Personal Response, Lewis’s Pursuit Of Happiness

635 words - 3 pages

Desmond JarmanEnglish 01209/19/13Personal Response, Lewis's Pursuit of Happiness"We Have No Right to Happiness" by C.S. Lewis is an essay that poses the question "do we really have a "right" to happiness?" and if we do then "to what extent do laws prohibit them?" In his essay, Lewis outlines the roles that society's laws and natural laws play in justifying the pursuit of happiness. I do agree that both laws play a role in almost every decision we make regarding our own happiness, but I also believe that these laws are useless as they are manipulated to justify wrongful pursuits of happiness. If Lewis's purpose in titling this essay was to state that we as humans truly do not inherit the right to happiness, I agree entirely. Happiness should not be seen as an entitlement, as it ever ...view middle of the document...

This is up until her suicide, of which he responds with the utterly pathetic quote, "But what could I do? A man has a right to happiness. I had to take my one chance when it came." (pg 1003) I find this as a perfect example of "the right to happiness", being used as an excuse to abandon our obligations. In Mr. A's case, the obligation to uphold the sanctity of marriage. The power of this example is the very reason Lewis uses it to start his argument against the right to happiness.Lewis goes on to say that a right to happiness doesn't make much sense because, it would be as odd as claiming the right to good luck or the right to be six feet tall, things that are completely out of our control. Lewis then makes his mention of society's law and natural law, explaining how each ties into justifying happiness. Claire agrees with the belief that we as people have a right to happiness, much appealing to the natural law. In contradiction Lewis believes much in societies ideal laws. These laws fall in favor of the quote "happiness must be earned". For instance, earning a livelihood through a well paying job or maintaining a stable marriage. Both of which require a considerable amount of responsibility and, overall, patience. Inadvertently through the majority of his essay Lewis explains how he highly disagrees with Claire.In conclusion, happiness, by Lewis's definition, is not a right at all, but something that we must earn in strides. Though Lewis and Claire disagree on this, Lewis would however agree with Clare that all people should pursue happiness. He would also say that if a person does not want to be happy then there is something wrong with them. It is only the manner in which people pursue happiness that should limit their desires. After all, happiness is used very so often to excuse responsibility.

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