Compromise Of Happiness Essay

Submitted By gkumar643346
Words: 973
Pages: 4

To what extent is an individual willing to sacrifice his or her own joy ? Happiness is defined as a state of emotional well being characterized by positive and pleasant emotions ranging anywhere between joy and contentment. It is a driving force to make the world a better living place. Everyone is trying to attain happiness, whether it be by obtaining materialistic goods or developing a deeper spiritual understanding of oneself. But, most of all, happiness comes from knowing the certainty of waking up the next day, safe and sound. Everyone wants it, but no one ever is willing sacrifice their life, especially for the contentment of others. It takes a lot of will power to give up that joy, which is what the short story "2BR02B" by Kurt Vonnegut Jr. describes. In the short story, Vonnegut uses the character of Edward K Wehling to demonstrate the sacrifice of his own life to save the lives of his new born triplets. Also, showing a change in the perception of the painter's view on society, influencing him to be rational enough to give up his own life to create space for the upcoming generation. Given these points, it can be said that the author wants the reader to realize that an individual's compromise of happiness generates the development of a very altruistic mindset, as the actions are originated from a conscious state of mind, which results in rational decision making and positive outcomes.

Vonnegut uses the character of Wehling to represent the sacrifice of one's life to save the life of others.The utopian society that Wehling inhabits comes with its own dystopian characteristics where one shall volunteer to die every time a baby is born. Due to this, he has been under a lot of stress and when left with no choice is forced to take his own life. Even though, he is sarcastically expressing joy upon hearing the news of his triplets being born by saying to the doctor, "What man in my shoes wouldn't be happy?", he is extremely depressed by the fact that he will not be able to see the faces of his new born, as he will be ending his own life for there survival. He is also very shaken by the fact that someone also will have to die for the survival of at least two of his new borns. He has not been prepared for that and expresses it to the doctor by saying "I don't want my grandfather to die, either". It's the law of having someone volunteer to die for other new to be born, which establishes a large conflict between the character and the society and enables him to make decisions that will save the babies but he shall die. Even though, he will not be alive to see his new borns, his altruistic decision in offering his own life for the survival of his babies, will result in a positive outcome as they will be living "on a happy, roomy, clean, rich planet".

Vonnegut also shows a change in the painter's perspective on death which evokes his altruistic mindset to consciously volunteer his own life for the upcoming generation. From the beginning, the painter has had a very distinct point of view on the society that he lives in and illustrates it in his mural "The Happy Garden of Life". He despises every part of it , especially the disruption of the natural cycle of aging. He wants people to live and die as they normally would without having the ability to be immortal. Moreover, everyone is under a certain system and must follow every part of it which he does not seem to agree with. The law of volunteering to die, for someone new to be born is very much hated by him. This makes him…