Albert Camus Literary Analysis

1385 Words 6 Pages
French-Algerian philosopher, author, and journalist, Albert Camus’ literary works are often reflective of the catastrophic effects of WWII and the Algerian War for Independence had on the state of the human condition. Camus’ background as an Algerian journalist, as well as his role in the French resistance during World War II, form the foundation of his belief in the possibility of the triumph of human value in response to the experience of the absurd. This notion of the absurdity of the human condition is the main focus of Camus’ philosophical essay, the Myth of Sisyphus (1940). Camus’ use of literary elements to exemplify his notion of absurdity through the eternal toils of Sisyphus. Although Camus’ philosophical notion of the absurd is not …show more content…
The Gods want nothing more than to see Sisyphus give up and accept defeat, and in doing so, allowing the Gods to win. Camus’ intention was for the reader to adopt the absurd hero’s defiance and translate it to their everyday struggles. If we were to concede to violence, human rights abuses, and dictators, would we not be allowing evil to win? Evil truly exists and is prevalent in the 21st century. As a civilization, our mountainous challenge, or what is commonly referred to as a “Sisyphean task,” is to combat evil and strive to achieve peace. Henceforth, Camus’ theme of the ‘absurd hero’ gains prominence, moreover, the theme transcends from the page into our daily …show more content…
Camus effectively employs vivid imagery to better support the contrast. Camus uses the analogy of the working man, who is essentially a cog in the machine, with each day taking the shape of the previous and in no way improving his existence. Having done an extensive amount of research on the Algerian war for independence (1954-1962) last semester, I pictured Camus’ analogy in the form of an Algerian Muslim (Sisyphus/working man) unjustly condemned to work in an arms & ammunition factory to support France’s (Gods whom condemned Sisyphus) the further subjugation of the Algerian resistance. This was an unfortunate reality in Algeria’s struggle against colonization. Algerian Muslims were imprisoned or condemned to manual labor for simply being Muslim and not assimilating to French culture. Camus describes how after countless trips from the base of the mountain to its peak, only to regress over and over again, creating the image of Sisyphus in a way, becoming one with the stone “a face that toils so close to stones is already stone itself!” (Camus) In the case of my conceived image of the Algerian Muslim aiding the manufacturing of French weaponry; is not the factory worker manufacturing means to execute his fellow Algerians? Is he not toiling so close to death that he is, in a crude

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