Compare Happiness And Life Between D. H. Lawrences Essay
“you Touched Me”Compare Happiness and Life Between D. H. Lawrence’s “You Touched Me” and
Friedrich Nietzche’s “The Use and Abuse of History Taken From The Twilight Of
In this paper, I won’t stick to only one topic. I will compare different
topics, such as happiness and life between two romantic writers, D. H. Lawrence
and Friedrich Nietzsche from D. H. Lawrence’s You touched me and Friedrich
Nietzche’s The use and abuse of history taken from The twilight of the Idols. I
will start talking about life and happiness by giving my own little definition
of each of these two terms.
Life: one word, many meanings. Life: one word, one precious thing.
We see life in a total different way by the two writers. Life, in D. H.
Lawrence’s You touched me, is one, short and precious thing. We see life through
the eyes of a dying father and his two daughters, who loves their father a lot
and an adopted son enrolled in the army. The father continuously fights his
disease, battling to stay alive. We see life as a fragile, vulnerable thing. It
can also vanish unexpectedly. What I mean by “life can also vanish unexpectedly”
is that you never know when something terrible could happen to you and see it
Friedrich Nietzshe explains us a lot more his perception of life.
Unfortunately, I didn’t understand most of the things he meant, but I will
explain what I think I understood. Nietzshe describes life with the help of a
man and a beast. The beast always forgets what he wants to say and what he said.
This behaviour is also called forgetfulness. He (Nietzshe) claims that life in
any true sense is absolutely impossible without forgetfulness. He also says
something about death. And when death brings at last the desired forgetfulness,
it abolishes life and being together, and sets the seal on the knowledge that
“being” is merely a continual “has been”, a thing that lives by denying and
destroying and contradicting itself. He also mentions a universal law about
living things. A living thing can only be healthy, strong and productive within
a certain horizon: if it be incapable of drawing one round itself, or too
selfish to lose its own view in another’s, it will come to an untimely end.
Happiness: everybody’s ultimate goal. Unfortunately, happiness is very
hard goal to reach.
D. H. Lawrence demonstrate the failure of reaching happiness through
money and other goods. Emmie and Matilda were two girls of a rich man. But these
two girls were not quite happy. They couldn’t get married because they were
expecting too much of men. Their (Matilda and Emmie) minds were based on money
or valuable goods, restricting them from a lot of things. Hadrian was not a rich
kid but he seemed to be happy the way he was. He wanted freedom and that’s how
he was happy. The two girls were captives of their rich lives. Hadrian
understood that happiness wasn’t about money, but about other superficial things,
such as freedom and love. When Matilda touched Hadrian, Hadrian suddenly fell in
love with her. He wanted to marry her now to be happy, not for her money, even
though he didn’t dislike the idea of the father that if Matilda wouldn’t marry
Hadrian, everything that the father had would go to Hadrian when he (the father)
dies. The father also understood that happiness wasn’t in the money. So, as we
can see, what D. H. Lawrence is trying to tell us is that happiness is not about
being rich, but more about freedom.
Friedrich Nietzshe got a more complex view of happiness. Actually, since
it’s pretty complex and I can’t explain it well, I will site an extract from The
use and abuse of history.
If happiness and the chase for new happiness keep alive in any sense
the will to live, no philosophy has perhaps more truth than the cynic’s: for
beast’s happiness, like that of the perfect cynic, is the visible proof of the
truth of cynism. The smallest pleasure, if it be only continuous and make one
happy, is incomparably a greater happiness than the more intensive pleasure that
comes as an episode, a wild freak, a mad interval between ennui, desire, and
privation. But in the smallest and greatest happiness there is always one thing
that makes it happiness: the power of forgetting, or, in more learned phrase,
the capacity of feeling “unhistorically” throughout its duration. One who cannot
leave himself behind on the threshold of the moment and forget the past, who
cannot stand on a single point, like a goddess of victory, without fear or
giddiness, will never know what happiness is; and, worse still, will never do
anything to make others happy. The extreme case would be the man without any
power to forget, who is condemned to see “becoming” everywhere. Such a man
believes no more in himself or his own existence, he sees everything fly past in
an eternal succession, and loses himself in the stream of becoming. At last,
like the logical disciple of Heraclitus, he will hardly dare to raise his
In conclusion, D. H. Lawrence’s point of view about life and happiness
seems to be quite different of Friedrich Nietzshe’s perception. Although
Nietsche’s perception was more complex to understand, it seems that Nietzsche
has a more correct view of life and happiness.
D.H Lawrence,You touched me, from The complete stories
volume two, 1920
Friedrich NietzscheThe use and abuse of history from The
twilight of the Idols.
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