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.

30 Responses to Fahrenheit 451: Are You Happy?

  1. James M says:

    Happiness is a sense of well being over yourself or something else. What makes me happy in life is when things are going right and there is nothing to complain about. When something goes wrong like I lose a sport game or I get a bad grade that impedes on my happiness, Yes I like to maintain a happy well being because my mind is a lot clearer when I am happy.

    • Zachary S. says:

      I agree with this comment especially because sometimes I am not happy for the same reasons sometimes (Sports and bad school grades). Although these moments of sadness are sometimes annoying, they are always temporary and we can move past them. One question I have is How do other people deal with the same problems?

  2. Sasha Bastedo says:

    I would say I am relatively happy most of the time. I define happiness by a satisfaction with life. Things that make me happy are hanging out with friends and playing soccer. The obstruction of my happiness is caused by fights or getting a bad grade. I am always looking to be happy and will find anyway to avoid an unhappy state of mind.

    • Olivia D says:

      I agree, the same things often upset me. I always think it through until I am content with what happened and once I learn from it such as a bad grade or problems with family and friends as you have said. I strive for happiness in any situation which I think is very important.

    • Clark P says:

      I agree. Happiness is a satisfaction with life and how you feel about your life. Things that make me happy are playing lacrosse and being around my friends and family. The obstruction of my happiness is caused when I get in a fight with my parents or my friends. I always wish and hope to be happy but some things can get in the way of that.

  3. Patrick P says:

    I think that I am happy most of the time. My definition of happiness is when the way you feel while doing things you love or if you are having a good day. Some things that make me happy are playing sports, hanging out with friends, and getting good grades. One thing that impede on my happiness are if I don’t perform well in sports or school. I try to stay happy whenever I can, because life is more fun if you’re having fun living it.

    • Zahra S says:

      I especially agree with your last sentence. I think that should be a motto for everyone in life. If we live our lives like there is no tomorrow and we take risks, we can wind up living adventurous, interesting, and enjoyable lives. There is no point in living a life with caution and fear.

  4. Zachary S. says:

    I would respond that I am happy most of the time, there are many times in life in which you may not always be happy, and that is ok. I would define happiness as having a state of mind in which you feel pleased with your current surroundings and situations. Sometimes unfortunate events happen like poor performance in school or in sports could make me unhappy. In a state of happiness, I strive to conquer my goals and work towards success in the future. I am at my happiest when things are going well in the present and I am working hard to make sure things stay that way.

  5. Zahra S says:

    If asked the question, “Are you happy?”, I do not think I would be able to answer right on the spot. I think for the majority of the time I am happy. I am very thankful and grateful for where I live and for all the opportunities I am given. I think this is something that should make all of us feel good and happy. On the other hand, some things just get in the way that make me feel unhappy with myself or others. I would define happiness as a feeling that you get when you are excited and full of life. In a way, when we are happy, we are carefree and untroubled. In my life, I am happy when I work hard towards something that I eventually achieve. Also, I am happy when I am able to show my true self without worrying about what people think. I am somewhat of a pessimistic person, but I am trying to see that the good in certain things. To truly be happy, one has to work hard to get rid of any negative thoughts and live a carefree life.

    • Stephen B says:

      I agree with your definition of happiness as being full of life can also bring out the best in others as well your own. Also I agree that optimism is a good thing to have in life but at the same time pessimism lets us see our flaws and what we can do to solve them.

    • Ms. McMane says:

      Zahra, I love, “Also, I am happy when I am able to show my true self without worrying about what people think.”

  6. Maya N says:

    If someone asked me if I was happy, I would say I am happy most of the time. Happiness is the enjoyment you feel when you are around loved ones and close friends. Being with my family and close friends makes me feel happy because I love to spend time just creating memories with them. Messing up on a test or upsetting someone obstructs my happiness. Yes, I try to strive for a positive outlook on life.

    • Amy K. says:

      I completely agree with your definition of happiness however I think you could have added a activity you enjoy taking part in, sport, or hobby because one is capable of feeling happiness when doing something they love.

  7. Olivia D says:

    I would respond to a question like that by saying that I’m happy almost all of the time. Some things that impede my happiness are school grades, missing far away relatives and dwelling on the past, all upset me at times. However, being with friends and family always makes me happy. Happiness is being delighted with life. It is a feeling you get when you feel best about how your life is going. I always strive to be happy when things tend to upset me I look on the bright side of it.

    • Alivia M says:

      I agree, these things upset me as well. I live far away from the cousins I’m closest with but that just makes it more exciting the next time I see them. It also makes me more independent in a way. I also agree that looking on the bright side of things is a good way to help you get over some situations.

