I think that it is only wishful thinking that can imagine Sisyphus as happy. Imagine pushing the same rock up the same hill again and again and again. Enduring a perpetual punishment and never reaching the goal of a task. The Greeks specifically formulated Sisyphus’ situation to be one of eternal torture. I am a goal-oriented person, and the thought of pushing a rock up a hill for all of eternity only to have it fall back again is tormenting. There is no hope.
I think that there is absurdity and certainly absurd situations in life but I think that there are situations in which meaning and achievement are present. When someone close to us dies unexpectedly and unfairly, we experience what Camus’ describes as the absurd. There is no rule, order or meaning to what happened, and we realize how fragile our world is. The Holocaust would also be an instance of the absurd. However, there are also moments in life where true victory and happiness are achieved. Being with my family has given me experiences that I would never take to be meaningless. Even if I, for some reason, never see them again, I will still cherish the memories and take them as moments of true happiness and victory. There is nothing absurd about my relationship with my little sister, it is entirely good and meaningful. In addition, we as a society have made great social advancements in the past century. Gender and race issues have been brought to the surface and progress has been made on discrimination.
Although Camus is right to point out instances where we encounter the absurd, I think that he neglects the fact that there are also moments in life where things are achieved and goals are completed. Sisyphus is a dejected prisoner destined to a meaningless existence.
We are never a mere Sisyphus rolling a rock up a hill for no reason; we instead are taking three steps forward, four steps back, three steps forward, and then one step back. I believe that each of us is working towards some meaning in our lives and that although there is absurdness in our lives, it is not the only thing we experience. Camus might reply by saying that the absurd will break everyone into abandoning all meaning in life. However, I believe if one expects the absurd, one can withstand the arbitrary events that set us back and hurt us.