The Pursuit of Happiness Essay

In 1981, in San Francisco, the smart salesman and family man Chris Gardner invested the family savings in Ostelo National bone-density scanners, an apparatus twice more expensive than x-ray with practically the same resolution. The white elephant financially breaks the family, bringing troubles to the relationship with his wife that leaves him and moves to New York. Without money and wife, but totally committed with his son Christopher, Chris sees the chance to fight for a stockbroker internship position at Dean Witter, disputing for one career in the end of six months training period without any salary with other twenty candidates.

Meanwhile, homeless, he has all sorts of difficulties with his son. The bright and shiny happy people in the movie were the rich. The poor were downtrodden, mentally ill, hostile, and dishonest. The poor guy won’t pay you back the $14 he owes you, but the suit will fork over the $5 you gave him for cab fare. The message of the movie was MONEY = HAPPYNESS. And this is actually untrue in reality, or at least to me. The movie conflates two concepts and doesn’t distinguish them — survival and success.

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Most of the movie is focused on survival. The movie captures the truly horrific feeling of an empty wallet. The main lead succeeds wildly, but I couldn’t shake the tragedy of all those who didn’t have his skills, perseverance, or luck. The movie wanted to create a sense of loss and then have it redeemed through hard work and perseverance. The only happiness that comes from the single-eyed pursuit of wealth is one that is misspelled and misplaced.


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