fidelity that negates the gods and raises rocks” (5). Camus is trying to say that the power of rebellion, and the power of the individual, were two of Sisyphus’ strengths, and because of these actions, he was able to attain his fate. Though his fate is rolling a rock up and down a hill, it will “fill a man’s heart” (5) to see Sisyphus doing what he has been destined to do. So all in all, I think he says that Sisyphus must be seen as happy because he attained what he set out to do despite of the consequences. He defied the Gods, knowing that eventually he would be punished. But that, of course, is the purpose of rebellion: doing what one knows is right even when the bleakest fate is waiting at the end of the road. His fate meant nothing to him, and in the end, he fulfilled what he set out to do. Camus wants the reader to see that Sisyphus should not be seen as a tortured soul because he found key power over the Gods. He was able to surmount the insurmountable. So his ability to push the rock continuously is symbolic of his rebellion. He rose to the top, overcame the most powerful figures, and in the end, ending up falling from grace.

Erika R. 6 said...

The Myth of Sisyphus

In “The Myth of Sisyphus” by Albert Camus, the author expresses his believes using a vocabulary that makes the imagination create different point of view about Sisyphus. The author explains how life itself is meaningless and absurd because men do the same things everyday, not realizing it. Men’s work does not take them anywhere because they do not have any purpose. To express this, Camus uses Sisyphus as an example. Sisyphus goes up rolling the rock, not thinking anything about the work he is doing, he does not realize neither he finds a meaning for the effort he is putting into pushing up the rock. When he is almost on the summit, he sees the rock fall down again, and at that point is when he realizes that his work does not have any purpose. It is at this point that Camus focuses on Sisyphus punishment.

Only when a man realizes the efforts he is putting into something that is not taking him anywhere is when he becomes aware that his life does not have any meaning, “but it is tragic only at the rare moments when it becomes conscious” (3). Sisyphus seemed to not have any clue of what was going to happen when he got to the summit. He did not realize how much effort he had putting into rolling the rock until he saw it come back down again without even reaching the top. Through this imagery of Sisyphus rolling his rock up toward the summit without any purpose just to see come back down again, Camus explains how meaningless any work is because at last it will not take the person anywhere.

Amy H 6 said...
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Amy H 6 said...

In Myth of Sisyphus, by Albert Camus, Camus’ use of text and language interrupts the reader to believe that if one believes in one self, there is no need to believe in fate. “His fate belongs to him”(4), Camus use of words interrupts the meaning behind faith. Camus is stating, why is there need to follow fate if one believes in oneself. “If there is personal fate, there is no higher destiny”(4).

Michael has a strong, solid thesis. He was able to back up his thesis with evidence and went into depth as well. His thesis was how Camus enlightens the myth in a modern way. I think this thesis could go well into depth and a lot about it can be written. Not only are there good examples in the myth, but Camus also writes the myth in a modern century.

In class discussion on Monday, I remember Katherine, I believe, brought up the idea of how Sisyphus received his punishment. Sisyphus received his punishment because his ego was too high, and the gods did not like the idea. Katherine also brought up that Sisyphus thought he was on a “certain levity” (1) with the gods. The quote interrupts that Sisyphus believed he was as high, if not higher than the gods. First, Sisyphus had the nerve to tell the gods’ secrets. Second, “Aegina, the daughter of Aesopus was carried of by Jupiter.”(1). And Sisyphus “offered”(1), to tell Aesopus if Aesopus would do something for Sisyphus. Camus use of text was able to offer an idea to his readers of how Sisyphus treated the gods. Camus uses the disappearance of Aegina in Sisyphus’ favor. Sisyphus is in charge, not the gods. Sisyphus is basically defining the power the gods had. Also, the word choice Camus uses, “offered” (1) could be interrupting as threatened. If the reader replaces the word offered to threatened, it would have made sense. How dare Sisyphus threatened the gods, so therefore, he got his punishment

Amy H 6 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Emily T 6 said...

