Imagine for a moment it is your big sister’s 17th birthday. She is out with her friends celebrating, and your parents are at the mall with your little brother doing some last-minute birthday shopping, leaving you home alone. You then hear a knock on the front door. When you get there, nobody is there, just an anonymous note taped to the door that says Happy Birthday, along with a hundred dollar bill. You’ve been dying to get that new video game, and your sister will never know.
You are faced with a tough decision, but not a very uncommon one. In both Fences, by August Wilson, and A Raisin in the Sun, by Lorraine Hansbury, tough decisions have to be made about getting money from someone else?s misfortune. But money?s that important right?
The role of money in people?s day-to-day lives are quite amazing when it’s put into perspective. The primary reason most Americans get up in the morning is so they can go out and make money. Money buys things; money influences people; money keeps us alive; money makes us happy. Or does it? In Fences, by August Wilson, the Maxton’s get their money when Gabe’s head is shot in the war. In A Raisin in the Sun, by Lorraine Hansbury, the Younger family gets their money when Walter’s father dies.
But do these things make them happy? Of course not. They are coming upon money from someone else?s misfortune, someone they love. The money may have made life easier for a brief moment in time, but the novelty soon wears off and reality soon returns.
The interesting thing about these two novels is that the money received by both the Maxton and the Youngers did exactly the opposite of what everyone expected it to do. It eventually made problems for both of the families. In Fences, the Maxton’s used Gabe’s money to buy a house, and even though it seemed like a good idea when Gabe moved out, it caused a great deal of guilt in the family, but especially in Troy.
He just couldn’t get over how he? used? someone he loved so much, and they didn’t even know it. In A Raisin in the Sun, the Youngers also buy a house with the money the life insurance gave them.
But their problem is caused not by guilt, but by two entirely different emotions. One is the feeling of being the object of racism in their new community when the? Welcoming Committee? tries to get them not to move in.
The other one is the combination of defeat, loss, anger, and self-pity felt by the whole family when Walter loses the rest of the money and the Younger family is left with nothing but a house in a neighborhood where they aren’t wanted. And money is a good thing?
Answering that question is a simple one. Yes, money is a good thing when it is dealt with in the right way. Both the Maxton’s and the Youngers had trouble in how they handled their money and that led to many of the problems they both faced. Money is what makes the? world go round? in our modern society, but it’s not a way to measure success, love, or happiness. As Bob Dylan put it? What’s money? A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and goes to bed at night and in between does what he want s to do.?
All money really is, is a way to buy material things. Sure, it’s important, but not close to how important the people we love are. They are where real happiness comes from, not from little green pieces of paper. Happiness is not having what you want, it?s wanting what you have.
Happiness is a feeling we have for many reasons. Many objects and materials can provide happiness many humans desire. Money can and have fulfilled that happiness which one lacks for many years.
There are many ways I think money does buy happiness. Money increases the quality of life in which buys happiness. This is only true if one lives within his means, lives a modest lifestyle, and pursues happiness the right way. I think most people believe happiness is bought in a store.
People overestimate how much pleasure they’ll get when they buy luxurious things. We really don’t need all these extravagant luxuries around use. Are they necessities of life? Are they just things to show one’s vanity? Or are they just trying to keep up with the Jones sort of speak? There are different classes of people; welfare, working, middle, and upper class.
The welfare classes are not working or can’t find work; their bare minimal needs might be met.
Do you think there is any quality of life for that family? Yes, there is some food on the table and they may all live in a small apartment. What about the quality and quantity of those conditions? The working classes are working so hard sometimes 2 and 3 jobs struggling just to get buy. The whole time hoping that someday they could make enough to enjoy some of the good things life has to offer; time with family and friends, traveling, health, quality food, and shelter. So yes I believe money can buy happiness if managed the right way.
All things considered, does it make good sense for people in society to pursue monetary income or wealth? I believe it makes sense for people to pursue monetary income first; the wealth will come later. “Happiness is an ongoing project, not something that can be accomplished once and for all by earning more money, marrying the love of your life, having wonderful children (Dunn & Gilbert, 2011). But people adapt too quickly to the benefits that come with wealth and take them for granted. They must continuously pursue the happiness of making more money to buy more things.
Happiness is a psychological condition that results from the achievement of one’s values. Values are ends that a person acts to gain and or keep. They are those things that a person cares about having or doing “cares” in the robust sense that he or she is willing to act to secure them. Values can be material or spiritual. Food, clothes, eyewear, a car, a house all of these would be material values. “Spiritual” values are those that pertain to a person’s consciousness. Spiritual values encompass things like knowledge, beauty, self-esteem, mental health, or rewarding work. While spiritual values may take material form, their value depends primarily on their relation to the needs of a person’s consciousness.
