Does Everything Happen for a Reason?

Camus’ argument states that there is no meaning to life, but life is worth living if one accepts that condition. I agree with the reading of the Myth of Sisyphus because Sisyphus had no option but to repeat the torturous cycle of pushing the rock up the mountain and having it roll back down. What would be the point in being unhappy or fighting it? It’s not going to change, so might as well find an acceptance in his position and allow himself to become happy with it. Also, in The Stranger, Mersault goes to prison after shooting the man. Does he have a choice whether he can stay or leave jail? No. Mersault recognizes this and finds ways to be content with his position in life, no matter the circumstance. The same goes for society as a whole.

The idea that the meaning of life is to live makes sense because the denotation of “life” is “the period between the birth and death of a living thing, especially a human being,” which literally means to live. There are things that contribute to the meaning of our lives, but they do not define the meaning of life as a whole.

I like the mantra, “Everything happens for a reason,”; not because it gives me a purpose, but because it helps me accept the faults and chaos around me. My value goes hand in hand with the idea that nothing really matters in the end, because we’re all going to die, and our future generations are going to die, and the world is going to die. I agree with Camus highly, because the meaning of life is to live, and along the way, happiness, sadness, anger, and other absurdities will contribute with that meaning. Everyone is going to live differently, and that’s their own meaning in life. It’s all subjective but also contributes to the full idea that the meaning of life is to live.

Is Life Worth Living?

In Albert Camus ‘the “Myth of Sisyphus“, he argues that life is meaningless and not worth living. Sisyphus represents humanity and his punishment represents the daily struggles of life as a human. You could conclude that Sisyphus is happy because he accepted his punishment and decided to climb up the hill with rock everyday, knowing he wouldn’t reach the top and it would fall down. At the end of the story ,Camus says, “The struggle itself toward the heights is enough to fill a man’s heart. One must imagine Sisyphus happy.”

In conclusion, Camus thinks that life is meaningless, but doesn’t respond to Sisyphus’s sheer will to push the rock up the hill everyday, knowing it would fall down. This shows that mankind may have a meaning. The struggle to climb the hill everyday was a fulfilling task that could make Sisyphus happy. This is because he had a purpose or a task that could be inferred to a meaningful life rather than a meaningless one. This relates to us because the knowledge of failure is like to death and human life. Meaning, we know that we are going to die one day, but we still try to live.

Are You Happy?

Camus’ argument states that with the human condition, happiness is connected to the discovery that our world and our fate are our own, that there is no hope, and that our life is purely what we make of it. He states that people see life as a constant struggle, without hope. Any attempt to deny or avoid the struggle leads to unfulfillment. Camus’s single requirement for society is to live with full awareness of the absurdity of one’s position.

He applies this conclusion while transforming the reader’s thoughts of the myth. While Sisyphus is pushing his rock up the mountain, there is nothing for him but toil and struggle. But in those moments where Sisyphus descends the mountain free from his burden, he is aware. He knows that he will struggle forever and he knows that this struggle will get him nowhere. Happiness and the absurd are closely linked, suggests Camus. They are both connected to the discovery that our world and our fate are our own, that there is no hope, and that our life is purely what we make of it. During the time he walks down towards the rock, Sisyphus is totally aware of his fate. Camus concludes: “One must imagine Sisyphus happy.”

I agree with some of his thoughts and ideas about the human condition. It reminds me of self-improvement. In order to actually improve one’s mindset and over well-being, they must recognize where they are in life and accept it. This will allow the said person to begin their journey of happiness because they are in control of their fate. However, the one part that I do not understand is what really is happiness. If it is just being aware of your fate, what comes next? From the perspective of Camus, is there more meaning to life than working to accept your fate and ultimately being happy?

The Empathetic Apath

Meursault is seen to be a person who has very little empathy toward the people in his life. even toward the people that he supposedly has a strong relation ship to like Marie. he has a way of talking with people that shows that he is trying to be reserved and he is trying to not have any sort of connection with the people in his life like once again Marie. even with things that are serious with Marie, he still does not show any attachment emotionally to Marie like when he says “I explained to her that it didn’t really matter and that if she wanted to, we could get married” (41). even with his won mother he is seen as somebody who does not care when she dies as he is more focused in other aspects of life like the weather where it says ”the sky changed again. above the rooftops the sky had taken on a reddish glow” (23). however when his mother does die he feels lonely in his house and says that the house feels empty and unbusy. this shows that even though he tries not to have any sort of relationship with the people in his life, he is still seen with some attachment to the point where he feels lonely when his mom is dead. he is lying to himself and it is yet to be seen why.

