The Theme Of Depression In The Happy Man By Naguib Mahfouz

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The short story “The Happy Man” by Naguib Mahfouz centers around a man haunted by his own happiness, something that would initially seem desirable but as the reader begins to discover; is anything but that. A similar example of something along the lines of this can be found in the TV-series by Justin Roiland; “Rick and Morty”, where main character Rick bears the burden of his vast intellect, further reinforcing the statement, “too much of something, is anything but a good thing”. Whether it be the shared themes of underlying depression, as well as the theme of absolute happiness, it is impossible to deny that both attempt to convey the message that the Goldilocks principle is applicable to human characteristics, and that the two respective…show more content…
Though the theme of depression is more literally touched on in the show, it is hard to deny its presence in the short story despite its subtleness and the fact it is masked with happiness.

In addition, both touch on the topic of absolute happiness and its connection to existentialism, both sharing a somewhat grim look on the subject matter. First of all, absolute happiness “implies total and all consuming happiness. You are nothing but happy all the time, and as such have no understanding of other counter feelings.”[1], which almost completely embodies how the Happy Man is portrayed. What the story is trying to get at is that absolute happiness isn’t possible, because if it was happiness would lose its value and would take the joy out of life. Happiness is something that obtains its value through its rarity, because as bad as it sounds the less time you spend happy, the more rare and special those moments will be where you are happy. Rick, however, openly states that happiness is merely a biological tool that exists in order to prevent humans from killing themselves, and that true happiness, or absolute, is just a fantasy curated by someone in order to get people to work harder. These two opinions on absolute happiness, though both providing a negative outlook on it, are somewhat accurate. Realistically, this complete and total happiness is just a farfetched idea that can be described as nothing more but a manifestation

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