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Falling for the Absurd

Out of the Sandbox

Falling for the Absurd

A spin on Albert Camus’s Myth of Sisyphus

By Blair Pott, a letter to the editor

In The Myth of Sisyphus by Albert Camus , Sisyphus finds himself pushing a rock up a hill in the underworld for the rest of his life. He is in a sense tied to that rock until the day he dies. It is his daily routine he must carry out and fulfill before the day is over. In society we work our whole lives trying to accomplish the “All American Dream.” Go to college, get a stable job, then get married have 2.5 kids and, purchase a house with a white picket fence. But does this make us happy. That lifestyle is not for everyone and instead of respecting different opinions society pushes it down our throats by movies, books, and the idea that happily ever after is reality. For Sisyphus happily ever after is far from reality his reality is that you have to learn how to make yourself happy not by relying on others to do it for you.

Books are educated absurdity. In the fiction written by authors such as Nickolas Sparks, Stephanie Myer, and El James they all have one thing in common they are fantasy. A fantasy world that leads a person to believe could actually happen to them. It makes them want something that does not exist. These books are the perfect escape from the darkness that is reality. They let you feel passion, acceptance, and, sadness all in one afterword’s leaving a person reeling for more. It is a high that develops an addiction from just one use. Books lead our imaginations on whirlwinds but these “myths are made for the imagination to breathe life into them.” The authors breathe the life into these stories and make the “All American Dream” seem like a fairytale.

Heroes are more than knights in shining armor. Heroes exhibit determination, bravery, and power. Movies make the damsel in distress feel protected and out of harm’s way. Films lead the audience to believe that once the knight makes his appearance and rescues the princess that all the darkness and evil will dissipate bringing cheerfulness to the storyline. But in reality heroes are the people that push through and make the best out of the situation they are in such as single moms, or the men and women that took the vow to serve our country. Heroes leave a lasting impact on a person’s life sometimes making a person see life from a different outlook then before.

The idea that happily ever after is reality. Sisyphus helps us see that every event in our lives is meant to happen in a significant order. He also implies that our lives are not sugar plums and candy drops. We need to work hard for what we have even if that means ticking a few people off. Receiving a form of punishment is not the end of the world but how we handle it says everything. Sisyphus puts determination and strength behind pushing the rock to the summit and then when it rolls back down he may get ticked but he feels like he has a purpose to fulfill. Every day we go to work there is a purpose to be achieved our happiness.

Happiness can be absurd when found in fantasy but when it is found in reality there is a purpose to keep it. Because the “All American Dream” is just that a dream that can rise to overtake us if we let it but like Sisyphus’s rock it cannot dictate our heart or the way we feel. Our happiness is up to us and how we ultimately live our lives.


Header photo by Paul Burnett (flickr creative commons)

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