25 November 2013
The Happiness Paradox Chapter 2 Summation
This chapter, titled Feeling Free, is all about freedom and humans need to feel it. Ziyad Marar begins the chapter comparing happiness to freedom, saying how “[freedoms] current expression has a relatively recent and local” (Marar 39), which is similar to his view on happiness. Marar goes on saying how people have been striving for freedom, but claims more freedom brings bad consequences. People are blinded by mass media, the consumer society, management gurus, therapists and Hollywood who all relentlessly preach about freedom and self-expression. He ends the first section by stating that people need to “celebrate freedom without denying its corrosive qualities; even to admire those very qualities” (Marar 43). Since freedom is a something humans naturally strive for, and the main driving force in modern civilization, it has a strong impact on most things that humans do (Marar).
The next two sections talk about how humans find freedom in the wild and in self-creation. Society is a form of conformity, which “loses you time and blurs the impression of your character” (Marar 46) and it is human nature to not be held down by conformity. This creates a need to be in the wild, away from everything society has to offer, an escape. Marar connects this to the idea of becoming lost in one’s imagination, or the lack of it. As children we are consumed by our world of imagination, using our creativity and self-expression in its purest form, something lost in adults. Children are free to do and say as they please, they are not tied down by the conformity that adults are. This lack of freedom and expression in adults can be compared to a restriction of our humanly instincts, since it is human nature that we find the need to be free (Marar).
Marar goes on to relate freedom to sex, death, and the ‘search for strange’. “Perversion, obsessions, the apparent mutability of the most mundane...
Cited: Marar, Ziyad. The Happiness Paradox. London: Reaktion, 2003. Print.
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