Exploring Change in The Allegory of the Cave, and The Myth of Sisyphus

Exploring Change in The Allegory of the Cave, and The Myth of Sisyphus

Length: 839 words (2.4 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Excellent

Open Document

Essay Preview

More ↓
Exploring Change in The Allegory of the Cave, and The Myth of Sisyphus

 
      The Allegory of the Cave, and The Myth of Sisyphus, are both attempts at explaining some aspect of the way people think or why humans do as observed. Both stories illustrate the same idea:  without necessary and proper exposure to change, thinking is limited and ignorance is the direct product.

 

The Allegory of the Cave is a parable that demonstrates how humans are afraid of change and what they do not know.  In this work, Plato suggests a situation in which men are living in an underground cave.  The one entrance is located near the top and there, a burning fire casts shadow.  The men of the cave are chained so that they can only see the wall and cannot turn around.  When objects pass by it creates a shadow on the wall.  The shadows are the only thing they can see and therefore is the only thing they know to exist (747).  Somehow one of them gets loose and wanders outside the cave (748).  When he gets out, he is astonished at what he finds.  He comes back in to tell the others about what he saw.  The other men think he is mad and plot to kill him (749).  This illustrates how fear, inherent in the primitive nature of man, only serves to promote his ignorance. 

Today a leading cause of stress is change; a change in your job, lifestyle, or significant others can cause stress.  Many Americans are living longer and discovering, as a result, that the learning process can never really be allowed to stop.  To be successful or sometimes even just to maintain a comfortable existence, one must adapt to the rapidly changing order.  Acknowledging that there is more that needs knowing and embarking on new educational journeys requires courage and fortitude, due to man’s inherent nature of fear.  Persons of the best natures must be compelled to attain a more complete knowledge, and those of this more complete education must expose the others to the realities of “ the beautiful, the just, and the good” (752).  Often the path of explanation and clarification is unsure, but confining thought to merely the realms of the known can only prove fatal. 

Individuals who currently oppose technological advances and also oppose the furthering of research mirror the cave dwellers who, out of fear, ridicule the newly enlightened wanderer.

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"Exploring Change in The Allegory of the Cave, and The Myth of Sisyphus." 123HelpMe.com. 20 Nov 2019
    <https://www.123helpme.com/view.asp?id=8658>.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay on The Myth Of Sisyphus

- Camus has argued that the absurd hero sees life as a constant struggle, without hope. Any attempt to deny or avoid the struggle and the hopelessness that define our lives is an attempt to escape from this absurd contradiction. Camus's single requirement for the absurd man is that he live with full awareness of the absurdity of his position. 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....   [tags: Sisyphus Albert Camus Review]

Free Essays
836 words (2.4 pages)

Albert Camus' The Myth of Sisyphus Essays

- Albert Camus' The Myth of Sisyphus Albert Camus' essay, 'The Myth Of Sisyphus' is an insightful analysis of the classic work, 'The Myth Of Sisyphus'. In some regards Camus' view of Sisyphus can seem quite accurate and in tune with the original text, but based on Camus' interpretation of the justness of Sisyphus' punishment, it is clear that the writer has some different ideas as well. Camus concludes that this punishment does not have the effect the Gods had intended, and ultimately the tragic hero must be seen as being 'happy'....   [tags: Papers Albert Camus Sisyphus]

Research Papers
810 words (2.3 pages)

Satan in Paradise Lost and The Myth of Sisyphus Essay example

- Satan's predicament after he falls in Paradise Lost is utterly hopeless, yet he chooses to persevere. He reasons that he should continue to struggle, even though he is aware that it is entirely in vain. The process he follows to arrive at this choice is similar to the process Albert Camus will use to justify the unrelenting toil of his 'absurd man.' Before this becomes apparent, portions of Satan as a character must be eliminated from consideration, because they present an intractable set of problems....   [tags: Paradise Lost, The Myth of Sisyphus]

Research Papers
2206 words (6.3 pages)

Essay on The Myth Of Sisyphus And Into The Wild

- It’s second nature for us to think for an explanation for everything. Ever since the beginning of time we are looking for the answer for why things are here and their purpose. One of the universal questions is what it means to be human. We want a clear answer to things but the truth is there isn’t one. Being human is all about finding your own meaning to things without anything superficial. The Myth of Sisyphus and Into the Wild are a good example of having two different situations work for their advantage....   [tags: Human, Meaning of life, Thought, Need]

Research Papers
1028 words (2.9 pages)

The French Philosopher : The Myth Of Sisyphus Essay

- The French philosopher ponders the Sisyphus’ fate in his renowned work The Myth of Sisyphus. This story of a god whom, in death, was required to complete the utterly meaningless task of pushing a large boulder to the top of a mountain over and over again, only to have it roll back to the bottom before the completion of his task. What could cause him to deserve such a fate. For the purposes of our metaphor suffice it to say that Sisyphus dared challenge the powers of Zeus, the king of the Gods. Much like the Burmese people who have long challenged those they’ve viewed as the oppressors, they’ve been forced to push the boulder of Democracy to the top of the mountain, time and time again....   [tags: Aung San Suu Kyi, Burma, British Raj]

