Chapter Summary Ferguson's 'My Brother' By Ferguson

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Happiness™, a novel written by Ferguson, involves the book editor Edwin who publishes a self-help book that causes the people of the United States into becoming happy all the time. Edwin does not believe that this is a good thing and plans to stop the population from experiencing bliss in everything about life. Edwin, with help from his boss Mr. Mead and the fugitive Mr. Ethics meet resistance to their radical views that suggest people should not be happy. This coming from Edwin’s co-workers May, Nigel, and the author of the revolutionary book, Jack. Edwin’s personal interactions with these characters subtly convinces him that happiness and sadness are interrelated, the words having no value if there is nothing to compare the feelings with. …show more content…
Ethics life experience is lacking happy emotions. Mr. Ethics uses knowledge based on his namesakes to make him think that it is alright to commit malicious deeds. Edwin reasons that he does not know that this makes him an evil person since he lacks emotions relating to happiness in his life. Mr. Ethics’ goals are short-term as he does not think of the consequences of his actions; evident when he kills the tax collectors that cause him to go to jail, and the need to get revenge on Mr. Mead for abandoning him. He fails the assassination attempt on him and upon wallowing on the ground Mr. Mead says, “Another brilliant insight from Mr. Ethics. The world isn’t fair.” (Ferguson, 248). Mr. Mead criticises him for complaining that life is not fair, which signals to Edwin that he does not know that what he is doing is wrong. Mr. Ethics thinks that he has the right to kill Mr. Mead and that it is unfair for him to not be able to achieve that goal. The reason for this is how he perceives what is right or wrong, being that anything benefitting him is considered morally justifiable. This characteristic is strengthened when he suggests options to deal with the author: “A ‘let justice be done though the heavens fall’ view versus ‘the greatest good for the greatest number.’” (Ferguson, 249). He breaks down the choice between killing him regardless of the consequences or by judging them, and unsurprisingly picks the former. Mr. Ethics is never satisfied with what he has and to get what he wants requires reinterpreting what morally benefits to him, which is why he treats the idea of killing in a casual way. Edwin understands that his pursuit of happiness is what has made him ignorant to how he truly acts, and he will never know about it because he cannot experience what it feels like to be happy, giving him nothing to compare his evil deeds

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