The Elements Of Happiness In Raymond Carver's 'Happiness'

1053 Words5 Pages
Happiness can come from many factors in life and it varies for each human being. Achieving that certain happiness is what allows people to progress through life whether it be money, family, or food. Raymond Carver’s “Happiness” is a poem that demonstrates how joy can occur at any given time, all a person needs is consciousness to notice the small details in life in order to experience happiness. The theme of the poem is that happiness can occur unexpectedly at any given time, Carver establishes this theme by his use of the elements of poetry.
Raymond Carver was born on May 25, 1938; he was the son of a sawmill worker who became an American short story writer and poet. He was not interested in establishing a writing career until he took a creative
…show more content…
The narratives often involve characters that suffer from broken marriages, financial problems, and failed careers; they are often unable to understand or even articulate their own anguish. As every normal human being, he too suffered from problems such as alcoholism. Carver began drinking heavily in 1967 and was hospitalized in the 1970’s (Britannica). It was not until the late 1970’s that he conquered his drinking problem and eventually came out with a poem called “Happiness”.
The poem “Happiness” is about the speaker’s morning routine and the sight of two boys delivering newspaper. The feeling of happiness is exemplified through various figurative languages such as personification and symbolism. An example of symbolism is when the narrator states, “So early it’s still almost dark out” (Carver, line 1). With subtle detail, the speaker states “almost dark out” which implies that the sun is barely rising; this faint morning light represents the upcoming happiness that the speaker feels. Another example of Carver using symbolism to
…show more content…
The poet will use words to enable their reader to paint images in their head that help them interpret what the poet is trying to convey. An example of imagery in Carver’s poem is when the narrator states, “So early it’s still almost dark out / I’m near the window with coffee” (lines 1-2). The happiness that the narrator feels is vividly depicted when he/she drinks a cup of coffee beside the window. With all these descriptions, one can imagine how the speaker’s morning is going. Carver is conveying how happiness can be a typical scene in everyday life as he depicts an affair that everyone is familiar with. In doing so, he is displaying “happiness” through a simple task that his audience can relate to. The main point is that not many people pay attention to such an affair, instead one would simply drink their cup of coffee and move on with their morning. In order to experience happiness, a person will have to slow down and fully analyze their setting. Another example of imagery is when the narrator states, “They wear caps and sweaters / and one has a bag over his shoulder” (Carver, line 8-9). By describing how the boys look, he is also describing what happiness is. Rather than happiness being the bigger commodities in life, it can be as simple as a cap and a sweater. All that really matters is the simplistic
Open Document