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Albert Camus’ Idea of the Absurd Life

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Camus’ entire philosophy is based on the idea of the absurd life. He argued that life is essentially meaningless. He started his argument on the absurdity of life with the statement “There is only one truly serious philosophical problem, and that is suicide”. For others, a life without meaning is a life not worth living, and this statement by Camus will make us think how could a person make his or her life meaningful, and if suicide is the possible solution to end this suffering. But according to Camus, it is impossible for a person to find an answer to this question that will fully satisfy oneself. But what leads us into thinking that our life is absurd?

For Camus, living is naturally never easy. We live our lives based on the actions commanded to us, actions that we must do, and it is by thinking of ending your life is where you have finally realized that to live like puppets controlled by the many circumstances that is happening in your life is the absence of any profound reason for living. All people have this drive to achieve lasting happiness, and it is by attaining happiness and meaning in life we can say that we have lived our lives to the fullest. However, we are all in a different quest, and as the universe seemed to be unjust and in favor of some people, not all quests will be marked successful. Others will be faced with circumstances where their attempt to find meaning in life fails. Thus, our lives will remain meaningless. However, Camus doesn’t see living a life without meaning that bad. He explained that it is for a person to understand that life is absurd and he can’t do anything about it anymore, is the first step to removing the unnecessary thoughts about life, and realizing that despite of not finding meaning, a person can still be happy. The probable solution to this problem is to fully embrace the absurd. It is only people who have fully accepted that life is meaningless, but still able to get over that fact with a smile on their faces are whom will still see that life is worth living.

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Camus introduced a literary character named Sisyphus who was condemned by the gods to an endless punishment of rolling a huge rock up until the top of a tall mountain, and see his hard work put into waste for the rock would eventually roll down, and Sisyphus yet again has to roll it up into the top of the mountain, it is indeed a ceaseless task. The gods thought that there is no more dreadful suffering that futile and hopeless labor. But despite of it being an endless suffering, we can still consider that Sisyphus was happy with his life. He was happy because he has accepted that he had no other choice rather than to do the punishment that was assigned to him by the gods. Sisyphus accepted his fate and fully embraced the fact that he has to do that punishment forever.

Camus ended his paper with the statement “We must imagine Sisyphus happy”. And indeed, he was happy, because whenever he reaches the top, he experiences brief happiness for he has achieved another task. Camus wanted us to imagine that Sisyphus was happy, so that we ourselves can fully acknowledge the absurdity of life. We can get outside, go to different places, go party with friends, have fun, and embrace the meaningless of our existence by enjoying the things that we love to do despite of it having no sense or meaning, and by doing so, we can bravely face the life of absurd still with a smile on our faces.

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Albert Camus’ Idea of the Absurd Life. (2022, September 01). Edubirdie. Retrieved September 21, 2023, from
“Albert Camus’ Idea of the Absurd Life.” Edubirdie, 01 Sept. 2022,
Albert Camus’ Idea of the Absurd Life. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 21 Sept. 2023].
Albert Camus’ Idea of the Absurd Life [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Sept 01 [cited 2023 Sept 21]. Available from:
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