Money is an opportunity for happiness in today’s society. Many people use the money to meet many of their needs. Vanity is now a major factor in the world. Buying materialistic things is an instant feeling of happiness.
Money’s power to expand a person’s options is the heart of its contribution to happiness. An individual might value spending one’s life as a writer but unable to sustain acceptable income writing. More money and the time it buys makes a pursuit a greater possibility. A person might value being engaged with their children while they are young, or peace of mind about their retirement; more money makes these possibilities easier.
One of the things these examples make plain is that money is important not only to fulfill physical desires or to acquire material goods. It is also critical for spiritual values. Money facilitates the achievement of all values, spiritual as well as material.
Money buys good and money buys time. Money buys autonomy to mold one’s life in the image of one’s ideal. Money nourishes happiness by helping a person to achieve the values that happiness is made of. Like many things, money can be put to poor uses. Yet money can also be put to wonder uses, including the greatest: experiences joy in living. That fact has got to be acknowledging if people are to embrace money unapologetically, as they must if they are to attain sufficient control over their lives to realize their ends and fulfill their dreams.
The truth is cliché that money can buy happiness is that happiness is not easy. Money does not offer short cuts around this fact. It is important to appreciate the danger of how money can’t buy happiness, however. On one level it is simply bad advice, which is counterproductive to the individual’s happiness.
Economists use the term utility to represent a measure of the satisfaction or happiness that individuals get from the consumption of goods and services. Because a higher income can allow one to consume more goods and services, we say that utility increases with income. But does greater income and consumption really translate into greater happiness?
However the consumption effect tells us that more consumption of goods and services will increase happiness. At least to a degree, we see that money can buy happiness. Based on research I found that money does not increase happiness because as income increases the person’s behavior of preferences or satisfaction changes and will result is diminishing income. Research also showed that the more money one earned in an annual salary, one will spend more on the desires in which one has.
Happiness can be easily out weighted by the loss of a family member or cancer that may not be cured or removed. Money brings people happiness in numerous ways. I believe that money can provide one with life. Some people say that without love there is no happiness. On the contrary, there is love in money. Others might involve themselves in one life only because the person has money, but they are expressing their love none the less.
For examples like when a woman falls in love with a man’s personality or anything else she may like about him. The man with a lot of money can lose all his wealth at any time, just like he can lose his personality, a career, looks, or even a hairstyle. What people fail to realize is that money can bring happiness, whether or not its material objects.
People tend not to like the phrase “money can bring happiness” not everyone can have a lot of money. Only about 3% of Americans make over $250,000 a year searching happiness through money is not the easiest route. So people tend to simply deny the phrase, by saying that being rich makes people greedy and heartless.
People are often frustrated with the rich because while they work diligently, they view the rich as those who sign a couple of papers and can continue to sit in their gold-encrusted chairs, resting with their feet in the air. Because of this, the other 97% of the world say that the rich are miserable, as a way to feel better about themselves. Truth is money does bring happiness, one way or another.
In conclusion, evidence suggests that an increase in income and consumption does not appreciably increase happiness. However, due to the relative income effect, people still engage in the rat race for making more money. But as a person’s income increases over time, a person’s expectations increase as well, therefore they aspire to have higher incomes.
To the extent that satisfaction is tied to whether those aspirations are met, satisfaction may not increase as income grows over time. It is possible that the relationship between income and satisfaction goes two ways; although higher-income generates more satisfaction, greater satisfaction offers greater motivation for individuals to work hard and generate a higher income.
Example #3 – Money Equals Happiness (The Great Gatsby)
Throughout history, many societies have had upper, middle, and lower classes. The classes formed separate communities of diverse living and never crossed social barriers. In the book, The Great Gatsby, instead of streets and communities separating each class there was a sound. On West Egg, the rich received their money not from inheritance but from what they accomplished by themselves. They worked hard for their money and received no financial support from their families. These people gained in one of two ways; either they worked for it or relied on illegal means for survival.
On the other hand or island, East Egg natives represent the class of society that receive money from their relatives. They were someone s heir and rich from birth. It was also known that no one on East Egg would marry someone poor or with new money. Fitzgerald reveals that the life of the privileged class is filled with corruption, carelessness, and materialism through his use of characterization in the novel.
Daisy, the wife of Tom Buchanan, has no goals in life; no discipline, nor any morals. She can t even think for herself because she has never had to before. She talks to Nick as if he is part of a group that is secluded from the lives of the East Eggers and in some aspect he is ” All right, said Daisy. What ll we plan? She turned to me helplessly. What do people plan? ,” (153). Daisy lacks competence. Daisy has nothing to do or care about each day. She has no idea of how to plan something because she hasn’t had to do anything that requires thinking since the day that she thought money would solve her problems. She can go through life without having to think about anything that would probably require an elementary education.
