Reading Lolita in Tehran

The Human Pursuit of Happiness College

A recurring theme throughout the novel, Civilization and Its Discontents, is the dogged mission of mankind attempting to achieve happiness, but always falling short. “Life, as we find it, is too hard for us; it brings us too many pains, disappointments and impossible tasks” (Freud 41). Many live out their lives seeking happiness through their gods, families, and by striving to maintain satisfaction throughout the different facets of their lives. They ultimately learn that the satisfaction is only temporary and that the displeasures in life always build up and diminish their state of happiness. “The contention holds that what we call our civilization is largely responsible for our misery, and that we should be much happier if we gave it up and returned to primitive conditions” (Freud 58). While this is believed by many, it is not a valid statement. Although our current civilization has its own set of unique problems created by the advances in technology and the ideas of the current inhabitants of Earth, earlier civilizations also had a specific set of problems that deterred them from their ideal state of happiness. Many extremely diverse societies over a long period of time have tried to overcome this issue of unhappiness with...

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