Fahrenheit 451: Are You Happy?

Clarisse asks Montag, “Are you happy?” (Bradbury 10). He immediately thinks “Of course I’m happy.” After contemplating this question further, he realizes that his answer may not be so simple.

How would you respond if someone asked you, “Are you happy?” How do you define happiness? What makes you happy in life? What impedes (or obstructs) your happiness? Is a state of happiness something you continually strive for?

Answer the poll below, and then post your response using your first name and last initial. Then read the responses posted by your peers. Reply to at least one other student, complimenting strong points, asking questions and building on ideas shared.

25 Responses to Fahrenheit 451: Are You Happy?

  1. Basmala says:

    Yes, I am happy most of the time. What really makes me happy are my friends and family.

  2. Penny A says:

    If someone were to ask me if I was happy, I would probably respond with I don’t know. I define happiness by saying if you are satisfied with life or willing to be motivated all the time. My family and friends make me happy and dancing. The thing that obstructs my happiness the most is not being able to feel myself all the time and being worried about what other people think of me. I usually strive for a state of happiness but sometimes I don’t always feel that way.

    • Ariana K says:

      I agree, happiness can be a very hard thing to define because so many people think of it differently. That is so cool that you dance, it seems like so much fun! What type of dance is your favorite?

      • Mariel C says:

        I feel the same way Penny! Happiness is one of those things that is so hard to describe but you know it when you feel it. Just like you, my family and my friends bring me happiness. I also get you on not always feeling like yourself. Even though it is hard, what makes you feel like yourself?

  3. Ariana K says:

    I think happiness comes and goes. One day I could in the best mood, then the next day could be completely the opposite. Happiness is what makes someone feel good, feel confident, and feel like themselves. In my life, I am lucky enough to say that many things bring me happiness. Some are spending time with my family, although a huge family can get crazy sometimes, playing sports, and having amazing friends. One major thing that obstructs my happiness this year, was corona. I think many people feel the same. It’s weird, everything being so different. I am trying to make the best out of the situation, but sometimes there’s just nothing one can do to feel any better. Happiness is not something that comes to my mind often. I never think, am I happy today? The feeling is there when it’s there and gone when it’s gone. Even though I don’t think about striving to be happy, It is something that affects attitude and mental health, so I do think it is important to strive for happiness.

    • Isabelle C says:

      I can relate to you about Corona obstructing your happiness. This year is not the best whatsoever, and because of Covid many things got ruined for me. I love that sports is one of the things that brings you happiness! What sports do you play?

    • Penny A says:

      I definitely can relate to feeling a certain way on different days. I also feel that corona obstructed my happiness and how everything is so different now. Even think back to June were you able to hang out with your friends? A question that never came up to me either was If I was happy today. I just was happy or if I wasn’t I just had to keep going. I love how you brought up your family I feel that it is so important to spend time with them, What do you do when you spend time with your family?

  4. Isabelle C says:

    If I got asked the question “Are you happy?” I would simply reply back yes, I am happy. I define happiness as being so enthusiastic, grateful, and just overall very satisfied with the life that you’re living. Being with my friends and family gives me happiness. Playing my favorite sports like basketball and lacrosse brings me happiness as well. Something that obstructs my happiness is not being able to succeed my goals and being insecure about myself at times. I always strive for happiness! My goal is towards the end of the day I always want to go to bed with a feeling of satisfaction and contentment.

    • Cade C says:

      I agree Isabelle, not being able to reach your goals can be very upsetting, I learned with a bright mindset and a positive attitude, refocus to your goal and get back on track. Goals can definatitly mess with your happiness.

  5. Mariel C says:

    Am I happy? I think that to be happy is not a feeling that you can always have with you. Everybody has off days, and ups and downs, and being joyful or happy all the time in theory seems great, but just is not ideal. When I reflect onto my life there are many things that make me happy, my family, my friends, my dog, and being at the beach. Some things that stand in my way of being happy is just living in the time that we do. With Covid-19 it has been hard to be happy seeing all the negatives in the world. On top of that quarantine has put a hold on seeing, and doing all the things that make me truly happy. It is always important to strive for happiness but it can’t always be achieved. So to go back to the question,”Are you happy?” I can just say that I will always try to be but, just like everyone else it depends on the day.

    • Jack Haughey says:

      I totally relate to your point about COVID-19, Mariel. When quarantine was going on it made me realize what made me happy and how I took those things for granted during our life before lockdown. I understand now that I got to stop and appreciate little things that make me feel happy more because at any moment it could be taken away from you. When quarantine happened was there anything that made you realize what makes you happy in life?

  6. Cade C says:

    Well, happiness is a feeling. Feelings come and go, meaning that everyone can’t be happy all the time. I have been through a lot in the past 3 years dealing with family situations and sometimes I wasn’t happy. But I think that being happy changes your perspective. If someone asked me are you happy I’d say yes! I won’t be happy everyday of my life but that’s normal. Happiness is a feeling, it doesn’t last forever.

    • Ailish M says:

      That is good insight, Cade. Would you say going through so much has made you happier/stronger to deal with adversity in the future?

