“Happiness” by Raymond Carver
When it comes to happiness many people perceive being happy as feeling intense joy
when something big or life changing happens within their lives. They look for these huge
events not noticing that they are missing out on the little things that could provide them with
even just a little bit more happiness then they had prior. In the poem "happiness" by Raymond
carver the author uses imagery, symbols and syntax to show readers that you do not only need
big events to happen to you to find happiness, but rather you can find happiness in the small,
unexpected, and everyday occurrences.
Carver paints a picture on how one may find happiness in something that regularly would
go unnoticed through the use of imagery. In Carver’s poem, ;happiness;, he says when I see the boy and his friendwalking up the roadto deliver the newspaper.They wear caps and sweaters,and one boy has a bag over his shoulder.They are so happy. (5-10)
by writing this the author is trying to show us what exactly unexpected happiness is through
imagery. While sitting at his window with a cup of coffee, relaxing and taking notice of the
things happening around him the author was able to appreciate the things he normally would not
give the time of day too. He was able to do it because of his state of mind. In an alert state when
describing how these boys looked and how they seemed happy doing something as simple as
delivering newspapers the author was taken unexpectedly by the scene and found a sort of
happiness in it.
Secondly, Carver uses symbols to express the theme of unexpected happiness by
highlighting the fact that you may not always know what situation you may be in when the
feeling of joy comes upon you. Carver highlights this when he says ;So early it’s still almost dark
out". (1) The importance of this line comes from the fact that in the poem it’s morning. Usually,
the symbol of mornings are depicted by bright and warm weather but carved does the opposite.
The author describes the morning as dark instead bright. The author does this show us that
happiness doesn’t come at a fixed time but that it’s unpredictable and can happen at any time
even when it’s least expected.Lastly, the author uses syntax to back up the theme of the poem. The Author uses a sort
of syntax called enjambment to put emphasis on certain words to get his point across. he does
when he says "Happiness. It comes on / Unexpectedly. And goes beyond, really, / any early
morning talk about it". (23-25) The author does this to emphasize two words, happiness and
unexpectedly. by emphasizing these two words the author is able to make the words pop, which
in turn let’s the reader know what the message the author is trying to get across is.
In conclusion the theme of happiness is a broad one and the belief that it can come either
when you least expect it or at times some would see as irregular is one that is based in facts. the
author does a fantastic job of showing us through the use imagery, syntax, symbols used in this
poem that this belief is one we, the readers should also believe in.