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A Comparison Between "The Myth Of Sisyphus" By Albert Camus And "One Day In The Life Of Ivan Denisovich" By Alexander Solzhenitsyn

1103 words - 5 pages

"The Myth of Sisyphus" and "One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich" present the criticism of society by using a writing style called existentialism. The Myth of Sisyphus and One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich show existentialism in different ways using imagery, conflict, and mood. Existentialism is a 20th century philosophical movement, based on personal responsibility for acts, absence in the judgment of right and wrong, and individual freedom of choice. There will be numerous accounts of existentialist writing, which will have similar thoughts with the main character. These books will use imagery and symbolism to demonstrate existentialism. The Myth of Sisyphus shows how a man is ...view middle of the document...

The absurd is a revolt against tomorrow and a please with the present moment. One of the main themes we can see in both cases is "Alienation" which displays the sixth theme of existentialism. Alienation is the isolation from society and social orders. It is present in society, to those individuals who create and pursue their personal desires, also not majority rules. In this theme, they do not connect with social institutions; therefore an existentialist finds their society empty and meaningless. Despite these criticisms, The Myth of Sisyphus still repays generously the effort involved in reading it. As a historical document it displays the astonishing degree to which philosophy could flourish under a repressive occupation.On a more personal level, it is a fascinating journey into the mind of an articulate young man confronted with the realization that his knowledge of the world is extremely limited. More than that, it is a powerful assertion of human freedom, and a command to the individual to take responsibility for the course of his life. Perhaps most exceptionally, The Myth of Sisyphus is a piece of literature with its roots in practical experience, rather than a series of abstract, quasi-mathematical syllogisms. The way in which individuals make their lives meaningful is ultimately a personal, subjective choice. Ivan represents the common man; the immediate society he lives in is prison. Every day he struggles to survive physically and psychologically. The prison supplies him with the bare necessities: food, shelter, and a job.His choices are few, but the one great choice is his: to live or to die. His choice to survive impacts the greater society: man can go on despite whatever cruelties society imposes. Although Shukhov does not think or talk about religion for the bulk of the novel, his final conversation with Alyoshka, a devout Baptist, reveals that faith can be a means of survival in the oppresive camp system. Shukhov's interest in Alyoshka's discussion of God, faith, and prayer marks...

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