The Many Facets of Happiness

Essay by lucky1dccJunior High, 9th gradeA+, February 2004

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"Happiness" is a word with many diverse meanings. The Webster's Deluxe Unabridged Dictionary and Bartlett's Roget's Thesaurus gave definitions and synonyms and various resources discussed "happiness" in very different ways. The Home Book of Shakespeare Quotations described how "happiness" would look if it were personified. An article in the "Washington Post" and The Columbia Granger's World of Poetry inferred that "happiness" is a temporary frame of mind, yet The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase, Saying, and Quotation inferred that "happiness" could possibly last a lifetime. After researching the word "happiness," I have concluded that "happiness" is a frame of mind to which there are many facets.

To begin my research, I looked in an unabridged dictionary and looked up the word "happiness." The definition according to the Webster's Deluxe Unabridged Dictionary is "the enjoyment of pleasure without pain; felicity; blessedness satisfaction (825). The Icelandic people used words such has, "happ, good luck, chance, and hap" (825).

These forms of the word later evolved into the word "happiness." The Unabridged Dictionary provided me with a consistent usage and etymology of the word "happiness."

I continued my research by looking up the word "happiness" in Bartlett's Roget's Thesaurus. Roget's supplied me with an abundance of synonyms. The words included "pleasure, joy, satisfaction, rejoicing, welfare, and prosperity" (1012). All of these words are positive words and all fit together. One thing I noticed about these words is that all the synonyms are a state of mind or a state of being. Everyone's idea of "happiness" may be different. What one person thinks "satisfaction" is may be different to someone else's idea of "satisfaction." It is the same with "pleasure, joy, prosperity, etc." These synonyms showed me that everyone's idea of "happiness" might be different.

The Home Book of Shakespeare Quotations was my third...