The Struggle of Sisyphus: Absurdity and Ethics in the Work of Albert Camus

This is my college thesis, a 31,000-word examination of the work of the french existentialist writer Albert Camus,
written with some guidance from Dr. Richard Kamber, a professor of philosophy at The College of New Jersey.  
The personal journey of Camus, from his fascination with Christianity at a young age to an acceptance of nihilism
during adulthood and finally his attempt to establish a foundation for moral values without appealing to divine
authority, is virtually a microcosm of the struggle of all mankind within the last hundred years.  Over this past
century, many intellectuals have been striving in vain to rid ourselves of the old religious ways of thinking and yet
maintain a foundation for the values that we consider essential to human society.  This essay traces the concepts of
christianity, absurdity, and the search for values within the work of Camus from the beginning of his career to its
end.  These ideas are not only fascinating but timelessly relevant, as well as profoundly illuminating into the
struggle within all of us, we who are thrust into this absurd existence and forced to choose how we ought to live
during our time here.


• Part One – Absurdist Camus
The Myth of Sisyphus
o Caligula
o Absurdist Phase Overview
• Part Two – Moralist Camus
Letters to a German Friend
o The Rebel
o The Plague
o Moralist Phase Overview
• Part Three – Changing Moral View
The Stranger and The Fall
o Ethical Questions
o Reasons for Change