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The Pursuit Of Happiness In Rasselas

804 words - 4 pages

The central theme in Rasselas is the choice of life, or as I will refer to it, the pursuit of happiness. This is a theme that is as old as time itself, nobody really seems happy with the cards they are dealt in life and are always trying to better their situation. Just what does it take to be happy; wealth and luxury, imagination and solitude, or is happiness even real. Prince Rasselas is set on finding the answer to this question. This essay will look at the relationship between imagination and happiness, and the benefits and dangers that go along with the imaginative faculty.
Rasselas knows he wants to leave the Happy Valley in order to find happiness, but this dream in itself shows one ...view middle of the document...

From all of his travels he did notice one thing every man and women had in common, that people of all nations are unhappy, doing little more than enduring life rather than enjoying it “Human life is every where a state in which much is to be endured, and little enjoyed” (32). He spent 20 years away from home and upon returning to share his stories with family and friends, he finds that everyone he knew and loved was either dead or has moved on. Imlac’s pursuit of happiness had given him wisdom and a way to facilitate his imagination for the delight of others, but he did not get to share any of his achievements with his family or friends. Imlac knows that his travels cost him the approval of his father, but the time he spent away are now memories that he can recall at will. Using his imagination and recalling memories gives him a state of happiness he can create at any moment. “ I am less unhappy than the rest, because I have a mind replete with images, which I can vary and combine at pleasure… The rest, whose minds have no impression but of the present moment, are either corroded my Malignant passions, or sit stupid in the gloom of perpetual vacancy”...

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