Happiness By Carlson Summary

Topics: Family, Mother, Father Pages: 5 (1147 words) Published: March 6, 2017


Ron Carlson’s “Happiness,” is about a trip with a father, his two sons Nick and Colin, and brother Regan, visiting the family’s cabin in Utah to fish for the last time as the Father says goodbye and makes sure his sons are prepared for him to pass. Carlson suggests the central idea is that family needs to remember the happy times to prepare for the hard ones and uphold the traditions. Carlson uses setting to focus on the happy memories the family shared and the importance of tradition. Carlson uses language such as similes to imprint the landscape into the reader’s mind, symbolism to show how deeply rooted the traditions of the family lay and diction to bring the tradition alive. Carlson creates a calm and humorous tone....

A setting that holds so many joyous memories for the father and his sons, “I remember seeing his mother there at the big steel sink bathing both boys at once, a naked little boy on each side” (Carlson 301). Memories that the family can never forget, but will always be waiting to be rediscovered. The setting is particularly important towards the father preparing his sons for his death and upholding the traditions. The cabin itself had been in the family for at least three generations now, but that isn’t the main tradition to uphold, the appreciation of a hard day’s work is what the father wants to pass down. “It was a weird thing, the passing of the saw” (Carlson 301), much like the passing of a family heirloom to the next generation. The father needs to leave this world knowing that his sons can take care of the land. The father knew a good respect for a hard day’s work instills appreciation and a feeling of accomplishment in a man. Carlson cements the importance of setting with one line said from the father, “You guys will know. That’s enough ”(Carlson,”Happiness” 314). The place where they will finally rest their father’s ashes, and will forever know that the land will always be sacred to...
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