In the “Myth of Sisyphus”, Albert Camus expresses the idea that life is meaningless and fate is unavoidable through his through his choice of words, use imagery, personification. He shows this through Sisyphus’s ongoing struggle of rolling a rock up a hill continuously.

I think Meaghan S. has a strong thesis statement. She portrays Camus “diction” and “allusion” which was part of the overall observation we were supposed to make in class. She clearly shows what her idea is for the paper and how she is going to setup her paper. Meaghan does an excellent job on starting to analysis Camus purpose and how he is portraying it.

In the Class discussion the class started to realize the over all theme that life is meaningless and fate is unavoidable. Camus shows this in two different parts the essay. He first shows that Sisyphus is continuously rolling a rock up a hill and he is “accomplishing nothing”(2). It is an ongoing meaningless form of torture because a soon a he gets to the top of the hill he must go to the bottom and start all over again. Even though he reaches his goal, it ultimately has no significance to his overall punishment. The class then realized that Camus related this to many other “workman”(3) of his time. He said that their “fate is no less absurd” (3) meaning that even though their job is not punishment it posses the same meaningless of Sisyphus’s punishment. Camus big idea is that life is meaningless and that your fate is unavoidable. This is important because people must not try to make something out of nothing and nevertheless they should not try and change fate.

Linda Y 6 said...

In “The Myth of Sisyphus,” Albert Camus reveals that fate can be altered. In the myth, Sisyphus tries to change his fate by attempting to make a deal with a God. Instead, he receives a severe punishment in hell. Camus uses diction to describe how human nature and life is really like. Human nature is the desire to be able to make choices by you rather than allow God to do so.

Meaghan’s thesis is successful because she goes into thorough detail about human nature. She even cites the text to expand on her ideas for her thesis. She first states her thesis of “The Myth of Sisyphus” and then relates it to her idea of what Camus is saying about human nature. Meaghan plans to focus on diction and allusion with a bit of a twist, “with a god-like connotation to mock the routines of daily life and how easily people accept their fate.”

At the end of the essay, Camus uses the line, “The struggle itself toward the heights is enough to fill a man’s heart. One must imagine Sisyphus happy.” Camus is showing that he somewhat pities Sisyphus. The condition and punishment that Sisyphus is in is symbolic to the theme of tragedy. In a tragedy, heroes are supposed to have a downfall. Sisyphus’s downfall is that he will forever be pushing a rock up the hill. The reader feels bad for him and his punishment. “…the heights is enough to fill a man’s heart.” To Camus, the punishment of pushing a rock up a hill is belittling. He shows emotion and leaves the essay on a positive note and hope for Sisyphus.
On the second to last page in the first paragraph, Camus uses a quote about Oedipus which constantly starts with the pronoun, “It.” The constant use of “It” in the beginning of each sentence is to emphasize the imagery about a tragic hero. Camus writes, “It echoes in the wild and limited universe of man. It teaches that all is not, has no been, exhausted. It drives out of this world a god who had come into with dissatisfaction and preference for futile sufferings. It makes of fate a human matter, which must be settled among men.” The quote is about human nature and how humans are forever fighting to make their own choices in life rather than have someone else make all the decisions. Camus emphasizes how much it means to alter fate and live your own life.

Emily L 6 said...

In the Myth of Sisyphus, Albert Camus uses imagery of Sisyphus’s struggle with the rock and his realization to emphasize the necessity to be conscious of one’s own fate to recognize happiness. As Sisyphus is condemned to the futile labor, he does not allow fate to bring him down, but instead he brings joy toward what is suppose to be a “dreadful punishment.”

I think Christina H’s thesis was successful because it tells me exactly what I am supposed to expect for the rest of her essay. She provides great detail of what she will talk about and explicate on. Her thesis also tells me clearly of where she is going at. However, I think it sounds a little choppy because it jumps around a bit. She could have worked on the fluidity of her thesis better, but overall, she has great examples that really show what an explication should have.


