《当幸福来敲门》英文名The Pursuit of Happyness,为什么不是Happiness

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的确,“幸福”的正确拼法是happiness,那么是电影的名字拼错了吗?当然不是啦,此中自有深意。

先简单回顾一下这部电影的大概内容:“

影片讲述了一位濒临破产、老婆离家的落魄业务员,如何刻苦耐劳的善尽单亲责任,奋发向上成为股市交易员,最后成为知名的金融投资家的励志故事。

影片取材真实故事,主角是美国黑人投资专家。“(介绍摘自百度百科)

 

这部电影在豆瓣上的评分是8.9,是当之无愧的经典电影。那么标题上错误拼写的单词是怎么回事呢?

实际上这个happyness有双关之义。

一、浅层:电影场景中多次出现了把happiness错误拼成happyness的剧情。

第一次出现的时候:男主在他儿子托儿所外的涂鸦墙上看到了happyness这个错误的单词,于是他就向旁边扫地的大爷说:

Chris: Excuse me. Oh, excuse me, uh, when is somebody gonna clean this off? And the Y? The Y. We talked about this. It's an I in "happiness." There's no Y in "happiness." This is an I.

 

第二次出现的时候:男主在教他的儿子happiness的正确拼法:

Chris: It's written as P-P-Y, but it's supposed to be an “I” in "happiness."

Christopher: Is it an adjective?

Chris: No, actually it's a noun. But it's not spelled right.

 

所以说电影名也沿用了错误的拼法happyness.

二、深层:指向追求幸福这一层含义。

There is no Y in happiness. It's an I. 这两句话我们也可以看成There is no why in happiness. It's an I——别问为什么幸福不在你身边,你一直在幸福的包围中,只是你需要奋斗(pursuit)才可以实现它。

 

说到这儿顺便补充一下整个电影标题的来源——美国《独立宣言》

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.

我们认为这些真理是不言而喻的:人人生而平等,造物者赋予他们若干不可剥夺的权利,其中包括生命权、自由权和追求幸福的权利。

 

电影中经过百般磨难、刚刚接到妻子电话(妻子说她会带着儿子离开他)的男主Chris也说出了他对这段宣言的理解,着实令人心痛:

It was right then that I started thinking about Thomas Jefferson...the Declaration of Independence.

就在那时我想到了Thomas Jefferson,还有他起草的《独立宣言》。

And the part about our right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. And I remember thinking...How did he know to put the "pursuit" part in there?

人民有生活、自由和追求幸福的权利,我记得那时我在想,他怎么知道“追求幸福的权利”?

That maybe happiness is something that we can only pursue. And maybe we can actually never have it...no matter what. How did he know that?

也许我们只能追求幸福,但永远追求不到,他怎么会知道这一点呢?

 

这部片子一直也在讲男主如何追求幸福,所以最终英文名是:The Pursuit of Happyness。

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