Happiness is determined by who we are as a person and our perspective on life. In this essay, I am going to argue my point of view with reference to the famous novel ‘Fahrenheit 451’ by Ray Bradbury and the author's main ideas expressed in it.
“I don't know what it is. I'm so damned unhappy. I'm so mad and I don't know why” (Bradbury, 61). When Bradbury says ‘I don't know what it is’, he seems to be saying no one truly knows the meaning of happiness because there is no set-in-stone definition of true happiness it is supposed to mean because not everyone is the same when it comes to happiness. Montag starts to think happiness is the key to life: “He's right. Happiness is important. Fun is everything” (Bradbury, 62). Through this quote, Bradbury is trying to say that having fun takes the place of happiness and that just going and not stopping is good, but happiness is the key to living a somewhat stress-free life, and don't always stress about the little things in life. To have true happiness, we need to be the best person, we could ever be.
In the next quote, captain Beatty is trying to explain to Montag why we should not worry about other stressful views and thoughts. What does happiness mean to them? “The important thing for you to remember, Montag, is we are the Happiness Boys, the Dixie Duo, you and I and the others. We stand against the small tide of those who want to make everyone unhappy with conflicting theory and thought. We have our fingers in the dike. Hold steady. Don't let the torrent of melancholy and dreary philosophy drown our world. We depend on you. I don't think you realize how important you are, we are, to our happy world as it stands now”. (Bradbury, 59) Bradbury is talking about how Montag is the only person keeping them out of the ‘dreary philosophy' that is their world at that time and keeping the 'small tide' of people who want to make everything and everyone unhappy, and Montag is trying to stop it. How even if other people are having a hard time and are upset that it does not need to affect them.
In all, there is no real meaning of happiness, no logical definition that anyone knows. Everyone has their own definition of happiness in their life. Happiness is a problematic and elusive concept, is just used as a mask, and not thought of as a feeling, but as a material item and a form of security, and how it is just an illusion they have created for themselves.