The Descent

In Albert Camus’ short essay “Myth of Sisyphus”, he compares Sisyphus’ punishment to the life of an average worker. It is a repetitive and grueling job that one is required to perform. Camus claims however, that the difference between the two is Sisyphus’ realization of his own fate. After pushing a large rock up a hill hundreds of times just for it to fall back down again, Sisyphus experiences the joy in knowing his own torment. However “tragic”, as Camus says, this myth may seem, Sisyphus understands why he is punished and that although it will never end, he is still superior to his torment. Comparing this to an average worker today may seem irrational, however I find the similarities between the two to be interesting. It is true that typically, the average worker of today is performing very repetitive tasks, not as exaggerated as Sisyphus’, but the same concept nonetheless. What is even more interesting, is the difference between them. On his descent, Sisyphus’ realization completely shifts his mindset and view toward his grueling task. Workers today, don’t typically have such a realization and think more “realistically” based off of society’s standards. Due to his grasp of “reality”, Sisyphus decides that his fate belongs to him and despite his punishment, he is no longer tethered to the pain it brings him.

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