Absurdism Vs Surrealism [Explained With Details]

Many of us think of surrealism and absurdism as the same thing, but there are significant differences. Surrealism and absurdism are thought to be the same because they both fly in the face of an idea or a logical expression of an idea.

But they both have different goals. But in simple language you can think that surrealism is an introverted process and absurdism is an extroverted process.

Absurdism Vs Surrealism

What is Absurdism

Absurdism is a philosophical movement which postulates that life is meaningless and devoid of any kind of objective purpose, premise, or value. It holds its own philosophy in high regard, calling it true humanism or clearer humanistic existentialism.


Surrealism is a cultural movement which started in Paris during the early 20th century. It was originally based on the belief that the most effective means of artistic expression derived from a dream-like state where people could freely express their subconscious thoughts and desires through innovative paintings, literature, poetry, theatre, etc.

Surrealism And Absurdism

Surrealism And Absurdism

Absurdism is a philosophy that argues that the world is chaotic, meaningless and disorganized. Absurdism also claims that human beings have an inherent need for money and that it is impossible for human beings to move without money. So the search for money in a meaningless world has been described as absurdism. And they also think that the only alternative for people is to have religious beliefs, commit suicide or find an independent life experience.

Surrealism, on the other hand, carries a completely different meaning. Surrealism is an artistic movement and an aesthetic philosophy that emphasizes the critique of the subconscious and the power of the imagination and works towards the liberation of the mind.

What Is The Difference Between Surrealism And Absurdism?

What Is The Difference Between Surrealism And Absurdism

The main difference between surrealism and absurdism is independent. Surrealism is not a philosophy but an artistic movement. Surrealism is expressed through obsolete images and styles. Surrealism also works with the imagination and creativity of artists.

Absurdism is a philosophy, not an artistic movement. Its main goal is to work with the indifference of the human condition. Moreover, even in the theater of absurdism always showing indifference to the human condition rather than artistic expression.

Absurdism would basically be believing that everything is ridiculous, including the desire to find meaning in anything. It is close to existentialism in attitude, but existentialism is a belief that we as humans have the right to decide meaning despite there being none. An absurdist is an existentialist with a sense of humor, I suppose. Where an existentialist attributes meaning, the absurdist laughs at them for it.

Absurdism Vs Surrealism

Absurdism Vs Surrealism

Surrealism is generally thought of as an attempt to express ideas and concepts. And it always has its subconscious. Surrealism is a medium that explores concrete concepts through an irrational lens. Salvador Dali, for example, is probably the fifth real surrealist artist. He discovered the concept of time in his famous painting Persistence of Memory.

Simply put, surrealism is a way of expressing the subconscious parts of our mind. And distorts the turns that occur in the subconscious mind into truth. Absurdism, on the other hand, is a process that involves the absurd. It works in favor of chaos on order all the time. It is the complete opposite of surrealism. Because it is Absurdism, it does not interest people’s thoughts and subconscious minds and does not feel comfortable working with them.

Rather absurdism indicates futility in enforcing order in a disciplined existence. One Absurdism argues that coming out of chaos and ordering is completely meaningless. So if there is chaos in something then it becomes completely meaningless. Also religion, politics and the higher institutions of society will become meaningless if they are created there for a long time. And if they try to place any kind of order, it will be completely meaningless.

Final Thought

There is a difference between absurdism and surrealism and that is absurdism is philosophy and on the other hand surrealism is artistic movement. I hope I have been able to answer your question successfully. You will find the right difference between absurdism and surrealism through this article. If you think that my article is helpful for you then you must stay by our side. Thank you!

 Frequently Asked Questions:

1.What Is The Meaning Of Absurdism In Literature?

Ans: Absurdism in literature presents the human condition as a meaningless and pointless experience. It was first popularized by Albert Camus, a successful French-Algerian writer of philosophy and novels which represented absurdity in an especially bleak light. The most famous of his works include “The Stranger” and “The Myth of Sisyphus”.

2.What’s The Difference Between Absurdism And Nihilism?

Ans: As absurdism claims that life is devoid of any kind of objective purpose, nihilism follows the same philosophy but adds the belief that life has no moral value either. Both go hand in hand with existentialism.

3.What Are Some Famous Works Based On Absurdist Themes?

Ans: Albert Camus’ “The Stranger” and “The Myth of Sisyphus” are the best known absurdist works, both written in 1942. They follow an individual who is not only struggling with finding meaning in their life during war time but also inadvertently committing senseless violence that goes well beyond what was required to survive.

4.Why Do Absurdists Deny The Existence Of Free Will?

Ans: Absurdists deny the existence of free will because they believe that humans are fundamentally driven by irrational impulses, instincts, and experiences.

While this could make sense to people who are only familiar with human behavior in an isolated context, it won’t work if you consider them from a social perspective.

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