Study Guide

Dandelion Wine Happiness

By Ray Bradbury


Have you ever thought about the fact that the less you know, the happier you are? There's a lot of truth to the saying <em>ignorance is bliss</em>. Doug has to search long and hard to find happiness again after realizing he's alive (and therefore, dying)—while Tom's the exact opposite, living for the present, not thinking too hard about anything, and believing that every day ends happily. <em>Dandelion Wine</em> teaches us that happiness is elusive, and largely dependent on our degree of awareness of the world and our place in it. Try to contain it in a machine and conjure it at will, and the best you can hope for is a cool explosion in the garage. 

Questions About Happiness

  1. Does being sensitive and intelligent doom you to a life of unhappiness, or at the very least,dissatisfaction in this book? Use the text to support your claim.
  2. If you had a choice between Doug's awareness and appreciation of life and Tom's blissful ignorance, which would you choose? Why? Does one of them fare better in the end? 
  3. Does the increasing availability of virtual environments make us happier, or less happy? 
  4. What would you put in a Happiness Machine?

Chew on This

In <em>Dandelion Wine</em>, happiness is ultimately tied to ignorance—or at least the ability to ignore the harsher realities of being alive.

In <em>Dandelion Wine</em>, true happiness only comes on the heels of true misery.

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