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“The Happiness Machine” written by Ray Douglas Bradbury deals with the fact that happiness is priceless and it cannot be controlled by a machine. In the story, Leo Auffman one day moved slowly into a workshop for his master-craft and novel invention, ‘The Happiness Machine’ for the purpose of making one happy.
He asked his wife whether she was pleased and delightful to which she replied that she was not delighted because of all the domestic chores.She complained that he talked to her for the first time in six months and for the first time in twenty years that their supper bread turned into charcoal.
Lena asked that could the machine make old men young happy ,could it get all things done for the house, the kitchen and the children? to which her husband replied that the machine was not made for these stuffs.
The next day Leo lead his wife to the eight-foot-tall, orange-coloured machine and asked her to test the machine. She got into the machine, sat and looked at her husband. There was a click and the machine shivered and growled like a wild dog.From inside the box she cried “Oh!” “Ah!” “look at that!” “Paris! Rome! The Pyramids!” “Perfume!”The Blue Danube’ “Music! I’m dancing” Before Leo Auffman could get happy, his smile faded when he heard someone crying inside.
Machines cannot buy happiness.
Lena came out and said that he made her feel that she was in Paris,he made her dance on the dance floor, the machine showed her young, the machine made a sunset lasts forever, the air fragrant and the temperature fine which were all false in reality. To check the machine,he sat down inside it and shut the door but as he began to float with colours and music in great relaxation, he heard someone screaming. “Fire, Papa! The machine is on fire!” The boys dragged him out when someone broke the door open. A muffled explosion was heard from behind.
The firemen strived to put the soaring flames out. Auffman’s children felt proud of the giant flames coming out from their garage which became a visual treat for everyone. After the unfortunate incident, Lena explained Leo that she would be there in the house putting things back to normal,there was an absolute chaos by the commotion Leo made with the machine.
Leo Auffman left with grandfather and his children when all the firemen and people had gone. He stirred his boot through the wet ashes and ruins and said, “The first real thing you learn in life is you are a fool. You want to see the Happiness Machine? It got patented more than thousand years ago and still there, even though not good all the time. But it runs on and on.”
Happiness is Priceless
When they looked through out the window, they saw that Saul and Marshall were playing chess at the coffee table and Rebecca laying out the silver in the dining room. Naomi was cutting paper doll dresses and Ruth painting water colours. Joseph was running his electric train and Lena was sliding a pot roast from the steaming oven. “Feeling the healing touch of all the bits and pieces of his house and in sheer ecstasy, Leo said, “the Happiness Machine.”