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The Pursuit of Happyness Essay

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Social stereotypes and Happiness
The Pursuit of Happyness

11/21/2012

Instructor: Prof. Kristin Little
Author: Tareq Naseer Alsamarh

Social stereotypes and happiness

The story of the movie The Pursuit of Happyness directed by Gabriele Muccino portrays a family who struggles with finding enough money to pay taxes and afford living expenses. The movie takes a place in San Francisco during the 80s. The two main characters are the father Chris Gardner and his son Christopher, Will Smith and Jaden Smith respectively. Gardner tries to support his family. But every time he attempts to make things better, they always end up worse. Gardner in the story wonders on "how to be happy?" He earns his money by selling the bone density
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In another perspective, fatherhood for Gardner is like a job for him. Because he loses his wife, he needs to provide joy, fun and help for his son Christopher which is not an easy job to do. Those fathers, who spend more time with their children, have a better life than others who spend most of their time working and gaining money. However, being a father as a single parent like Chris gives him the enthusiasm to do his best and replace his wife's role to have a better life with his son. Yet, this decreases the happiness that Gardner possesses. According to Scott Coltrane, a sociologist at the University of California, points out that "Father's style of parenting has changed too. Fathers are beginning to look more like mothers" (qtd. in Cullen and Grossman). Before Linda leaves the family, she works double shifts to make more money to afford the living expenses and to help her husband. So Chris is the one who takes more care of their son than the mother, Linda. Gardner seems to be happier being close to his son. There are many scenes in the movie that show how Gardner and Christopher are happy of being together. Nonetheless, there is only one scene that Christopher not even misses his mother; instead he asks "did mom leave because of me?" (The Pursuit of Happyness). This indicates that Gardner does a great job of being a single parent that makes his son, not remembering his mother. For fathers, home
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