Research Papers
832 words (2.4 pages)

Absurdity: The Myth of Sisyphus Essay

- As humans we are creatures of habit. We settle in to our daily routines: waking up, going to work, studying, etc. At times, we have moments of lucidity which break these routines temporarily, these junctures of time provoke you into contemplating your own existance. If there is no meaning or point to life our existence is absurd. Our aspirations for ourself will cease, and so will those of the next generations, so on and so forth until everything ceases. Our existence is a reflection of Sysiphus', always pushing the boulder up the mountain but never truly completing the task, it is how we function with the knowledge of our absurdity and making life worthwhile....   [tags: Daily Habits, Worthwhile Life]

Research Papers
1351 words (3.9 pages)

The Myth of Sisyphus, by Albert Camus Essay

- In Nichomeachean Ethics, Aristotle attempts to define happiness, which brings forth many other questions that lead to the ultimate question: What is the meaning of life. While all of Aristotle’s ideas are both interesting and important, I’ll only mention those that are relevant to the character analysis. Similar to flow; optimal experience, Aristotle draws a fine line between activities or goals that are either means, ends, or both means and ends while claiming that the ultimate end is that which is the means is an end in itself....   [tags: Nichomeachean Ethics]

Research Papers
1805 words (5.2 pages)

The Myth of Sisyphus Essay

- Albert Camus' The Myth of Sisyphus is not simply a re-telling of the myth itself, but also an interpretation of the way in which the myth can be related to the life of humanity in general, and in particular to one's understanding and acceptance of the futility of life, which he does not consider to be negative per se. He looks at the nature of Sisyphus' character, the way in which he challenged and defied the gods, and the punishment he received as a result....   [tags: World Literature]

Research Papers
1317 words (3.8 pages)

Essay on The Myth of Sisyphus

- The Myth Of Sisyphus      The myth of Sisyphus was a paper written by Albert Camus to show that life has no ultimate meaning. This goals of men and woman are false and in the end humans really accomplish nothing. Camus represented his idea of existentialism through the use of Sisyphus. This allows us to see a comparison of a mythical tale and the real world.      Albert Camus feeling towards existence was that humans were not supposed to be living in the world. Camus believed that there was a sense of absurdity for human existence....   [tags: Camus Existentialism Philosophy Essays]

Research Papers
691 words (2 pages)

The Myth of Sisyphus Essay

- The Myth of Sisyphus Sisyphus is the absurd hero. This man, sentenced to ceaselessly rolling a rock to the top of a mountain and then watching it roll back down, is the epitome of the absurd hero according to Camus. In retelling the Myth of Sisyphus, Camus is able to create an extremely powerful image which sums up the intellectual discussion which comes before it in the book. We are told that Sisyphus is the absurd hero "as much through his passions as through his torture....   [tags: Papers]

Research Papers
1225 words (3.5 pages)

Related Searches

     

Albert Camus, famed author of The Myth of Sisyphus, relates yet another parable. The man in the story, Sisyphus, has been condemned by the gods to roll a rock to the top of a mountain every day of his life.  Every day he would roll it up the mountain and then the rock would roll back down to the bottom.  “As much through his passions as through his torture,” Sisyphus embodies the characterization of an absurd hero (89).  He is called this because he knows what will happen after the rock is rolled to the top, yet he remains content in doing so.  “Sisyphus, proletarian of the gods, powerless and rebellious, knows the whole extent of his wretched condition:  it is what he thinks of during his descent.  The lucidity that was to constitute his torture at the same time crowns his victory” (90).

  What the gods intended as punishment, Sisyphus does not see as such.  Camus writes, “The struggle itself toward the heights is enough to fill a man’s heart.  One must imagine Sisyphus happy.”  This story, like Plato’s allegory, both illustrates humanity’s inherent fear of change and continues to mirror the current social system- especially in Camus’ address to the bourgeois.  “The workman of today works every day in his life at the same tasks, and his fate is no less absurd” (90).  This statement is true in that men are content to rise each morning and proceed along performing the same or similar duties each day.  Each day complete, the next day will follow and man will continue along in the same vein. 

The Allegory of the Cave, and The Myth of Sisyphus, are both attempts at explaining some aspect of the way people think or why humans do as observed.  Perhaps, The Myth of Sisyphus is the more realistic of the two.  Yes man exhibits an inherent sense of fear for the unknown, but in the humdrum of today’s society, often it requires so much of one to simply fulfill primary obligations that little time is left to anticipate change.   Everyday, however, every man strives to finish whatever is necessary to be done, knowing the next day circumstance will order that the same be done again.  Whatever the case, both stories illustrate the same idea:  without necessary and proper exposure to change, thinking is limited and ignorance is the direct product.

 

Works Cited

Camus, Albert. “The Myth of Sisyphus.” The Myth of Sisyphus and Other Essays. New   York:  Random House Inc., 1955. 88-91.

Plato. “Republic VII.” Collected Dialogues of Plato. Ed. Edith Hamilton and Huntington Cairns. Princeton:  Princeton University Publishers 1982. 747-772.   
Return to 123HelpMe.com