Thursday, September 15, 2011

Happiness, pain, guilt and punishment.

The original idea for writing this article came after reading this:

David Shore "[House] changes her, and she changes him"

(about new Dr.Adams)

David Shore had always said that the characters never change.

So Now What?

My first thought was:"If the characters do not change, House could not change and David Shore is teasing us". Seriously, I thought it. I thought that now, after the controversial Season Finale, he [David Shore] could have change his mind about characters. Later I thought, no! This is not possible, after seven years the creator can not change his mind in that way. So, here, I thought, well, maybe this change was not an emotional change, but a physical change.

The essence of us as persons is inside, in our soul

If a person changes physically, in fact, is still the same person. So, yes, I was convinced, Dr. Adams will change to House physically. She is a doctor, and she must be a good doctor because later House will recruit her to his team. So with this thought I started writing this article.
The original title was "A no limping House". According to my first thoughts, Dr.Adams changes House physically, so the change should be related to his leg. What would happen if House stopped limping? Could House be happy then? Or Would he realize that his unhappiness has nothing to do with his leg?
Then we knew that the second episode of the Season 8, will be called "Transplant". Well, it was clear then, yes, definitely Dr.Adams will fix House´s leg. On the other hand, many times we have heard the problems that Hugh Laurie has with the faked limp when he is acting as House. Actually, I was completely sure about this. In fact, this idea still seems brilliant to me.

If House has no physical problems, he can face his big emotional problems

But, I started writing this article some time ago, and my mind was changing. Actually, as I said before, I still think the idea of a No-Limping House would be fine for knowing more about his person. But now I can not help thinking of something different. This is not a new idea. This is a conclusion I reached while I was writing this article and I'd like to share with you.

Happiness, pain, guilt and punishment

You can have everything if you let yourself be

Happiness runs in a circular motion
Thought is like a little boat upon the sea.
Everybody is a part of everything anyway,
You can have everything if you let yourself be.

Happiness is What you Feel when What you Want to Happen Happens. Happiness is a mood that occurs when the person believes he/she has reached a desirable and good objective. This state gives inner peace and positivity, while stimulates new goals to reach.

Throughout the series, we found an unhappy House, a House that when he's happy, he wants not to be. A House who believes that he does not deserve happiness. A House that believes that if he's happy, he loses his ability to diagnose. In many episodes from the first season to the last, we have found a House in this situation. A House seeking the happiness, but when he finds it, reject it.
He is always looking for happiness, but he assumes his own unhappiness as a quality of himself, as something unavoidable.

Pain is a term that indicates a feeling uncomfortable, afflictive and usually unpleasant in the body or spirit. It may, therefore, of a sensory experience and objective (physical pain) or emotional and subjective (psychical pain). As with happiness, throughout the series, we have seen several situations in which House has looked for ways to end the pain. But when he has managed to kill it, he has decided to look for it again.

Pain is a close up. And happiness a long shot.
Your consciousness is. The only censorship
You wake up. You shut down
Love is a virus. It breaks your system from within
Time is a jet plane. My life is burning up
Pain is a close up. And happiness a long shot

Happiness and pain, two terms very close in the life of House. House tries to kill the pain and unhappiness, but when he gets both objectives, his inner world crumbles. If he is happy or if he has no pain, he is not a good doctor. True, this is not only a feeling of him, it happens for real. His privileged mind is locked. He is very intelligent and he realizes it. As much as Wilson or Cuddy told him repeatedly that his happiness does not make him be a worse doctor, that's not true, his mood affect him in his capacity as a doctor.

House thinks he does not deserve to be happy
He feels guilty
And his punishment is his pain

The feeling of guilt is one of the most destructive emotions, and the majority of people experience it in some degree, whether it is something we have done as something we have not been able to do. The predisposition to feel guilty may have originated in our childhood, especially if we had the kind of parents or teachers who made us feel guilty for every fault, however small was it.

House was a child abused by his father. Actually, we do not know much more than that. The only reference we have is "One day, one room" and the only time we saw him meet his father (in life) was in "Daddy's boy". We later learned, after the death of his father in "Birthmarks" that John House was not his biological father. Later, in "Private Lives", we see House read a book of his supposed biological father (we never knew if this was true). This is a priest, friend of the family.

When your father is the person who abuses you and your mother, the person who hide your true origin. 
When are your own parents who betray you, it is normal that you do not trust nobody and that you think:

In his search for kill the pain, House has tried different methods: the Vicodin in the first place; but also ketamine, after being shot in "No Reason" and methadone in the episode "The softer side"; even he made everybody believe that he was sick with cancer in the episode "Not Cancer" to get a pain´s inhibitor implanted in his brain. The latest craze that we saw him made was the use of an experimental drug in "The Fix" only tested in rats, which caused a series of tumors that hi tried to self-removed in "After Hours".

House left the methadone, the ketamine ceased its effect, his team discovered that cancer was a lie, the experimental drug caused him tumors and the vicodin...well, the vicodin was always there until it caused him such hallucinations that do not allowed him to continue with his normal life.

Mayfield VS Jail

House was admitted in Mayfield to detox of his excessive consumption of vicodin, but once there, he decided that also he wanted to be happy, as he said to Dr. Nolan. When House left Mayfield, he replaced the vicodin by ibuprofen. Is it possible that what used to be calming with two Vicodin pills every hour, now is calmed with only a pill of ibuprofen every six?

From "Skin Deep" when Cuddy injected a placebo to House instead of morphine, we know that some of the leg´s pain of House, is psychological. When House left Mayfield, he still had pain, but only physical pain. House had eliminated the psychical pain and searching for happiness held his mind busy. 

