Nov. 14, 2013
The Fluid, Ambiguous Nature of Happiness
Happiness is green and adorned with the faces of our nation’s fathers. Happiness is a good cigar and a strong margarita. Happiness is finishing your paper early so you can enjoy the rest of your weekend. Happiness is the sensation brought by victory or triumph. Happiness is having the picture-perfect family often seen on the screen of televisions. Happiness is large pizzas, a couple beers, and enjoying the Sunday Night prime time matchup with a group of fellow fans. Happiness can be represented by virtually anything, yet people give vague answers when asked “What makes you happy?” or “Are you happy?” We oft receive answers that leave us more unfulfilled than if we simply did not ask at all. Is everyone ashamed of what makes them happy or do they just simply not know? Perhaps the best and only explanation for this befuddling situation is: “Happiness is cannot be defined.” We know what has made us happy before, but at any given time, what makes us happy is a mystery hiding in the depths of our hearts. As it is written in the constitution, every American is entitled to the basic right: the pursuit of happiness. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck represents this concept perfectly, as Lennie and George are driven by their vision of eventually owning their own plot of land and a bunny patch on that land. However, Crooks, the black farmhand, delivers the reality of the situation: “Just like heaven. Ever’body wants a little piece of lan’. I read plenty of books out here. Nobody never gets to heaven, and nobody gets no land. It’s just in their head. They’re all the time talkin’ about it, but it’s jus’ in their head.” (43) This emphasizes how it is only “the pursuit,” and not the goal, that we are entitled to. This journey to find joy often also ends tragically, sometimes more so than not even reaching the arbitrary line in the ground where we draw our happiness. Jay Gatsby...
Cited: Fitzgerald, F. Scott, and Matthew J. Bruccoli. The Great Gatsby. New York, NY: Scribner, 1996. Print.
Gladwell, Malcolm. "Choice, Happiness, and Spaghetti Sauce." TED Talks. Long Beach. 15 Feb. 2004. Lecture.
Steinbeck, John. Of Mice and Men. New York: Penguin, 1993. Print.
Please join StudyMode to read the full document