Recently as a result of the lockdown, I returned to my collection of DVD S enjoying many hours watching films that I had long forgotten. Amongst these was ‘The Pursuit of Happyness, yes it is spelt wrong, which is a point of view in the film.
Will Smith starred in this moving tale inspired by a true story of Chris Gardner, a San Francisco salesman who was struggling to make ends meet. When his girlfriend leaves him to raise their five-year-old son on his own he is determined to pay off his debts. Sadly they are evicted from their apartment and forced to sleep on the streets. With determination to pursue the happiness he so longs for, Chris takes a huge gamble and applies for an internship in a brutally competitive stockbroker- training programme. His grit and determination pay off as he rises above his many obstacles and becomes a successful Wall Street legend.
I love the positivity in this film and the way it portrays the human spirit, which for me was reassuring. Having recently read a book titled Freud The Key Ideas I had become somewhat perplexed about the human mind.
According to Freud, ‘Artists and writers have great insight into the workings of the unconscious. But he saw them as escapists from reality and claimed they avoid the real world by living out their fantasies through their work. Mm interesting concept except that Freud’s work on dreams and the unconscious has greatly influenced writers and artists in the twentieth and now the twenty-first century. As a writer myself perhaps I should take offence at this suggestion. Writing however can be therapeutic and therefore unconscious thoughts that may be damaging can be transferred into the life of another character or object.
Having read many of Freud’s hypotheses and ideas, which by the way he frequently reviewed and changed his mind about. There is one of his statements that I agree with and most definitely resonates with the outstanding film aforementioned.
He saw the purpose of human life as being the pursuit of happiness with I not Y. This he declares is driven by the pleasure principle.
He had a point when one thinks about it. Happiness and pleasure I will take one or both any day and leave the negative emotions in the deleted bin of my writer’s brain.