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Paper Topic:

The Happiest Man On Earth

The Happiest Man On Earth

In Albert Maltz 's short story , a perenially unemployed drifter named Jesse Fulton becomes the eponymous Happiest Man On Earth when , after much persuasion , his brother-in-law Tom Brackett reluctantly gives him a job hauling nitroglycerine by truck

In this story , The Happiest Man On Earth is any individual who has fallen so low in terms of dignity and welfare that the promise of any form of employment , no matter how dangerous or minimally compensated , is enough to send him into a state of reverie . Is Fulton really

the happiest man on Earth , as Maltz suggests

Once the picture of handsomely strapping youth , Fulton was once a well-muscled young man but has now become gaunt and spindly , and describes his wife as being a former head-turner whom he can now barely stand to look at . Generally speaking , although it is arguable what precisely constitutes happiness , Maltz 's definition of happiness is contingent on the station of life of the individual in question

It is in such a sense that Fulton is quite rightly The Happiest Man On Earth . He has become so unhappy with his plight --- his inability to provide for his family , to carry himself with some pride --- that a mere trucking job , regardless of its high mortality rate , is extreme happiness

Maltz convinces us that happiness is not just a subjective concept but one that is qualifiably defined on the quality of life of the individual in question . The story was after all , written in 1938 , during the Great Depression , at a time when most people , even educated ones or those from well-to-do families , were just looking for a means to feed themselves...

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