“All happy families are alike; unhappy family is unhappy in its own” by Leo Tolstoy

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While Lao's opinion that "all happy families are alike; miserable family is unhappy on its own" has some validity in describing happy relationships, several facets seem to be based on simplistic assumptions. By expressing this viewpoint, Leo meant that for a marriage to be happy, it must thrive in many main areas. The first assumption he made was that everyone had the same root of satisfaction. This statement may be incorrect since there are multiple causes of happiness, and what brings happiness to one family can not bring happiness to another.

Since the factors that characterize love in a family vary, the level of happiness varies. For example, a family may be happy but fail to have peace and unity, while another may be happy and have good relationship among the members. Taking a scenario of three families where one engages in deep scientific debate which is largely beyond ones mental capacity in the living room, while another is heavily involved in both formal and informal drama in a theater outside its home and another is quiet and unassuming, does it mean same thing is making the three families happy! The fact that they are in engaging in different activities means different things are bringing joy to their family.

All families take joy in each other but do so in different ways. Some families may be loud and lively while others may be quiet and even contemplative. They also express their happiness in different ways and at different levels. This means saying “all happy families are alike; every unhappy families are unhappy in its own way” contradicts this reality.

From leo’s point of view, for a family to be happy, it must succeed in each of these factors; sexual attractions, parenting, in-laws, money issues, religion and so on. Failure to prosper in only one of these factors leads to unhappiness. Although some families find happiness because of attaining all of these aspects, others attain it by achieving one or even none. For example, from “the men we carry every day” the source of joy between Scott Russell’s and her husband was only love. Based on the fact that Leo asserted that happiness marriages is brought by being successful in multiple things, it means his assumptions were unrealistic.

Asserting that “all families are alike” meant Leo assumed that all happy families have similar characteristics. Assuming there are two happy families whereby one expresses its happiness by going for an adventure by private means while another goes by public transport because it cannot afford a family car. Are this families alike irrespective of being happy? They are not because the means of transport defines differences between them.

When stating that each unhappy family is unhappy by its own way, Leo Tolstoy used some facts to prove this but at some point seems to have used wrong views to arrive to this conclusion. For example if this his view is linked with “to my dear loving husband” by Anne Bradstreet, one will realize his assertion contradicts Anne’s view concerning her relationship with her husband. From this poem, Anne says that although there are material goods and beauty that can make them happy, she treasures her love for his husband like gold. From this point, one can learn than there are those special things that make families to be happy. Although material wealth and beauty are not as important as love for her husband in creating happiness, there are families which lack of material wealth can bring lack of joy.

Basing argument on “everyday use” Leos assertion that “every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way” can be proved to be wrong because mama thought Dee hated her younger sister because she was educated. From this family, one thing is making the family unhappy; education. When Dee was married by a Muslim man, she was happy because of getting the person she loved irrespective of religious and cultural differences.

Unhappiness in families is brought by factors which do not promise a fulfilling life to every member. If the same factor impact one family, it may also have similar influence to the other. This means most of the factors that hinder joy in one family may have similar impact to the other. Therefore, generalizing that each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way is wrong.

Leo seems to have failed to consider that a problem of one family may be the same problem in another by saying that unhappy family is unhappy in its own way. For example, basing Leo’s argument on the “the men we carry in our minds” one can affirm that he gave wrong assumption concerning unhappy families because a trouble that one think impact joy in his family may in some cases impact the other. Scott Russels confirms this from “the men we carry in our minds” by stating that the problem which a man experience in one family is likely to be experienced by another man in another family. In most cases, factors that bring unhappiness in one family do the same to the other. For example, taking a scenario where two or three men marries violent women, who brings chaos every now and then, does it mean the same problem is not hindering happiness in the three families? The fact that domestic violence is the cause of problem means the three families are unhappy because of the same issue.

The best experience in life is feeling and giving love to one another in a close family. This kind of experience is always characterized by the feeling of gratitude, happiness and affection when people see the family units that they care about are content. Sometimes, this experience vary from one family to the other because of various factors which bring joy or unhappiness. If this factors chip in, they make families to have different characteristics hence making leo’s point that “All happy families are alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way” unrealistic.

In conclusion, Leo’s view that “All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own” seems to be based on unrealistic assumptions. All happy families are not alike because the source of joy varies from one family to the other and the manner in which one family define things which bring happiness also differs. On the other hand, every unhappy family is not unhappy on its own because there are factors that make families to share the same source of sadness and also to compassionate each other.

October 20, 2022
Category:

Family Life

Subcategory:

Emotions Experience

Subject area:

Marriage Happiness Success

Number of pages

4

Number of words

1093

Downloads:

39

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4.7

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