What is the effect of ABsurdity in a piece of writing..For example if i say i love working, walking, and dancing on light poles...what is the effect of my absurdity? WHy do writers use the...

What is the effect of ABsurdity in a piece of writing..

For example if i say i love working, walking, and dancing on light poles...
what is the effect of my absurdity? WHy do writers use the absurdity strategy?
What is the effect of incongruity?

Asked on by mcake

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Doug Stuva | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

Concerning your question about absurdity, following is an explanation of absurdity from enotes:

Absurdism is a philosophy stating that the efforts of humanity to find meaning in the universe ultimately fail (and hence are absurd), because no such meaning exists, at least in relation to the individual. "The Absurd", therefore, is commonly used in philosophical discourse to refer to the clash between the human search for meaning and the human inability to find any. In this context absurd does not mean "logically impossible," but rather "humanly impossible."[1]

Absurdism is very closely related to existentialism and nihilism and has its origins in the 19th century Danish philosopher, Søren Kierkegaard, who chose to confront the crisis humans faced with the Absurd by developing existential philosophy. Absurdism as a belief system was born of the European existentialist movement that ensued, specifically when the French Algerian philosopher and writer Albert Camus rejected certain aspects from that philosophical line of thought[2] and published his manuscript The Myth of Sisyphus. The aftermath of World War IIprovided the social environment that stimulated absurdest views and allowed for their popular development, especially in the devastated country of France.

Your thinking about absurdity just needs a little refining.  The actions you mention--working on light poles, etc.--are not in themselves absurd.  They might be fantasy, depending on how they are presented in a work of art, or they might be slapstick comedy, etc.  What makes something absurd is the motivation behind the actions--what's behind the actions-- what the actions represent or mean.

If you write that you dance on light poles because you have nothing else to do, that might be absurd.  If you dance on light poles because you find meaning in doing so, that might be absurd.  If you dance on light poles in the hope of attracting an uncaring divine being, that might be absurd. 

You see characters seemingly doing nothing in absurdest works like Waiting for Godot for these reasons.  Their actions reveal absurdity because of the motivations behind them. 

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