If there may be any a part of the human situation extra fixed than the seek for happiness, it’s the concern that one won’t ever discover it.
That is the hanging query for the titular character in Federico Fellini’s 1957 masterwork, Nights of Cabiria. For reference, the film begins with Cabiria’s lover pushing her right into a river and taking her purse whereas leaving her to drown. This can be a window into the lifetime of our protagonist, the spunky but tender-hearted Cabiria, and it immediately lets us know she is a lady for whom happiness has confirmed considerably elusive.
Happiness, it feels, is just not a everlasting state for Cabiria. It’s only one thing that’s ever teased for her–one thing technically in attain, but it surely appears like she’ll by no means really get her fingers round it. She is just not not like us on this method. Our particular person circumstances could differ (she is a prostitute dwelling in Fifties Italy), however Cabiria’s seek for happiness in an unforgiving world has an excessive amount of universality.
For many of the movie, Cabiria defines happiness as having a romantic lover to comb her off her ft (one who gained’t shove her right into a river and steal all her cash), and he or she’ll wander throughout Rome to search out him. There’s an episode the place Cabiria thinks she has struck gold when she witnesses a well-known film star breaking apart along with his girlfriend proper in entrance of her. What success is hers when mentioned film star’s consideration falls to her instantly after, and he invitations Cabiria to a nightclub, after which to his condo. However in fact, the previous girlfriend will get to crash the scene, and film star is more than pleased to take her again, ushering Cabiria into the toilet earlier than his previous flame can discover out she was ever there. (The movie even likens Cabiria to a stray pet that this film star scooped up from the road.) And similar to that, her fairy-tale romance is up earlier than the clock even will get to strike twelve.
Part of the error in Cabiria’s pondering is the idea that happiness is one thing that should basically alter her world. Her prayer to The Virgin Mary is for her to “change her life.” This fixation is a part of what leaves her susceptible, susceptible to individuals who put on the guise of romance to govern Cabiria for their very own egocentric functions earlier than taking what they need and leaving her with nothing. This isn’t to say that she deserves her mistreatment by any means, however you do see the shift in Cabiria on the very finish of the movie as soon as she internalizes that happiness is inherent in life itself.
Happiness is rarely as easy as praying for God to alter our life partially as a result of happiness doesn’t depend upon our exterior circumstances. It’s not denied us based mostly on our station in life. To pursue it’s a human proper, however yow will discover happiness wherever, even strolling down the road alongside strangers.