The Simplicity of Life

Life, often seen as a complex web that many struggle to find the meaning to, can be explained in 3 rules.

  1. Life is random.
  2. Life is irrational.
  3. Life is senseless.

You may find that these three rules are difficult to believe, but upon further scrutiny, are accurate. If you take a moment to think all the way back to your birth, it becomes quite clear. Why were you born? Why were you born to your parents and not others? Why were you born in your country instead of a different one? Nobody can control their birth. Birth is the very first thing placed upon you and, ultimately, is random, senseless, and irrational.

Think back on your childhood for a moment. Why did you meet the people that you did? Why did you form connections with the people you did and not others? Where you grow up, your connections, your family’s wealth, everything that initially made up who you were was ultimately up to a random roll of the dice.

If we allow ourselves to accept these three rules, life becomes quite simple. If you recognize that life, society, and the circumstances we find ourselves in are all absurd, then you no longer need to feel bound to them or play by their rules. You can rid yourself of the stresses of something, that ultimately, was an accumulation of random events throughout history, each depending on other random events themselves.

If life can be narrowed down to three rules, it becomes easy to see the simplicity of it all. Upon choosing to do so, we are no longer bound by or forced to accept the rules that society has laid out for us, and can truly become our own unique individuals.

Meursault & Marie 

Throughout Part 1 of, The Stranger, I was quick to realize the strange actions of Meursault. His emotionless, introverted, and bland personality is a warning sign in itself. But somehow, he is able to attract others to him even though his actions are questionable. For example, on page 41-42, Marie asks Meursault to marry him. He responds with, “it didn’t make any difference to me and that we could if she wanted to.” Later on on the next page, Marie calls him peculiar but, “that was probably the reason why she loved me”. While reading this story and this passage especially, I thought it was strange how even though he gave this response to Marie’s marriage proposal, she still loves him for who he is and how he acts.

In today’s society, people with personalities and characteristics like Meursault, are over looked by others that have extroverted and lavish lifestyles. As I kept reading Part 1, I was able to realize that no matter how you act, or how you display yourself towards others, anyone has the ability to attract others to them. Whether it’s because of something external or internal, Meursault has a spark that the people who he interacts with see in him.

The Tragic Life of Mersault

The first sentence of the entire book, Mersaults mother died, but he is too depressed to pay any attention or to care about this loss. He never had a close relationship to his mother, and didn’t even know how old she was when she died. Mersualt clearly feels guilt about his mothers death because throughout part one of the story, he feels the need to defend himself by saying “it’s not my fault” when referring to his mothers death.

One morning, when Mersault decides to go for a swim, he runs into a woman named Marie Cardona, whom he had known in the past. The two of them end up going to a movie, and Marie spends the night. The next morning, Mersault finds that Marie had left. He ends up staying in bed and smoking cigarettes until noon.

Mersault is very unsatified and unhappy with his job and claims that waking up to go to work is “the most difficult time of day” for him. The notion that getting ready to do a simple daily task is that challenging for Mersault shows that he is in a state of depression.

Later on in the story Marie asks him, “do you love me?”, which Mersault responds with “I don’t think so” and when Marie asks him to marry her, Mersault claims that he would do it if “she really wanted to get married”. He is unable to express love to Marie who clearly loves him, just as he wasn’t able to express love or compassion towards his mother. 

Throughout this part of the storyreaders will find that Mersault is incapable of feeling positive emotions which ultimately makes him depressed.

Disconnection and Overwhelming Feeling Of Grief.

In Part 1 of the novel, The Stranger, Meursault’s mother had passed and he had gone on with life, like nothing had happened. To loose someone that important in your life, without shedding a tear, was deteriorating to his mental health.The obvious disconnect from society and overwhelming feeling of grief caused Meursault to not confront his feelings. He couldn’t face the fact that his mother had been dead, so he acted as if he didn’t care, “Mama died today. Or yesterday, I don’t know”(Camus 3).

He seemed to be careless towards strong and overpowering emotions throughout the story. While maintaining a sustainable, almost happy, life. Meursault gets into a relationship with a woman named Marie. He has a hard time confronting his emotions and passion for her, if any at all. Also, when his friend, Raymond, wanted to hurt a woman, he felt no remorse. This ties to the overall theme that Mersault either has a strong emotional disconnect with society, or that he believes life is meaningless.