In the scene where Daisy runs over Myrtle, she doesn’t care what has happened, she just cares about herself. “For Daisy was young and her artificial world was redolent of orchids and pleasant, cheerful snobbery and orchestras which set the rhythm of the year, summing up the sadness and suggestiveness of life in new tunes,” (158). This quote shows that Daisy is living in a dream world where she doesn’t have to obey any laws. Her snobby personality gets her in trouble. Killing Myrtle has no effect on her. She just keeps living her boring carefree life with no regard for other people.
The corruption in this novel can be seen through Daisy and Tom s way of life. They believe they can run away from the problems they start and not be held responsible for them. Their money corrupts them into thinking that they are untouchable.
Don t tell me, old sport. He winced. Anyhow-Daisy stepped on it. I tried to make her stop but she couldn t so I pulled the emergency brake. Then she fell over into my lap and I drove on (151).
Both Daisy and Tom are incapable of guilt and believe if they have a lot of money then they can get away from any situation. Tom s behavior clearly reveals his lack of guilt when he fails to react to the death of his mistress. He regarded her as an object which really meant nothing to him. He showed her off and used her just like everyone else in his life. Tom s carelessness and money powered mind make him think he can cheat on Daisy because he does not believe he has to answer to anyone for his behavior. ” That fellow had it coming to him. He threw dust in your eyes just like he did in Daisy s but he was a tough one. He ran over Myrtle like you d run over a dog and never stopped his car,” (187).
Tom had every intention in convincing everyone that Gatsby was the one who killed Myrtle in his car. He didn’t care what happened to Gatsby just as long as the blame wasn’t on Daisy. Then he makes up the idea of Gatsby telling lies to Nick and Daisy. Tom doesn’t care who he hurts as long as the outcome of it is beneficial for him. Tom and Daisy seek justification in only their values when it suits them. Tom and Daisy are products of the pervasive corruption of the 1920 s and demonstrate how the rich are corrupt and careless.
Also, Daisy and Tom are carelessly creating problems and leaving them to be resolved by someone else. They believe they can have a carefree life without anything ever happening to them. Daisy sits around all day doing nothing and believing that her material possessions make her happy and that is all she needs in the world. Her daughter was only something that she could show off to guests just like all of the other possessions that she had. She believes that what she owns is what makes her accepted. She shows off her daughter as if she was a possession that she bought.
I waited but she didn’t say any more, and after a moment I returned feebly to the subject of her [Daisy] daughter.
I suppose she talks and eats, and everything.
Oh, yes. She looked at me absently (21).
The only reason she even acknowledges that her daughter is there is when she feels she needs to show off her possessions, and her daughter is only possession to her. If she tried to change and actually decided to be less materialistic then maybe she would change her whole outlook on life.
Her [Daisy] voice is full of money, he said suddenly. That was it. I d never understood before. It was full of money-that was the inexhaustible charm that rose and fell in it, the jingle of it, the cymbals song of it. . . . High in a white palace the king s daughter, the golden girl. . . . (127).
Gatsby knows what makes Daisy different from the common people. The way she uses her voice shows that she lives a luxurious lifestyle and by proving it to people around her she has made her voice more elegant and almost proper. It is her way of showing people that she is rich when she cannot show off her possessions. She needs to let people know that she s rich because money is the only thing that she cares about, and the only happiness she gets out of life.
The novel The Great Gatsby shows many different aspects of the upper class. From corruption, to being uncaring many characters never change personalities and don t even try to change. Daisy stayed the same careless, materialistic woman throughout the book and Tom stayed hypocritical and angry. Eventually, both run away never accepting responsibility for the damage that they caused.
They thought that because they have money they would never have any problems and if they did money would get them out. Money was everything to them and Daisy loved money more than she loved her own daughter. Tom thought that because he had money he could cheat on his wife and that love meant buying his wife a necklace which to his wife was love because it cost a lot of money. Both characters never realized what money couldn t buy them. Between Daisy and Tom money can buy love. To them money equals happiness.
Happiness is very essential in each and everyone’s life as it makes life enjoyable and motivates someone to move on. There are many factors that contribute to an individual’s happiness, for instance, satisfaction in one’s family life, work, love relationships and even good academic performance.
Money is also a contributing factor but only when combined with other aspects like mentioned above. This paper gives an insight into why I don’t believe that money can buy happiness. I don’t believe that money can buy happiness since some aspects that lead to happiness for example respect, power love and a feeling of appreciation and belonging cannot be bought but rather attained naturally.
The more one learns, the more the needs that are to be satisfied and so money is essential to a certain level after which it becomes a problem and makes people less approachable and more egocentric affecting their social life negatively hence hindering happiness in their lives. Money also impairs people the ability to enjoy life and the many things they have acquired through their wealth despite being in a better position to purchase items of choice because life’s little pleasures are overlooked.
