Comparative humorous essays, cultural criticism and political journalism.

Comparative Analysis of Graves, G. “The Secret to Deeper Happiness Is
Simpler Than You Might Think” and Whippman, R. “Happiness is other people”

In the article “The Secret to Deeper Happiness Is
Simpler Than You Might Think” by Ginny Graves. and
“Happiness is other people” by Ruth
Whippman, there are two different opinions on how happiness is derived. Ginny
Graves believes that happiness is from inside out; one should pursue meaning,
not just happiness, and that happiness depends on perceptions, while Ruth
Whippman believes happiness comes from the connections and interaction with

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of article

Ginny’s’ article is from Health, under the “Mind and Body”
section, while Ruth’s is an article on The New York Times, categorised under

From the authors’ background and the publishers of the
article, we could see that…………..

of Authors

Ginny, has been a freelance writer for about 25 years,
specialising in psychology, health, profiles and personal essays. She has
received several awards for her work, had written books and she also writes
regularly for most of the major national magazines, to name a few – Self,
Glamour, and Health (Linkedin, 2018).

On the other hand, Ruth Whippman is a British full-time
writer living in the United States, specialising in writing humorous essays,
cultural criticism and political journalism. Her work has appeared on New York
Times, the Independent, and the Huffington Post (Whippman,


approach to persuasion

Both Author
leverages on the emotional aspect to convince their audience, but they differ
in the degree of emotional engagement in the subject.

Ginny Graves
explained 3 main points, 1) leaning towards our values bring happiness; 2) a
change in perspective; 3) not to get carried away by the past and future, and
took a logical approach to appeal to readers and support her points. She quoted
words from expertise – Susan
David, PhD, author, who is also a psychologist at Harvard Medical School;
Robert Lustig, MD, author; Chade-Meng Tan, author.

Ginny supports her
points by quoting words from professionals who study or write about psychology
and mental well-being, while Ruth mainly uses her personal experiences to
support her stands in her article.

Ruth’s article is
more opinionated, supported by only personal experience, fuelled by her own
emotions rather than actual findings by respective professionals.

Ruth brings up
points to ridicule, and to reinforce her perspective in her writing, and it
could be seen that she is more emotionally engaged in the topic of happiness.
She has written several books about the pursuit of happiness. From her article,
it seems as she is for the idea that emotional self-help is not the right route
towards happiness, and is mocking the people who are still clouded by the
perception of self-help, saying a woman is “contorted into a yoga pose so
tortuous it looked as though she might actually be investigating her own
innards trying to locate her bliss.”

She uses words like
“Americans in general”, “in this country” when referring to America. From this
we could infer that the Ruth is drawing the line between herself and Americans
in general, and that she may have some sort of opinion against the Americans,
and her unnecessary mocking of people who pursues yoga.

Considering that happiness
is an emotion, Ruth could be reasonably convincing in her article. However,
because the expertise’s words came from their experience of having worked with real
life situations, Ruth’s experience alone does not stand strong as an argument
compared to Ginny’s. Therefore, in the aspect of their approach to persuasion,
Ginny’s article is more logical and has a better argument. 

in Argument (Points)

Other than writing about happiness, both authors differ in
their perspective towards achieving happiness.

Her points are based on her own opinion which
could be clouded by her own opinions

Ruth questions if happiness comes from within,
and believes that it is totally dependent on the environment – the outside in,
rather than inside out.


Ruth’s argument is based on her own experience, Ginny’s
argument covers a Psychiatrist, and several people’s experience and opinions,
and therefore provides a more holistic view with regards to the search for happiness. 


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