Today, happiness is measured by an individual’s quality of life and the mindset that they’re in. Many individuals who strive to reach their pinnacle of happiness realize that they eventually have to compromise by making choices against their own will to keep pursuing their well-being. In the Tim O’Brien’s short novel, On The Rainy River, the author faces a situation where he has to make a decision to either flee the war or to accept being drafted into the war. Tim later compromises part of his happiness by taking on the decision to go to war. This short novel suggests the idea that happiness needs to be compromised to reach even greater heights of happiness.

An individual’s choice of pursuing happiness without trading off anything can be revealed when individuals consider only themselves. Tim O’Brien talks about being “too good for this war. Too smart, too compassionate, too everything”(pg. 173) when he finds out that he was drafted for the Vietnam, which enables him to flee from the war. This proves that he’s trying to pursue happiness through the desires of his own interests. The author also talks about how “you have to put your own precious fluids on the line.”(pg. 174) indicating his belief for individualism. Tim’s decision was to run away from home since it was “all I could think of to do.” (pg. 177). This demonstrates O’Brien’s decline of acceptance towards giving up his happiness. Tim ultimately doesn’t want to give up the happiness he currently has, he believes that the pursuit of happiness does not require some things in his life to be compromised.

No matter how much an individual declines compromising, they eventually realize that it is the key factor for pursuing happiness. O’Brien talks about…..