In class, Kathy made a statement about how Sisyphus has a passion for life so the gods tried to ruin his spirit like he was never born. She was right about how he has this passion for life, but I do not agree with how she said the gods were trying to treat him like he was never born. The textual evidence that she refers to located in the beginning of paragraph four provides no such idea in my opinion. I can see why she might have thought that. She was misled by the statement “his passion for life won him that unspeakable penalty… towards accomplishing nothing.” She thought god’s penalty for him is to make him feel like nothing. I had a different way of interpreting the passage. I felt that Camus was trying to stress on how absurd Sisyphus’s punishment was instead. Sisyphus has a hatred for death and a passion for life, yet he is being punished for wanting to live. The gods think “this is the price that must be paid for the passions of the earth, but it’s absurd. Most people who are given punishment are those that have given up on life because they chose to violate the rules and to pay the consequences, but Sisyphus loves life and nature. Yet he’s taken to an “unspeakable penalty” that is so pointless and unnecessary that it shouldn’t even be spoken about. Even though the gods wanted Sisyphus to suffer from this futile labor, Sisyphus is well aware of his condition and in the end, his passion for life “won.”

Benwit L 6 said...

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.

Shuyi G 6 said...

In “The Myth of Sisyphus”, Albert Camus expresses the absurdity of one being able to accept his destructive fate. Camus surprisingly sees the other face of Sisyphus that he is actually hopeful and happy toward his fate - pushing the rock up to the mountain every time when it falls. “Then Sisyphus watched the stone rush down in a few moments…whence he will have to push it up again…It is during that return, that pause, that Sisyphus interests me…that is the hour of consciousness...He is stronger than his rock.”(2). Camus finds Sisyphus’s happiness toward his task to be interesting. He concludes Sisyphus is “stronger than his rock”, and has control over his fate - “He is superior to his fate” (2). However, Camus expresses a great absurdity over Sisyphus’s happiness toward his agonized task. Camus further explains his absurdity and discovery on Sisyphus through the use of diction in the passage.
Quan has a nice thesis because he clearly states Camus’ purpose is to “not conform to the idea” that Sisyphus has been condemned for his task and his task is only meaningless. Camus, instead, follows his own view on Sisyphus that Sisyphus is happy with his fate. Quan provides strong evidences from the text to support his thesis while also points out “Camus’ alteration of the common interpretation of Sisyphus’s punishment” as Camus’ method to express his idea. Overall, I think Quan did a goon job with his thesis.

Also on the discussion day, Benwit pointed out that Camus, contradicting the common belief that Sisyphus is suffering, believes Sisyphus is happy with his fate. And he wants others to believe so with his declaration “One must imagines Sisyphus happy.” (5). Camus is demanding the urge to imagine Sisyphus happy because he deeply believes Sisyphus has already gone through the hard time of being agonized. Sisyphus now is newborn with Camus’ view – he is happy. Camus sees Sisyphus‘s ability to accept his fate as his “victory”(3), “The lucidity that was to constitute his torture at the same time crowns his victory.”(3) The word “lucidity” has a meaning of clarity. Camus uses this meaning in order to point out that it’s Sisyphus’ clarity in consciousness that gives him the ability to readily accept his horrible fate. Sisyphus is conscious, he knows his situation, and he believes there is hope no matter what, “hope of succeeding upheld him” (3). Then, Camus transfers to the topic concerning absurdity as the result of Sisyphus’ happiness, “It happens as well that the feeling of the absurd springs from happiness.” (4). Even though he suggests the happiness of Sisyphus himself, Camus believes that the happiness is absurd. Because he first see Sisyphus’ task severe, as “unspeakable penalty” (2) and is “accomplishing nothing.” (2) Camus then is surprised with his discovery that Sisyphus is happy with his fate, thus he finds absurdity in it. For Camus, he believes absurdity and happiness relate each other as “two son of the same earth” (4). He uses the happiness Sisyphus to express absurdity. Camus, through “The Myth of Sisyphus”, is able to advocate his discovery on Sisyphus, and express absurdity not only on the passage, but also on life situations when people contradict the reality to give in.

Alexander A.6 said...