  7. Ailish M says:

    If someone asked if I was happy, I would automatically say yes. Its similar when people say “How are you?” and even if you are feeling different, everyone always says good. But looking back on it, I could be feeling mediocre or unhappy. Happiness is a state of joy. My friends, dog, and family all make me happy along with sports. Stress and disappointments impede happiness. I don’t strive for happiness, I strive for results. If the results are good, I will be happy. It works out well.

  8. Tessa L says:

    My happiness comes and goes, its something I can rarely control. I can surround myself with things that make me happy, but deep down I know its just momentarily a feeling. But I like to remind myself that sadness if a feeling too, that sadness doesn’t last long either, and if I distract myself sometimes it doesn’t even come. Feelings are hard to control, but surrounding and distracting yourself makes a whole world of a difference.

    • Megan C says:

      I agree with you Tessa. I think it is important to surround yourself with things that make you happy. What are some things in your life that make you happy?

    • Kate H says:

      Really good point Tessa. Most times it is our of our control. However it’s good to know what can make us happy and try to surround ourselves with that!

    • Cate D says:

      I agree with you! Feelings are uncontrollable for the most part. I think it’s good to surround yourself with things that make you happy, but a lot in life is out of your control, so I understand it doesn’t always help.

  9. Jack Haughey says:

    Jack Haughey

    If someone asked if I was happy I would respond with “Yes, most of the time”. I define happiness as feeling good and being glad that your living. Basically life being good. But sometimes that not always the case. People are brought down and things may not be going as they should be in life. And everyone has different opinions on what makes them happy. But the thing that makes me most happy is definitely my family. I feel that Im safe and cared about when I’m with my family. My most memories are made with them. Other things that make me happy are friends, music, and baseball. Things that impede my happiness is getting a bad grade on a test or when one of my family members is feeling down. Also, when I’m really stressed out. Thats one of the biggest things that makes me un-happy. I would say a state of happiness is not something that I continually strive for, but really appreciate when I’m feeling that way. Im very grateful when Im feeling happy.

  10. Megan C says:

    If someone were to ask me if I am happy, I would instantly say “yes”. Although it changes, I try to stay positive and happy as often as possible. To me, happiness is just having a feeling of satisfaction and enjoyment about your life. A large majority of the time, I am happy. I always try to surround myself with things and people that make me happy. Some of the things in my life that make me happy are, spending time with my family, playing soccer and lacrosse, and hanging out with friends. Of course there are somethings that can get in the way of happiness. One big thing that can get in the way of my happiness is stress. Sometimes I find myself stressing over little things, when I could be spending that time doing things that make me happy. Another thing that obstructed my happiness recently was the COVID-19 Outbreak. Having to quarantine obstructed some of my happiness because it held me back from doing some of the things I enjoy the most. I think while it might not always be achieved, everyone should always strive for happiness.

  11. Kate H says:

    If someone asked if I was happy my first instinct would be yes. And then I would re ask myself the question. Am I really truly happy? Lately that would be a hard question to answer with yes based on the worlds circumstances. I can’t do the things that make me happy like theater, and going to public events. I really do miss the normal fun aspects of my life pre-pandemic. But for now we have to make the most of what we have and try to surround ourselves safely with the things that make us happy.

    • Joaquin S says:

      I agree, Kate. It can be challenging to answer, “Are you happy,” especially during these difficult times. Another way people respond to the question, “Are you happy,” is when they say they’re fine when someone asks if they’re happy, but deep down they may have different emotions. They would use the word “fine” to end the conversation quickly, but in reality, they’re sad or depressed. What are some things that make you happy during the pandemic?

  12. Cate D says:

    Am I happy? Yes. Overall, at this point in my life, yes. Am I happy every second of every day? No. Of course not, Is that even possible? I doubt it. To me happiness is indescribable and subjective, but I’ll do my best. I think there is a difference between momentary happiness and being in a state of happiness. I am surrounded by people and things that make me happy, my friends, my dogs, my cat, music, bike rides, playing soccer, but that doesn’t always cut it. So I’ll say I feel happy because I feel light, I feel free, I feel like I can breath, I am content, and I don’t feel diluted. Although, stress and frustration can impede that happiness. I do continually strive for a state of happiness, but I think that being in a state of happiness means that you can recognize the beauty in other emotions. I think that being able to look at momentary sadness, or anger, and enjoy the experience, is a true state of happiness.

  13. Joaquin S says:

    If someone asked me if I was happy, most of the time I would say yes, but it depends on what I was doing at the moment when someone asks how I feel. Many people think that I’m generally not happy because I always have a serious facial expression, but really I am happy inside, and I just have an introverted personality. I would define happiness as the state of feeling good about something that just happened, or having excitement and joy over an event that happened in the past. Some things that make me happy are spending time with friends and family, playing sports, and being successful. Some things that obstruct my happiness are stress, anxiety, and regret. A state of happiness is something I do continually strive for in order to avoid being miserable, and to try and achieve happiness even in difficult times such as right now during COVID-19.

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