The Education of Sisyphus: Absurdity, Educative Transformation, and Suicide
Weddington H S
This article examines the idea of suicide as a metaphor for transformative education. Camus’s The Myth of Sisyphus is used as a framework for discussing the absurdity of education as well as the lucidity available through an openness to personal and professional transformation. An argument is made for a rhythmic progression of lucidity and comfort where occurrences of transformation (suicide) allow moments of freedom from the continual tension of lucidity as well as stimuli for new periods of lucidity. By way of this progression, existence remains firmly within the absurd while allowing for a “hopeful hopelessness” that perpetuates action in the face of unreasonable circumstances. Also examined is the quality that marks a suicidal (educative) transformation in contrast to a nonsuicidal (additive) transformation. The article concludes with a classroom narrative that depicts the absurd situation and the resulting suicide.