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Mo Gentry


Hybrid English 12(5)

13 November 2018

Happiness Analysis Essay

Happiness for people stems from different times in a person's life and in different ways.

Shell’s description of happiness in Springboard is described in three phases momentary, overall,

and deep happiness. Also in Fredrickson, The Value of Positive Emotions elaborates on how

happiness is a key of living a longer and content life. In Huxley’s Brave New World the dominate

government promotes and entices happiness as the righteous way of life. These three theories

illustrate how happiness is a essential, however also depicts how negative emotions play an

important factor in the journey of life.

The lifestyle these three stories entice is to live a joyful and pleasant life. While

happiness is difficult to achieve for some in the society the World State in Brave New World

prescribes a drug; SOMA to their citizens to fulfill their momentary happiness. For Lenina

happiness comes easily as she is almost a objectified character in this society as they do not have

morals to stay with one partner at a time, but have multiple partners. In this society anything that

is attainable is instantly given to the person to keep them in a happily sedated and hallucinated

state of mind. Shell elaborates on this in young child’s situation as she yearns for a puppy and

quickly receives the awakening of reality that happiness is short lived, “She was ‘crushed’ to find

out that, even with a puppy in her life, she was still unhappy” (Shell 40). This momentary

happiness reflects how a person believes this objective will fulfill their happiness, however as

Shell explains this feeling cannot be completed by one moment. While in Frederickson’s theory
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of being happy leads to a longer life, this society only feels positive emotions so where does that

leave its citizens in terms of life expectancy?. While momentary happiness comes by the use of

drugs or pleasing themselves this civilization fails to obtain overall or deep true happiness.

The feeling of genuine happiness is difficult to obtain and uphold. The character Bernard

desires to defy societal standards by fantasizes over his love at first site lover; Lenina. Huxley

illustrates the character as a undersized guy who wants to be like everyone else in society instead

of accepting his own qualities. Bernard disappointing emotions are actually a positive in

Frederickson’s view as they prepare him for difficult tribulations, “Experiencing a positive

emotion leads to states of mind and to modes of behavior that indirectly prepare an individual for

later hard times” (Frederickson 3). Bernard’s struggle to gain attention turns into a pedestal for

fame. Although momentarily the fame and having Lenina by his side are pleasant Bernard

desires more in life. In Bernard’s situation he achieves overall happiness by gaining fame, but

does not achieve deep happiness.

Too much of good feeling, is not always a good feeling. As seen in Huxley’s dystopian

world remaining happy all the time is not always the most suitable way to live. By Shell’s

definition life must contain short and robustness of periods of happiness. Frederickson mirrors

this thinking by presenting the theory negative emotions are just as if not more important then

positive emotions. The characters achieve different perspectives of happiness and still fail to

achieve deep meaningful happiness. The short sporadic burst of joy prove that even with these

moments, true soul striking happiness stems from long periods of joy, disappointment, anger,

triumph, and tranquility not just one feeling specific feeling.

Works Cited

Frederickson, Barbara L. The Value of Positive Emotions. 2003.

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Huxley, Aldous. Brave New World. HarperCollins, 1932.

Shell, G. Richard. Springboard. Portfolio/ Penguin, 2013.