Essay How Do You Measure A Human Life?

2009 Words Nov 23rd, 2016 9 Pages
Comparative Paper How do you measure a human life? Is it the years in your life, or the life in your years? By examining Daytripper in light of the theory of life articulated in American Beauty, we can see that Daytripper is arguing life’s true meaning is found in quality, not quantity. The book is much more about what makes a life than how it ends. Both stories explore the quiet or simple moments that shape a man’s life, and ultimately his death. American Beauty is a story of Lester Burnham, a middle-aged magazine writer who hates his job, and who is unhappily married to his wife Carolyn. After being laid off and realizing his wife isn’t the vivacious woman he fell in love with Lester begins a journey in which he can be happy again. Despite the luxuries and materials he has, he ultimately reverts back to simple pleasures that he once enjoyed when he was younger. These pleasures include attaining his dream car, smoking marijuana, working at a fast-food restaurant, and working out. However, the main catalyst to his new pursuit of happiness is his sexual infatuation with his daughter’s friend, Angela. All this makes him realize that “he could see his whole life ahead of him”, despite his somewhat older age. The story ends a year later with Lester’s death as he views a photo of his family having an epiphany about life. This raises the question, how can Lester 's death be seen as a tragedy when he was fortunate enough to know and experience true happiness in the months…

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