Happiness In Jean Giono's The Man That Planted Trees

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Individuals have multiple ways to pursue happiness such as letting go of extreme ways of relating to your happiness, reflecting on the activities that give you joy, and scheduling them into your upcoming week. Those that are lost and confused, and running from their past may look for new ideas, or a new stable way of living. Throughout this journey many may renew their sense of faith with the actions of others. In, The Man That Planted Trees, Jean Giono presents the idea that individuals who are lost and confused, when introduced to new foreign perspectives on life, can pursue happiness through a renewed sense of faith in the generosity of humanity. At the beginning of this source, the narrator at twenty is feeling disoriented, and implements…show more content…
By comparing himself to the surrounding setting, readers get an inside view of Giono that is deserted, barren, and colorless, like the land. The author can compare these deserted regions to Jean, showing the lack of human interaction in his solitary youth. The water, that symbolizes a rebirth, has dried up in the landscape, therefore proving the idea that foreign perspectives are going to be introduced from Elzeard, that are going to give Jean a rebirth of his life, and that his host holds close to his heart, “He gave me a drink from his water gourd and, a little later, took me to his cottage in a fold of the plain. He drew his water–excellent water–from a very deep natural well above which he had constructed a primitive winch.” This connects to him being disoriented, in life, by showing the trouble he was having before he met Elzeard, and foreshadowing a shift within him. Throughout this story, Jean has been introduced to new ideas, as his host was selfless, caring, and generous despite loss. Elzeard found happiness for the majority population, whereas Jean was only looking for himself, “... my very youth forced me to consider the future in relation to myself and to a certain quest for happiness...”

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