Money helps us to have a comfortable life as we can be able to cater for our needs but it surely cannot buy us happiness. This is because happiness in our lives is brought about by the little pleasures that life holds for us for example the joy attained through socialization with others, satisfaction in work and family life among others and not in the big pleasures attached to wealth and money.
Materialistic people are generally unhappy as they tend to ignore the little things that bring about happiness in life in search of bigger things with the hope of being happier which does not come to pass.
According to Luscombe (2010), money contributes happiness when it is acquired to a certain amount ($ 75,000) in a year after which no greater happiness is attached to the money. He argues that the lower an individual’s income falls below $75,000 per year, the unhappier he or she may be but at the same time, earning more than this does not guarantee any much happiness.
This shows that as much as money is essential in the acquisition and satisfaction of our needs, it does not guarantee our happiness on its own and other aspects of life have to be incorporated to attain happiness.
Happiness can be viewed as the way one feels at a particular moment for example either emotionally well or not. It can also be viewed as the inner satisfaction an individual feels about his or her life in general in regard to what is happening. Money seems to make life appear to be working out well but it actually does not contribute to a person’s emotional well being that leads to total happiness.
Lower-income does not in itself lead to sadness but make people stressed up by the problems that face them. For instance, those with family problems like those who are sick, separated or divorced are not happy irrespective of the amount of income they earn hence money just help improve living conditions and brings a person to a life he or she thinks is better but do not necessarily lead to happiness.
There is more to happiness than money and there are people who are without money but are happier than those with lots of money depending on the circumstances that face them and the conditions in which they live.
People who delight in their work, for example, those who are involved in more social work and lot of human contact seem to achieve much higher levels of happiness as compared to those whose work involves dealing with machines and less human interaction since there is a good feeling that comes along with sharing of experiences, ideas, and opinions with others.
For example hairdressers, doctors, nurses, teachers and social workers tend to be happier due to the strong social relations they develop in their work between their colleagues and also with their clients. This shows that although income matters, our attitude towards life is essential plus the consideration of other factors that may lead to our happiness like love, respect, and recognition.
The key issue towards the attainment of happiness is the ability to have just enough money to cater for the basic needs for instance food, clothing, shelter and health and some little more for emergency and concentrating on how you spend your time and not what you can acquire.
One should work on his or her strengths, purpose, the people and things that make life worth living and not on the items perceived to bring happiness but in reality do not. This is because happiness is an attitude and making enough to facilitate basic needs and a little surplus creates some peace of mind hence happiness and lack of it cause pain and stress as one tries to make ends meet.
Example #5 – Interesting Ideas
Money buys happiness for MOST people…and I hate it when people disagree saying money doesn’t make you happy…I mean If it doesn’t why don’t they devout their life for an Orphanage or other charity work?
For some people, Money could be the only reason their relationship might have broken with someone…
Money might not be able to buy true love but it definitely buys HAPPINESS
Money = Pretty Clothes, things and better advanced item= Popular = Lots friends = Happiness..right?
Just an opinion I mean I’m not filthy rich life but I’m happy with all the things I get/got in my life ^_______^
Having money can buy you temporary happiness, but eventually, you will want more and more money. The ultimate happiness is being financially independent where you don’t worry about money because money keeps flowing into your bank account. The best way to do that is by having a business or being an investor. A job will never bring happiness to your life. A job actually limits the number of things you want to do. It chooses what home you can afford, what car you can afford, and how much you can spend on vacation or trips.
Money can buy security, insurance, and other things to help mitigate bad times and manage risk. If you can’t buy happiness, you can certainly buy your way out of fear, worry, poor health, dangerous situations, etc.
Overall, it’s probably easier to find happiness if you have money, even if you can’t buy it directly.
As depressed as some rich people may seem to be sometimes, that doesn’t change the simple fact that it sucks to be poor and that if given the choice between being poor and being rich, 99.99% of the world’s population would choose to be rich.
Sure, if a person is handed $10, the pleasure centers of his brain light up as if he were given food, sex, or drugs. But that initial rush does not translate into long-term pleasure for most people. Surveys have found virtually the same level of happiness between the very rich individuals on the Forbes 400 and the Maasai herdsman of East Africa.
Lottery winners return to their previous level of happiness after five years. Increases in income just don’t seem to make people happier — and most negative life experiences likewise have only a small impact on long-term satisfaction.
Money does buy happiness. Money makes accomplishing big dreams so simple. Example: Want to leave work for a year and see the world? With no bill pressure, that’s possible to do without blowing your entire retirement. Also, money allows you to pamper yourself– manicures, hairstyles, nice clothes– all the things that boost your self-esteem, thus making you happier.
No, it can not buy you true love or friendship, but it doesn’t necessarily KEEP you from getting those things…
I think you can totally be happy without money, but with money, life can be more stress-free and spontaneous… on a bigger scale.