Just like all other high schoolers, I also had Farenheit 451 on my reading list. It’s a dystopian novel about how people in that society saw ignorance as bliss and preferred pure material entertainment in their lives and the removal of anything that stirred negative emotions like sadness and anger.
And like all other students, I wrote a paper saying how true happiness derives from achievement and knowledge instead of material things. I also talked about how sometimes emotions like sadness are necessary for our mental health.
Yeah. That was what I “firmly believed in”. Was. Until my parents began to have their domestic disputes. Ha ha. Jokes on my worldview.
Parents never really consider what their child felt when they are so busy fighting each other. Yeah. It is fine for them. The adrenaline numbs all the pain. The brain loses all rationality. Great. A super optimal way to shield the parents. But what about the children? They are exposed to the terrors. They can’t anticipate what is going to happen after every fight, and they always fear the possibility of the worst.
Yeah. Some people might say, “You are already a high schooler. Shouldn’t you be more mentally prepared against this?” Well to those people I must respond, “If you know you are going to fight a war and die, are you going to be any less stressed.” Exactly my point. Knowing the fact that they will make up in the end (or divorce in the worst case) DOESN’T CHANGE ANYTHING. The terror still exists there, accompanied by the accelerated heartbeat and dilated pupils and all other micro-expressions of fear.
Moreover, in order to not be emotionally affected by such arguments, one must first cut loose all emotional connection. This is impossible for children and parents. Especially when the child is the only child in the family, the bonds built between the sides are a lot stronger. Therefore, the child would care more and would suffer more.
So now going back to Fahrenheit 451, the core element of the dystopian society is the void of anger and sadness. This is the exact thing that children facing arguing parents needs. Without anger and sadness, the parents can stop their fumes and their tears altogether and sit down and chill and enjoy life, and the kids can finally have a break. In that case, there will also no longer be any Post Traumatic Stress Disorders, Insomnia, or any related childhood shadows.
Yes. There may be arguments about how this isn’t true happiness. Some might even say that children needs to experience some parents arguments as these are unavoidable elements of life. However, a superficial happiness is better than no happiness. And why do children need to face these elements when there’s a solution presented. The children who have confronted these experiences could contract mental diseases or have their self-esteem greatly reduced.
This imperfect but optimal solution has already been presented to us when the book published in 1950s. A dystopian society might not be that dystopian at all. Certain elements could certainly be extracted to ensure the happiness of children nowadays.