In "Help me" his pursuit of happiness collapses after knowing about Cuddy's commitment with Lucas and the death of his patient. His physical pain is increased by his psychical pain. He needs the drugs, he is about to return to the Vicodin. But Cuddy arrives and saves him. After beginning a relationship with her, his psychical pain disappears and his physical pain returns to its normal state (the normal state of a person who has a problem in one leg).

House had eliminated the pain and had found the happiness 

In that moment is when his world collapses again. If he's happy, he becomes worse doctor. When House feels good, his brain boycotts his own actions. His ability to diagnose, decreases. This is where the feeling of guilt appears again. House lives in fear that his happiness will end. But he also knows that when it ends will be his fault. Even so, in "Recession Proof", House chooses happiness to his intellect. He knows he can not have both. He knows he deserves a punishment, he can not have it all. 

The own fear of losing the happiness achieved, made him lose the happiness achieved. Cuddy breaks up with him in "Bombshells". His world collapses again. Now that his psychical pain has grown to inhuman limits, he again feels the need to eliminate the physical pain...The cycle is repeated over and over again.

Why do you seek happiness, if once you have it, you run away from it?
Why do you fight the pain, if once you get it, you look back for it?

The only way to end this vicious cycle is to eliminate the eternal feeling of guilt. When House is happy, he thinks he does not deserve it.

In Mayfield House was looking for ways to detoxify about the drugs that helped him to fight the pain. In prison, House must pay for crashing his car into Cuddy's house and flee.

The punishment for trying to end his physical pain
The punishment for trying to end his psychical pain

Dr. Adams believes in redemption and second chances. House needs someone who makes him believes in second chances. I do not think House does not deserve to be happy. I think his sense of guilt, caused by the abuses of his father, has boycotted all his life and all his possibilities to be happy. Unconsciously he has been responsible for his current situation and he does not believe he deserves forgiveness. 

Maybe crashing his car into Cuddy's house, he sought a way to get where he could receive more punishment.

None but ourselves can free our minds

By @RedTulipAna for HouseDetectives


  1. Fantastic, Ana! I love this article! It's P.E.R.F.E.C.T You know how to explain House's feelings, and I'm happy because It's good.

    And you inspired me to do an article.

    Saludos, y continua con estas publicaciones que son la más idóneas muestras de nuestros excelentes frutos. :)

  2. Hola! Muchas gracias! La verdad es que me llevó bastante tiempo escribir este artículo. Todo empezó buscando la manera de explicar que la "infelicidad" de House no dependía de su pierna. En "After Hours" vimos a Cuddy diciéndole a House cuando iban en el coche de camino al hospital: "...esto no se trata de mejorar tu pierna, se trata de mejorar tu vida". Con este artículo yo quería demostrar que aunque House no tuviera problemas en su pierna él seguiría siendo infeliz porque sus problemas son otros. Por eso mi primera idea fue un artículo basado en "A no-limping House", un House sin cojera. Finalmente, todo terminó en este análisis psicológico.

    Espero que te guste nuestro blog. Seguiremos sacando artículos. No sé si has leido el resto, pero te animo a que lo hagas.

    Saludos y muchas gracias por dejar tu comentario! :-)

  3. Hola Ana. Muy buen artículo... Sí, House es un personaje que da mucha tela para cortar. Alguna vez yo hice un "análisis" (nada que ver con el tuyo, que es mucho más profundo), a partir de ver un capítulo de la sexta temporada, que me conmovió en particular (Remordimiento)... Lo hice en un foro en español sobre Hugh Laurie... Alli (que era otro momento totalmente diferente de la serie) yo me planteaba por qué "nos identificamos" tanto con este personaje... Hay una escena que me conmovió de ese episodio: es cuando la paciente “psicópata” ya ha recibido el diagnóstico definitivo y comienza con el tratamiento que empieza a hacer efecto.

    El diálogo es con Trece.

    La médica le pregunta:

    - ¿qué sientes?

    A lo que ella responde, con los ojos llenos de lágrimas:

    -“No sé lo que siento… pero duele”… (o algo así...)

    Por fin la mujer podía sentir ALGO… y el primer sentimiento que la “humaniza” es el dolor... Y, en ese episodio en particular (que ya tengo ganas de ver de nuevo) está latente permanentemente el tema de la "culpa"... La paciente carece de culpa (por su patología)... Y House, está tratando de enmedar situaciones del pasado que le producen culpa... Como que en ese momento de la historia, en la que el estaba haciendo terapia con Nolan, está trabajando justamente esto que vos planteas... Aunque "virtualmente" ... Porque quizá sus "culpas" tienen que ver con la infancia, pero se me ocurre que el psiquiátra estaba tratando de intervenir en alguna cuestión más reciente para que House pudiera "resarcirla" y tal vez "perdonarse"... No sé, es algo que me parece... Y yo creo (al menos con el personaje que me mostraban en aquel momento) que, en un mundo en donde no hay ética; donde se daña al "otro" indiscriminadamente, y sin "arrepentimiento"; este personaje pone sobre el "tapete" algo que nos vincula con nuestra humanidad...
    En síntesis, yo creo que los seres humanos que carecen de "culpa" son personas que pueden dañar sin ningún remordimiento (tal como aquella paciente). El sentimiento de culpa es necesario en "cierta medida"... Pero en House esto es EXTREMO, porque esas cuestiones (el dolor y la culpa) no lo dejan vivir saludablemente... En él ya sería una "patología"... Pero es que el tipo tiene esa característica: mucha sensibilidad, y mucha humanidad (al menos el personaje que me enganchó a mí era ése!)... PERDON POR ESTO pero leerte me motivó... FELICITACIONES POR EL BLOG!! (yo soy patri-md de fanfiction)