Victor Hugo’s Statement, Essay Example

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Essay

It is interesting to note how Victor Hugo’s statement, that life’s greatest happiness is to be convinced we are loved,  is subject to interpretation when applied to The Pursuit of Happyness and A Star is Born.  More importantly, the statement here emphasizes a critical element of the American idea of happiness, in that business success and/or fame are completely connected to the state of being.  For instance, the character of Chris in Happyness is consistently focused on the love for his son he both gives and receives.  If knowledge of being loved were enough to fulfill the American idea of happiness, then, he need go no further.  This love, however, must be translated into literal form through the providing for the loved one, and in a way beyond taking care only of basic needs.   He is loved, but he must continually demonstrate that he is worthy of the love by giving his son a good life.   This is not to denigrate either component of the equation in this film, but to assert how potently they rely on one another for the love to survive.

A Star is Born presents this same duality, but in a more complicated way emotionally.  To begin with, the characters are actors, and consistently attaining more love is a famous trait of actors.  Then, they move in world where any happiness is usually perceived in superficial ways, a fact that seems to exacerbate the alcoholic downfall of Norman Maine.  He is completely trained to lack the essential self-esteem necessary for being loved to be fulfilling, either through his Hollywood conditioning or a more visceral, personal failing.  Consequently, when actual love is offered to him, it is not enough to save him.  Interestingly, the converse is true for Esther, who truly does reflect Hugo’s meaning.  She is achieving on a grand scale, yet it is evident that Norman’s love for her – were he able to freely provide it – is her primary happiness.  At the same time, it is questionable if Vicki herself could so completely give love if she did not feel herself worthy to do so by virtue of her success.  In this film, in fact, a sad condition is revealed in Hugo’s words.   They are true, but only when the individual in question is capable of accepting being loved at all.

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