In the “Myth of Sisyphus”, Albert Camus expresses the idea that life is meaningless and fate is unavoidable through his through his choice of words, use imagery, personification. He shows this through Sisyphus’s ongoing struggle of rolling a rock up a hill continuously.

I think Meaghan S. has a strong thesis statement. She portrays Camus “diction” and “allusion” which was part of the overall observation we were supposed to make in class. She clearly shows what her idea is for the paper and how she is going to setup her paper. Meaghan does an excellent job on starting to analysis Camus purpose and how he is portraying it.

In the Class discussion the class started to realize the over all theme that life is meaningless and fate is unavoidable. Camus shows this in two different parts the essay. He first shows that Sisyphus is continuously rolling a rock up a hill and he is “accomplishing nothing”(2). It is an ongoing meaningless form of torture because a soon a he gets to the top of the hill he must go to the bottom and start all over again. Even though he reaches his goal, it ultimately has no significance to his overall punishment. The class then realized that Camus related this to many other “workman”(3) of his time. He said that their “fate is no less absurd” (3) meaning that even though their job is not punishment it posses the same meaningless of Sisyphus’s punishment. Camus big idea is that life is meaningless and that your fate is unavoidable. This is important because people must not try to make something out of nothing and nevertheless they should not try and change fate.

Kathy L. 6 said...

I thought Simon have a good thesis. In his thesis he seem to explain what’s faith really is. I agree to what he has to say, “How faith means that one will be happy when a goal is accomplished.” I think that is true. Who wouldn’t be happy when their goal is accomplished? It releases their stress and proves to other and themselves that they can do it. I think Simon will do a good job on his essay and it would be interesting.

Brian A. 6 said...

During the class discussion Michelle further explained Camus’ existentialist throughout this essay. While doing so also she hinted at author’s purpose. Once Michelle finished and the awkward silence ended Laurie said that there is a deeper meaning through a modernistic point of view. You just have to find it. She then provided clear evidence of the way Camus portrays his views in his writing. During our discussion I believe Benwit said that Sisyphus’ punishment was to gain no happiness or recognition for his actions and that has happened throughout history.
Humans have and always will desire recognition and want to gain meaning in this life. However, Camus says in his existentialist way that human life is absurd, and nothing will be accomplished during it. In “The Myth of Sisyphus,” Camus shows the shift in his tone and uses alludes to Greek mythology. Camus uses solid diction that explains his views and also supports Benwit’s thesis and examples that summarized me even though life considered absurd and meaningless some that which we can no escape, happiness still is obtained.
I find it interesting that on the first page the class did not pick up right a way that a “ certain levity in regard to the gods” means that Sisyphus could possibly be an existentialist. Perhaps Sisyphus was only punished because he was different like mersault in The Stranger.
In class Elina stated that Sisyphus’ punishment gives his life meaning and thus supports Camus’ views of modernism. Camus writes “at the very end of his long effort measured by sky less space and time without depth, the purpose is achieved” (2). Although Sisyphus is in the underworld, he obtains a sense of self- worth and happiness. As he pushes the boulder to the top of the hill, he is awaiting the accomplishment and recognition of doing it. But due to his punishment he goes through so much to push the rock but it is during this “hour of consciousness” (2) when the rock falls which brings Sisyphus back to himself that he gets to think about himself. In this moment of consciousness, he realizes a huge flaw in humans. All he does day after day is for nothing and that all his efforts in pushing the boulder are, and will always be, in futile; he will never win and will never receive that recognition. The god’s punish Sisyphus to meaning les labor because they feel that “ there is no more dreadful punishment that futile and hopeless labor” (1) This worthless pushing of the rock symbolizes one’s endless struggles in life and that letdowns one will come across. In “the myth of Sisyphus”, Camus explains his own modernist views that in life t nothing that is done in life will matter and life is meaningless. It is inescapable that “one always finds one’s burden again” (5). Thus meaning that Sisyphus enjoyed the moments of satisfaction throughout his eternal torment and struggles as Camus suggests, then his actions are “neither sterile nor futile” (5) he is at peace and is happy.