Dandelion Wine

by: Ray Bradbury

Chapters 8–11

Moreover, our fears are not necessarily shared. The Lonely One worries his mother, but with his friends Douglas is carefree. Douglas was happy while his brother and mother were very scared, and this points to the fact that happiness, like other human emotions, is relative. It is not quantifiable and cannot be strictly defined, and so any attempt to build a Happiness Machine would fail by definition. It would be an attempt to construct something that has different meanings to different people. The example of Douglas happily running through the wilderness with his friends while his family worries about him is only one of millions of such examples. In fact, it makes sense that most of the time that people are worried about someone that person themselves does not share the worry—otherwise they probably would not partake in the action.