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The Happiness Index

Hristova, Hristina (2015) The Happiness Index. Master of Arts by Research (MARes) thesis, University of Kent,.

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Abstract

The Happiness Index is a queer, existential novel that tells of Vibekke, one of the six unhappiest people in Denmark. Signed up as a baby by her eccentric father to take part in a study that measures citizens’ happiness and compares her to other Danes, Vibekke struggles to find purpose. She isn’t unhappy, whatever her Happiness Index score says. She loves her girlfriend, Mia, and cat Monkey, and although Jens/dad once ‘disappeared’, and came home again, for reasons he won’t say, he and Vibekke are close. Things change when a marketing agency sends Vibekke to an isolated Costa Rican beach to look after sea turtles, alone - except for a cameraman, a dog named Bono, and three other miserable people. Sex on a turtle grave, marketing happiness, and the significance of sausages all juxtapose in the plot to record Vibekke’s struggle to lead a life that is not empty, and to realise the significance of her relationship with her father. Vibekke learned from a young age that ‘everything passes’ and nothing really matters. But as she makes more choices – to love fellow Happiness Index case study Ali; to cheat on Mia with Ali in Costa Rica; and to leave Mia – Vibekke finds that the way in which ‘everything passes’ means something. By the end of The Happiness Index, Vibekke finds that the realisation that nothing really matters somehow makes her more free to be herself - even if there’s no such thing as ‘being yourself’, even if you make it up as you go along, even if you can’t answer the big questions. Are you happy, is this it, and how should you know?

Item Type: Thesis (Master of Arts by Research (MARes))
Thesis advisor: Thomas, Scarlett
Thesis advisor: Sackville, Amy
Uncontrolled keywords: Creative Writing
Subjects: P Language and Literature
Divisions: Faculties > Humanities > School of English > Centre for Creative Writing
Depositing User: Users 1 not found.
Date Deposited: 22 Mar 2016 14:00 UTC
Last Modified: 29 May 2019 17:07 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/54599 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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