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The Stranger and The Odessey: Mersault and Sisyphus

Uploaded by Admin on Nov 27, 1999

Sisyphus was given a punishment by the gods, to push a rock up a hill, only to have it fall down on him again. Mersault is a person accused of murder who has spent over a year in jail. What both these characters have come to realize is that they are forced to live in these situations created by the gods, therefore they might as well enjoy or get used to them. Mersault is forced to live in a cell, without his cigarettes, and with limited visitation rights. When this happens, Mersault recalls what his mother told him. She said, "One gets used to everything." When Mersault realizes he is not going to get out of jail, he becomes indifferent, just like he always does, and accepts his situation, searching for any positive aspects to his incarceration. He defies punishment by accepting his situation and enjoying himself in jail. Therefore, the whole point of Mersault going to jail is obliterated. When Mersault is condemned to death, he does not act surprised, although he wishes he did not have to die. After a while he also accepts that. It does not matter to him that he is dying, so long as he is dying for a purpose. Sisyphus is damned for eternity to roll a rock up a hill. If he were to view his fate decreed upon him as punishment, for the rest of forever, then he would only sicken an already terminally ill situation (speaking metaphorically of course). Sisyphus starts to find meaning in his work, starts to enjoy his work, almost to take pride in his work, like a true laborer. Mersault is like Sysiphus, in many ways. The only real notable difference is that Sisyphus has been punished by the gods, whereas Mersault does not believe in god. Mersault is indifferent to his situation, as is Sisyphus, as apparent from Camus’ description. Mersault and Sisyphus both expressed a love for life (Mersault’s heart jumped at the idea of being pardoned, Sisyphus is being 'punished' due to his desire to stay in the real world). And most importantly, Mersault and Sisyphus both defy their detractors. They overcome their rulers. Mersault does not do it to prove anything to anybody. He just does it because it would be pointless to act any other way. With Sisyphus he can hold his head higher than the gods now, his work has ceased to...

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Uploaded by:   Admin

Date:   11/27/1999

Category:   Literature

Length:   3 pages (754 words)

Views:   1351

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