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Imagery and Happiness

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Kelly Bohannon

on 9 May 2013

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Transcript of Imagery and Happiness

IDEA The poem, "A Human Being" contemplates the idea of happiness in a life that is spent on egregious events of sadness, illness, grief etc. Life is fleeting, like the froth in the ocean waves, in a vast oceanic setting of a concept of time. Bhartrhari’s question, then, becomes his attempt and struggle to find out not only what happiness is, but also what is considered worthy of the feeling of happiness in a life that is abrupt and seemingly “unhappy” for the majority of time. He does this through the use of imagery in his poem; imagery produces a feeling or a concept that evokes an emotional response. POEM A human being
is allotted a span
of a hundred years.
Half of it
passes at night;
half of the other half
is consumed by childhood,
old age;
the rest spent
in serving others-
with illness separation, grief
for companions.
What's happiness, then,
In a life that's like
the bubbles in the froth
on the ocean waves? Bhartrhari:
history -Called "the linguistic philosopher" because he emphasized grammar in his works
-Believed that the idea of language shapes the way we view reality,
and that the words constructed in sentences are philosophical in and of themselves
-Believed that the objects we see in our world are nothing more than the words we use to describe them
-This idea of words being used to describe objects is how we interpret imagery in a way that actually makes us feel something. It evokes an actual emotional response. Indian Philosopher:
Bhartrhari's poem "A Human Being" The Idea of imagery and happiness a in transient life... Happiness is a concept that has been contemplated and yearned for throughout time: what is happiness? How does one ascertain what happiness means? How does one find it? Even St. Augustine questioned and wrote about happiness as being essential and attainable to the human soul. Happiness presents an idea of human possibility. -Bhartrhari (Philosophy East and West) Imagery in Literature Why does it matter? (The Review of Metaphysics) Happiness in any culture:
People everywhere search for what it means to happy IMAGERY Imagery is powerful in producing emotions in literature and writing, not only in Bhartrhari's poem, but in all writing. In the Poem "A Human Being," the description of happiness being like the "froth in the ocean waves" gives the reader an idea and visual concept of happiness as being temporary, urging the reader to "see" happiness in the bubbles of the ocean. While Bhartrhari utilized imagery in the description of his concepts, he is not the only one. Many authors use imagery and "vividness" to portray more clearly and effectively an idea, making it more perceivable in the readers mind. CONCLUSION (Imagination, Cognition and Personality) Imagery In any poetry, understanding imagery is essential; it adds color and deeper thought into the poetic world, as demonstrated in Bhartrhari's poem. Imagery produces thought processes that may have otherwise not been started. It encourages and develops the ability to think metaphorically, and it further expands on topics and feelings (Theory and Practice in Language Studies). The imagery that poets utilize allows readers to "...capture thoughts, feelings and experiences" (The Reading Teacher); the feelings and thoughts produce happiness or sadness. The idea of happiness in our society is foundational in understanding of how the written and spoken word can produce the image Bhartrhari illustrates so well in his poem. Below is a clip from the show MAD MEN, which is based on 1960's advertising agencies: This documentary trailer shows the power of words and imagery to evoke the thought of what happiness is. Bhartrhari's poem "A Human Being" is a short, thought provoking poem that delves into ideas far deeper than what we read from the surface. It is the use of imagery that allows for deeper thought of an idea; specifically, the idea of happiness. How happiness is interpreted is shown in how Bhartrhari writes--how he paints a picture of human life to describe what happiness is or can be.
The idea of happiness is universal, and has been debated for centuries far before, and far after Bhartrhari. It is a concept that continues to be explored and broadened through means of imagery in the written and spoken word to this day. This clip demonstrates the power of imagery in the spoken word to illustrate the point of happiness in a way that wouldn't have been as effective otherwise. The added color and descriptive words place a sense of meaning in what's being said, regardless of the topic.

In Bhartrhari's poem, the imagery allows for this same sense of meaning when considering the idea of happiness; it encourages the reader to creatively think about the concept of happiness.
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