Edwin Arlington Robinson wrote a poem called “Richard Cory” about a man who has everything, or so it seems (McMahan). Richard Cory is said to have a very desirable life and that everyone wants to be like him. When you look at him it is implied that you are filled with envy and interest. Everything he does is doused on the front page and he appears to be a very happy man. However, the poem ends with a sad, tragic twist where Richard Cory commits suicide. In the story everyone looks at Richard Cory as having the ultimate happiness because he has money, good looks and success. This is a common misconception that comes with having large amounts of any kind of currency.
In the poem the bystanders all assume that Richard Cory is happy because he has money. Why wouldn’t he be happy when he has all that wealth? This is a stigma that we allow to affect our perceptions on the world and its inhabitants today. Stop for a moment and think about it. When was the last time you looked at a person who is famous, or someone who stepped out of a nice car, and thought about how your life would be easier if you were them? Odds are it was fairly recently. We allow money to block us from noticing the things that really matter. Sonja Lyumbomirsky wrote an article for PsychologyToday. She discusses many myths of happiness including the one about how we need money to achieve it. Lyumbomirsky says “They do not realize that the key to buying happiness is not in how successful we are, but perhaps what we do with our success; it’s not how high our income is, but how we allocate it” (How of Happiness). It seems that we are so worried about getting rich that we lose sight of what success could truly do.
Much like the characters in the p...
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.... If we were not blinded by the stigmas that money equals happiness, perfectly displayed in Richard Cory, we would be able to reach out and help the people who are considerably unhappy.
Hosseini, Khaled. The Kite Runner. The Berkley Publishing Group, 2003. Print.
Ingram, David. "How Brand Awareness Affects Perception." n.d. smallbusiness.chron.com. Web. 10 March 2014.
Lyumbomirsky, Sonja. "How of Happiness." 9 March 2013. Psychology Today. Print. 13 March 2014.
McMahan, Elizabeth, et al. "Literature and the Writing Process." Robinson, Edwin Arlington. Richard Cory. n.d. 674. Print.
Sethi, Ramit. "What do you NOT care about spending money on?" 28 July 2009. I Will Teach You To Be Rich. Web. 10 March 2014.
Thompson, Derek. "How America Spends Money: 100 Years in the Life of the Family Budget." 5 April 2012. the atlantic. Print. 12 March 2014.
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