In Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022), Christine Palmer unexpectedly asks Dr. Strange, “Are You Happy?” She makes this query at her own wedding, following a brief discussion about how close they used to be, indicating that Strange and Palmer had some sort of past romantic relationship that had not been successful.
Stephen Strange responds with a quick “of course” he is happy. His answer is not entirely convincing, as he is Dr. Strange, a famous superhero, part of the team called the Avengers, and he has access to incredible powers. Who wouldn’t want that? Is this not happiness in itself? Yet, the scene leaves us with an impression that Dr. Strange may be feeling something other than joy, despite his attempts to conceal it. He may be experiencing a mixture of emotions due to his past with Palmer and the uncertainty of his future.
We then meet Wanda Maximoff (aka Scarlet Witch) who is struggling with the fact that she does not have a family, longing for one almost on a desperate level. This comes as a continuation of WandaVision, where Wanda is trying to revive Vision, her synthezoid (android) lover, back to life as she mourns deeply over his death in Avengers: Infinity War (2018) at the hands of Thanos.
This gives rise to the events of the Multiverse of Madness (which I don’t want to spoil any further). Yet, the question of “Are you happy?” still lingers as a central theme of the movie, being mentioned four more times throughout the movie.
Here we dive into character backstory, character development, and their psychological profiles:
- Doctor Strange has fame and superpowers, but he is missing the companionship of a woman (Christine Palmer).
- Wanda Maximoff (aka Scarlet Witch) is still heartbroken over her lost family.
- America Chavez lost her parents due to the accidental use of her own powers, and
- Christine Palmer has no superpowers, but she has strong feelings for Doctor Strange.
Are You Happy? – Answer by Optimal Happiness
Overall, we see that:
1. Relationships, such as love, family, and friends, define a sense of happiness on a deep level.
2. Accomplishments, such as desires for glory, prestige, and superpowers, are glorified as the ultimate goal of happiness in our modern society, but often (such as in the case of Dr. Strange) they are not enough to give us the ultimate happiness.
3. A sense of purpose, drives our lives (such as it does all characters in the Marvel Universe), but again, it is not enough to make someone happy.
Indeed, the question “Are you happy?” drives our lives on a deep, fundamental level. People are willing to go to extreme lengths to seek out happiness, often at the expense of other people and things. This is an egocentric way of living, and in today’s world, we can see the detrimental effects of prioritizing selfishness over the collective good.
As such, I ask you, the reader: “Are you happy?” Chances are that your life is not as content as you would like it to be, due to the state of the economy. But my message remains consistent: you can still find joy and contentment, no matter who you are or where you live. All you have to do is learn our Optimal Happiness formula and strive to become the happiest version of yourself. By following this formula, you can take charge of your own life and achieve unprecedented levels of happiness.