Essay Freud and Happiness

852 Words 4 Pages
Born in 1856 in a small European town, Sigmund Freud would grow to be one of the most important thinkers in recorded history. From a young age, he attempted to understand the human mind and explain its tendencies. In doing so, he successfully managed to make countless enemies and critics. His ideas in response to the puzzles of human existence often conflicted with those of his audience, and I am in this number. In his novel Civilization and Its Discontents, Freud presents theories on happiness, none of with which I agree. Freud describes happiness, understood by us as pleasure, as everyone's main goal in life. According to Freud, all humans "strive after happiness; they want to become happy and remain so"(25). Mankind struggles …show more content…
Day in and day out, we search for pleasure, but happiness cannot be permanently fulfilled. Instead, "Unhappiness is much less difficult to experience"(26). Freud believed that the world is imperfect and obtaining excellence is impossible. We can come close to complete contentment, but uncontrollable factors will never allow us to be completely happy. In contrast, I believe that we are not motivated by goals until we are older and true delight is possible. First of all, as young children, we cry when hungry because, instinctively, we know that we need food to survive. This reaction seen in all children has nothing to do with their enjoyment of their nourishment. We do not necessarily enjoy our mother's warmth; our bodies just cannot endure the cold. Secondly, my biggest problem concerns Freud's denial of the possibility of true delight. I believe that humans go through undulating stages of happiness and discontentment. Many times I have awoke for an early morning jog with nothing on my mind but the crisp morning air and the soft glow of the sunrise. In this setting I always felt totally free and blissful. However, hours later I have to struggle through an English paper, and I am totally miserable. I believe that we can be completely happy and that an ultimate goal is to end life while on top of a wave. Civilization was thought to be responsible for man's inability

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