Anthony Brandt's Essay 'The Selfish Pursuit'

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Happiness is what everyone strives for in society, but everyone has a different aspect on what happiness means to them. Some correspond happiness with success and wealth, and others correspond it with love and family. These two different paths both lead to happiness, but do they make them happy is the question. Anthony Brandt explores this same idea in his essay “The Selfish Pursuit” where the author experiments with the relationship between wealth, success and happiness in our society. The essay explores how people in society are forced to be happy on certain things because of their financial order, their social status and their power through a Marxism lens. People in society are forced to think happiness means one way or the other because…show more content…
The father in the story is an example of how someone with a specific amount of power considers happiness with. The father was an assistant manager at a company for thirsty five years and after retirement he spent the next ten years hanging around in the garden. “My father was intelligent and talented; he had a beautiful singing voice, he could draw with great accuracy, but he made no effort to develop any of his talents…he had no desire to become manager” (Brandt, pg.3). As an assistant manager, there is very minimum power that one can have, he has to follow his manager everywhere, do some of his work, listen to his manager every day and obey him. The fact that he has all these other talents in him but does not show it could mean that he is afraid that he will be treated as a pet again later on. He may have given up on this idea of becoming manager because he knows how much power he has now, and that will not be enough to throw off the current manager. So he is sticking with this mindset and decided to accept his status and power and just be happy with it. These goals, these dreams, he will not go for it because he knows the power will not change, he will have someone bossing him around, so there is no difference between this job and his dream job. He is better off keeping his current job and force himself to be happy. I find myself thinking the same way sometimes when I am in music. This year the whole music department will vote for who they think this year’s musician of the year should be, and this year I have a chance. I would like to prove myself but I usually give up because I would have to go through one person and when I considered myself better than them in playing, there is always someone else better than me. So I would have to go through one person, then the next person, and so on. I will always be powerless because there are so

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