University of Chicago
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Lamp at Noon & the Pursuit of Happyness
The film “The Pursuit of Hapyness” is in many ways very relatable to the short story “The Lamp at Noon”. The two are closely related as they before share similar overall themes. “The Pursuit of Hapyness” greatly demonstrates the themes of commitment to personal goals and the effects of adversity on the human spirit. This film follows the life of a man and his family as they struggle through everyday conflicts. These conflicts vary from trying to pay rent to getting food on the table for dinner. Chris Gardener, the protagonist in the film is eventually forced on the streets with his son Christopher while the mother, Linda, leaves to New York. Chris is faced with great conflict as he is pursuing a job as a stockbroker but must complete a non-paying internship first while trying to take care of Christopher. However, Chris is committed to his personal goals and pushes through the excessive amount of adversity he is faced with. The film is connected to the “The Lamp at Noon” for various reasons. “The Lamp at Noon” briefly follows the life of Paul, Ellen and their very young baby as they are faced with severe adversity. Their hardships come from a storm that has destroyed there crops that leads to a poor relationship between the two. The theme of the effects of adversity on the human spirit is shown in “The Lamp at Noon” through several ways. Firstly, it leads to Paul and Ellen to become miserable and unable to come to mutual decisions. Additionally, Ellen is not able to handle the adversity and attempts to run away from the farm, which leads to the death of her baby. Given these points, one can see how both the film “The Pursuit of Happyness” and the short story “The Lamp at Noon” are related through the common theme of the effects of adversity on the human spirit.