Happiness_Final_Essay - Cruzado 1 lmAndrea Cruzado Ms...

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Cruzado 1 lmAndrea Cruzado Ms. Schmitz 8 October 2019 English 10H P.1 Happiness Essay What is happiness? This question has been asked since the beginning, and some might argue that it still has not been adequately answered, despite the considerable development of the human race as time has passed. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines happiness as a “state of well-being and contentment”; “a pleasurable life experience”; and “obsolete good fortune”, with synonyms like joy, felicity, and prosperity. Society expects that its members seek perpetual happiness. In fact, one of the unalienable Rights emphasized in the Declaration of Independence, one of our nation’s founding documents, is the right to the pursuit of happiness. The article In Pursuit of Unhappiness by Darrin McMahon, Henrik Ibsen’s play A Doll’s House and Zora Neale Hurston’s novel Their Eyes Were Watching God each presented solid views on happiness, with various similarities and differences. Out of all three pieces, the view of happiness presented by Their Eyes Were Watching God is the most useful to achieve true happiness. In the article In Pursuit of Unhappiness , the professor Darrin McMahon deprecates the modern individual’s obsession with the pursuit of their own selfish happiness. Citing philosopher Thomas Carlyle’s notion of happiness, the author states that people nowadays are wasting their time chasing personal happiness. McMahon also points out the problem with happiness being a societal obligation, writing, “As Carlyle put it, ‘The prophets preach to us, “Thou shalt be happy; thou shalt love pleasant things.” But as he well knew, the very commandment tended to undermine its fulfillment, even to make us sad.” Instead, the author proposes a solution to this
Cruzado 2 problem in the form of a quote from another philosopher, John Stuart Mill’s autobiography. “‘Ask yourself whether you are happy, and you cease to be so... Those only are happy who have their minds fixed on some object other than their own happiness...followed not as a means, but as itself an ideal end. Aiming thus at something else, they find happiness by the way.’” The view of happiness McMahon introduces in his article is this: when people directly pursue their own selfish happiness, they become unhappy. Instead, he advises focusing on something else, like a relationship, career or hobby as a life purpose itself rather than making personal happiness a direct goal. Meanwhile, the play A Doll’s House by Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen offers a different take on happiness. In short, the play is about a young woman named Nora Helmer who realizes that her whole life she has been treated like a doll (hence the name), never to be taken seriously as a person with actual opinions and values by the male authorities in her life, mainly her husband. After a shocking betrayal by her husband Torvald, Nora becomes aware that her entire marriage has been a sham, that she and Torvald don’t truly love each other as a husband and wife should; that even though they thought they were truly happy, they weren’t. Both were in

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