Monday, July 31, 2006

happiness

I believe that Zamyatin has 2 reasons behind making the One State's goal happiness for all citizens. First, happiness, in their terms, is easy to define. They believe that when one is ridded of everything bad (i.e. jealousy and the other things they mentioned), then one will be happy. In this way, happiness is not viewed as something that could possibly vary from person to person, but something that is bound to exist under certain circumstances. From this perspective, it becomes clearer why "happiness" is the keyword, instead of perhaps "fulfillment" or "excellence", since these are things that are attributed to The State, not to any individual.

The second reason is the trend that Zamyatin has of emphasizing the good or bad of a thing based on what the State and our narrator, D, think of it. Keeping this in mind, we easily see how Zamyatin is saying that what the State considers "happy" is in fact the opposite of it. That is, the steps that the One State takes to ensure happiness is bound to have the opposite effect in Zamyatin's view.

1 Comments:

Blogger Ami Herrera said...

I agree and think that Zamyatin is definitely using happiness to show that it is more complicated than the One State believes it to be. But when you phrased the One States definition of happiness as being "ridded of everything bad", and said that this makes happiness "not viewed as something that could possibly vary from person to person", I disagree. Happiness is when someone is "ridded of everything bad", but the difference is that in the One State the society tries to rid everyone of what they think is bad for the One State as a whole as opposed to ridding each individual of what they think is bad. If someone was "ridded of everything bad" in their life they would be happy, but it is different for every individual. It is said in this blog that happiness is "something that is bound to exist under certain circumstances", which I agree with. I just think that you could misinterpret what was said in the blog before that.

11:01 PM  

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