Sisyphus is not Happy

Camus’ argument that Sisyphus is the happiest person in the world is just a flat out lie. I would like to know how pushing a rock up a mountain for the rest of your life brings happiness. Just because Sisyphus was “the wisest and most prudent of mortals” doesn’t make him the happiest. I actually would like to argue that his realization is what makes him the most sad man in the universe. I’d like to connect Sisyphus and Camus’ theory to a show I watch called Rick and Morty. I’m going to focus on Rick who in the show is the smartest man in the galaxy and is basically a God because of this. But on the other side of his intelligence is that he is extremely depressed, because he is so smart that he realizes that he is in a TV show and knows that his life is “absurd”. This is almost directly tied to Sisyphus and maybe his wisdom has allowed him to realize that life is absurd while the rest of us live our life with the window dressing of meaning.

5 thoughts on “Sisyphus is not Happy

  1. TAMERON G

    I really like the connection you made to Rick Sanches from the show Rick and Morty. Rick is seen depressed in many episodes and I think it does apply to Sisyphus in the way they are both concious of lifes absurdity.

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  2. Camus’ argues that Sisyphus is happy because his life is pretty similar to the one he left behind. He argues that mortals do pointless tasks as a part of their everyday life so the fact that doing a pointless task on repeat for eternity most likely makes him feel as if he is still alive.

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  3. Sam S

    The connection to Rick and Morty is interesting, because perhaps Rick is Sisyphean in his happiness. While you seem to indicate that Rick is depressed, I think that Rick not only would not consider himself depressed, he would consider himself free. Rick knows the universe is meaningless and that he is alone in it, but he also knows that gives him license to topple his inhibitions — he carelessly kills, drinks, etc. In an absurd way, Rick is almost happy because he is free. He does not need to kow tow to some higher order, something which would make him feel depressed and pointless as proved by the citadel, instead he can do whatever he wants. This is embodied by Rick’s catchphrase “wubba lubba dub dub,” which means “I am in great pain, please help me” in native Birdperson. Rick yells this phrase at energetic, ecstatic, and careless moments (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mJlmxYRrSLk), often ones that are much better described as happy as opposed to depressing. Because Rick constantly recognizes the universe is filled with pointless suffering, he is free to party knowing none of it matters.

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  4. Jasmine W

    While I am inclined to agree with your argument that Sisyphus is not the most happiest person in the world, I still would like to propose the question of who determines happiness. Maybe happiness is simplicity. Maybe its knowledge. I think happiness is relative and that there is danger in assuming someone else’s happiness as an outsider. That being said, I cannot imagine someone as selfish and life-loving as Sisyphus being happy on that ill with his rock.

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  5. MIIKA F.

    You bring up a very interesting point, that Sisyphus’ realization of life’s absurdity actually brings him the most pain and sadness. But I’m compelled to agree that in one way or another we are extremely similar in nature to Sisyphus’ condition. I mean just think about school amidst a pandemic. Zooming at least five days a week, stuck at home for a ridiculous amount of time, unable to participate in activities that give us a sense of uniqueness. So when we look at it, it seems that we are stuck in quite a few mundane rituals just as Sisyphus is.

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