Does illusion promote or diminish happiness? It might do either, depending on the situation. We are frequently mistaken about what will make us happy, and we can deceive ourselves about how happy we are. Within limits, many of these illusions augment happiness by bolstering hope and confidence. Yet honesty is even more important in the pursuit of happiness, for it helps us identify what we want most, keeps our expectations realistic, and in general keeps us in touch with reality. Examples include Peter Weir’s movie The Truman Show, Henrik Ibsen’s The Wild Duck, and Eugene O’Neill’s Iceman Cometh.
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