Repetition in Camus

4 April 2015
A discussion of Camus’s view of the completion of tasks as seen in two of his works.

The concept of a task to be completed as portrayed in literature is addressed through an examination of two of Camus’s works, “The Guest” and “The Myth of Sisyphus”.
“The concept of a task to be completed in literature is one that is revered highly. Hercules, for instance, is immortalized by virtue of his labors: he is presented with challenge after challenge, and though he struggles at first, somehow he prevails despite weaknesses, betrayals and even the gods’ wrath. In Abraham Cahan’s “The Rise of David Levinsky,” the protagonist rises from poverty and discrimination to running his own successful business by the end of the novel. Camus, however, takes a different tilt on tasks. His view is that tasks and challenges endure and victory comes in how one deals with the daily repetition and lack of respite: the mettle of his characters is measured in their ability to deal successfully with tasks that persist despite all efforts to escape them.”

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