The Good Life: Originally associated with Aristotle, “the good life” refers to an ideal. How do these texts represent that ideal? As living in sensual pleasures? As living for a contented mind through a simple life? As living for others? As a utopian ideal that is so far off as to be impracticable? How does the treatment of the good life change across these texts?
THESIS: The “Good Life” changes throughout these texts, but the idea of living the life that satisfies you and your needs and not what the world tries to make it seem remains constant between them all.
INTRO: This is portrayed in “Fair, Fair, Cry the Ospreys”, “Candide”, and “Persepolis” all in different ways but with the central theme of the truth of happiness and what is can mean in different contexts.
SET 1: In “Fair, Fair, Cry the Ospreys” a poem about marriage and how it creates the “good life” for one prince once he marries the love of his life. In the first stanza, it reads “Lovely is this noble lady, Fit bride for our lord.” These two lines are the exposition of the plot structure in the poem, they set up for the rest of the poem so the readers know what the “good life” is during this time period. The people of this poem value the good life as a young prince getting married to a young noble lady. This is very true of the era in which this poem was written because they still had true monarchies. The next stanza at the end says, “Day and night he sought her.” This line shows us the pressure the people that lived during this era endured to obey social norms. It also shows us how much of a burden this was on men in power to find a “noble” woman to marry, which we can see illustrated in the end of the next stanza, “Long thoughts, oh, long unhappy thoughts, now ...
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... “good life”. As argued by Marjane’s grandma, this not the case but instead to obtain the “good life” is to be the best you, and not trying to be someone you aren’t, because you could be showing others that you don’t believe in yourself and that a you are a follower but you should be unique in your own way. In this novel the author illustrates the “good life” as having the belief in yourself to accomplish whatever you seek to do.
CONCLUSION: Every time era, individual, society have their own ideas of what a “good life” is and what it means to obtain a “good life.” We as readers can relate these works in saying that every person perceives the world differently but anything a person wants is to be happy. Whether that means to be married, grow mentally, or staying true to yourself all of these characters thought happiness would come along with achieving these things.
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