A Comparative Analysis of Henderson's Role as Absurd Man: The Awakened Dreamer

Watanabe, Linda
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University of Hawaii at Manoa
In The Absurd Hero in American Fiction, David Galloway portrayed Henderson as an absurd hero in Albert Camus' concept. This comparison prompted me to perceive yet another absurd role for Henderson of Henderson the Rain King, that of the Biblical absurd man. Both Camus' The Myth of Sisyphus and the Lord God's Holy Bible are the sources for this thesis comparison of Henderson's absurdity. In Webster's Seventh New Collegiate Dictionary, the definition of 'absurd' is given as "unsound or incongruous". The world is strange to Camus’ and the Biblical absurd man. They have no set function in it. The traditional values and ideals of man are useless to these men because in these values they do not find reconciliation with the world. Hence, they feel heir presence in the world is “incongruous”. Their relationship to their environment is "unsound" because there is nothing to connect the two spiritually or philosophically. These absurd men refuse to accept reconciliation on what they feel are unsound terms. In this sense they are rebels.
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