Suzanne Jacobs “Rich For One Day” exhibits the theme of self-perceived happiness through the protagonist Aline. Aline can be characterized as euphorically ignorant as she is lazy, does not have money and lacks motivation. However, despite her shabby living conditions, she manages to find ways to make herself happy.
To begin with, Aline is a happy camper who is content with life in general. She declares that she “takes pity on the rest of the world”. This quote displays that Aline places herself on a pedestal to make herself feel superior than others. Her superior feelings reveal how arrogant she is and they make her believe that she does not need money or responsibilities, even though her dream is to be rich. This belief makes her happy as she does not have to think about working hard to achieve this goal. This is further supported when Aline does not even jump at the incredible opportunity offered to her by Lucien, instead saying “she was not quite awake and she felt too rich today to give an answer”.
Once again, this showcases that Aline believes she’s superior and that she does not need a job or responsibilities to be happy. Not only does Aline make herself feel superior but she also is anti-social. It is stated that “Usually her friends invited her to eat with them” which is followed by “She wasn’t difficult, whatever you say”, implies that despite the frequent invitations, she declines and is usually called difficult by her friends.
In the short story it says that Aline does not mind being alone as she would rather fantasize being “…very, very rich and that she would have a car and a chauffeur, and that she would have the whole backseat to herself and would be surrounded by… very astonishing things… and she would travel, spend all her time in her car, and stroll over the whole world”. Her fantasizing brings her happiness as she chooses to distance herself from reality while her friends stray away from her. One could even say that Aline places herself in a personal “bubble”. The protagonist also attains her happiness through a false sense of reality. She “… enjoyed the arrival of other people… The first image lit up the screen. I love life, thought Aline.” This exemplifies Aline’s ignorance as she is happy, merely sitting in front of a screen. She would rather do this than make real memories with her friends. This is like Aline because she chooses to stay ignorant and won’t “turn her head”.
In conclusion, the protagonist Aline, from Suzanne Jacobs “Rich for One Day” displays the theme of self-perceived happiness as she thinks of herself as superior than others, is anti-social and has a false sense of reality which all help her in her pursuit of happiness.