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The Pursuit of Happiness

In the article “Is Everybody Happy?” written by John Ciardi, the author sorts through different possibilities of what constitutes a happy man. He neither agrees with the American outlook of buying your way to happiness, nor does he agree with the “holy man of India’s” ideal of spiritual extreme as a means for happiness. The author believes that becoming a better person or overcoming challenges is the root to partial happiness. In the third paragraph the author discussed causes for unhappiness. “Forces of American commercialism are hugely dedicated to making us deliberately unhappy.” He explains that the advertising industry, a major force in American society, forces man to want more and need more. It brings the person to the realization that he has only a small percentage of what is really available. It forces man to spend outrageously above his budget at an enormous pace. The author also writes about the fiction in advertisement as he quotes Bernard DeVoto: “Advertising begins as poetry in the front pages and ends as pharmacopoeia and therapy in the back pages.” He further describes how magazines attempt to persuade their readers of the possibility and dream of perfect beauty by the pictures and articles displayed in the front while the advertisements in the back display the drugs and therapy need to obtain such beauty. 2 The author then explores opposite extreme as a means to obtaining happiness. He writes about the holy man of India who “sits immobile, rapt in contemplation.” He disconnects himself from the physical world. He eats only if food is brought to him. The holy man finds joy in self-discipline. The author disagrees with this form as well. He terms it “an illusion” and even stronger, that such a life is a life of torture to any Western man. The author goes on explaining that it is the effort itself, the difficulty in the game whi...

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The Pursuit of Happiness. (1969, December 31). In DirectEssays.com. Retrieved 07:22, September 16, 2014, from http://www.megaessays.com/viewpaper/95376.html