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Smith's portrayal of Chris Gardner in the film is its basic premise. Gardner depicts the challenges of both professional and personal life. Without anyone else in his life, Chris devotes himself to finding success for both he and his son. Chris' narrative depicts how challenging "the pursuit of happiness" is in the modern setting for those who are not endowed with wealth and privilege. The struggles of living life on the bottom rung of society and yet striving to improve one's lot in life become the primary motivations of both Chris and his son, as well as the film, in general. The difficulty of Wall Street life as well as the basic nature of survival both converge into what it means to be economically viable in the modern setting. The portrayal of Gardner is one of the most telling elements of the film and the idea of being able to show how individuals can find success without sacrificing their ethical cores become some of the lasting messages of the film. This becomes some of the major points in The Pursuit of Happyness and why it is relevant.
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