  8. Alivia M says:

    If someone asked me if I was happy my answer would depend on the day they asked me. I’m not happy every single day and although unconditional amounts of happiness does sound great I think having those bad days are beneficial. In the text Montag tells Mildred that “we need to be bothered once in a while.” I stand by this quote because sadness is an emotion that everyone will go through at some point in their lives. If we lived in a perfect world where everyone was perfect and sadness didn’t exist nobody would learn from their mistakes or be able to truly identify themselves. I define happiness as satisfaction with you and your life. Many things make me happy in life like success and just living out my life the way I want to live it. I find myself not happy when things aren’t going too great or when I’m stressed out for reasons such as grades. I am constantly striving for happiness because it’s a lot better than being sad. Although I know I can’t always have it and there will always be those bad days now and then, it makes me look forward to the good ones.

    • Peter Mangini says:

      I agree because although one is not happy everyday, actions and things we do can make us happy. It is a good thing that humans strive for happiness as it increases overall environmental moral.

  9. Tia M. says:

    If someone asked me the question “Are you Happy?” I would probably answer with most of the time. There are days in my life were I don’t feel the best and I feel like I’m having a bad day which makes me unhappy, but I believe that you cant have happiness without sadness. I would define being happy as feeling satisfied and proud of the life you living. Things that make me happy in life are my family and horseback riding, which helps me relieve my stress. One major thing that comes in the way of my happiness is my stress, I feel like I’m always stressed about school and my grades which I think is the main thing that causes my unhappiness. I always try and strive to be happy because I think that it helps you be successful in life, being happy and successful is one of my biggest life goals.

    • Kara D says:

      I agree with Tia because she describes happiness as being satisfied with the life you are living. If one isn’t satisfied with their life, they’ll never be happy. She also states that you can’t be happy without having some sadness. I agree with this, because if someone is never sad, they will never be able to feel the intense joy that happiness brings.

  10. Stephen B says:

    If someone asked me if I am happy I would tell them that it depends on what it is. Happiness is when you feel good about something and you personally are enjoying it. My happiness derives from good things happening and I am in a place where I want to be (both physically and mentally). Obstacles are usually found on the path towards happiness. How or if you can get around the obstacles that block happiness you will find that there will be something that truly makes you happy. A state of happiness should be strived for. Most of change in the world comes from unhappiness with something. To be happy you must find what makes you unhappy and then you change it for the better as a state of true happiness brings out the best in all of us.

    • Michael C says:

      I agree with your point that your happiness often comes from being unhappy, and when you are unhappy, you strive to find what makes you happy. Without unhappiness, there would be no happiness.

  11. Michael C says:

    If I was asked if I was happy, I would say, for the most part, yes. I am happy most of the time, but there are some days where I am feeling a bit down. I would define happiness in two ways. The first is enjoying your daily life and the things you do, and the second is being overall content with your life and having a sense of purpose. Some things that make me happy in life are being with friends and family, running, and getting a good test grade back for school. One thing that obstructs my happiness is feeling overwhelmed and not having enough time to do everything. I strive to be happy most of the time because there wouldn’t really be a point to life if you were never happy. However, I do believe that there has to have some bad days where you feel sad, because if you are always happy then it wouldn’t mean as much.

  12. Peter Mangini says:

    I would like to say I am always happy, but not always. I am happy most of the time for many reasons due to being with family and friends, and engaging in everyday hobbies that entertain me. I would define happiness as something that fulfills one’s day, and a feeling that everything is going well and one is not sad nor upset. I continually strive for a state of happiness as it brings up my self-esteem and makes me feel good about myself, and ultimately makes me enjoy my days living. Carpe Diem!

  13. Kara D says:

    I would respond to this question by saying that I am happy most of the time. I define happiness as being so incredibly euphoric that all of the negative thoughts are left behind. I am happy in life when I am doing something I enjoy and the activity makes all of my stress melt away. I am especially happy when I am with my family and friends. The stress of school, work, and the desire to succeed sometimes can obstruct me from being happy. I continually strive for happiness in life because it keeps me motivated when I am feeling down or unhappy.

  14. Amy K. says:

    If I were to be asked if I was happy I would say yes but rarely. Happiness is the emotion you feel when something good happens or exciting. When one is happy they feel good. Many things make me happy. For instance, I love to swim and hang out with friends both bring me extreme happiness. Although it may seem silly I feel as if school plays apart in my happiness by constantly being in the way of it. I strive for happiness because if I didn’t life would be bland.

    • Riley R. says:

      I agree with your definition of happy. When I’m, happy, I feel good and excited. I feel at my happiest when so am surrounded by my family and friends. As much as school can be stressful, I agree that it also can play a part in my happiness because I get to see my friends and learn about new subjects and ideas.

  15. Riley R says:

    If someone asked me if I was happy I would say most of the time. Happiness is the emotion that you feel when something good happens. One is happy when they feel good about something or themselves. For me, I am happy when I am spending time with my family and friends and playing soccer. I strive for happiness because it will make every day feel good.

  16. Ms. McMane says:

    I think it’s important to think about happiness in a “big picture” kind of way. We all have lousy days, disappointments, and sad moments, but when you look at the big picture of your life, are you satisfied? If not, why not? Clarisse wanted Montag to see that he was deeply dissatisfied with his life, and he needed to make a change. If you find the same, you have to think about what you want from life and how you’re going to get it. 🙂

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