Desire is a sense of longing for a person or object or hoping for an outcome. The same sense is expressed by emotions such as "craving" or "hankering". When a person desires something or someone, their sense of longing is excited by the enjoyment or the thought of the item or person, and they want to take actions to obtain their goal. The motivational aspect of desire has long been noted by philosophers; Hobbes (1588–1679) asserted that human desire is the fundamental motivation of all human action.
In Buddhism, for an individual to effect his or her liberation, the flow of sense-desire must be cut completely; however, while training, he or she must work with motivational processes based on skilfully applied desire. The Buddha stated, according to the early Buddhist scriptures, that monks should "generate desire" for the sake of fostering skillful qualities and abandoning unskillful ones.
While desires are often classified as emotions by laypersons, psychologists often describe desires as different from emotions; psychologists tend to argue that desires arise from bodily structures, such as the stomach's need for food, whereas emotions arise from a person's mental state. Marketing and advertising companies have used psychological research on how desire is stimulated to find more effective ways to induce consumers to buy a given product or service. While some advertising attempts to give buyers a sense of lack or wanting, other types of advertising create desire associating the product with desirable attributes, either by showing a celebrity or model with the product.
The theme of desire is at the core of the romance novel, which often create drama by showing cases where human desire is impeded by social conventions, class, or cultural barriers. As well, it is used in other literary genres, such as gothic novels such as Dracula by Bram Stoker, in which desire is mingled with fear and dread. Poets ranging from Homer to Toni Morrison have dealt with the themes of desire in their work. Just as desire is central to the written fiction genre of romance, it is the central theme of melodrama films, which use plots that appeal to the heightened emotions of the audience by showing "crises of human emotion, failed romance or friendship", in which desire is thwarted or unrequited.
Famous quotes containing the word desire:
“Truly, a peck of provender, I could munch your good dry oats. Methinks I have a great desire to a bottle of hay. Good hay, sweet hay hath no fellow.”
—William Shakespeare (15641616)
“The fetish of the great university, of expensive colleges for young women, is too often simply a fetish. It is not based on a genuine desire for learning. Education today need not be sought at any great distance. It is largely compounded of two things, of a certain snobbishness on the part of parents, and of escape from home on the part of youth. And to those who must earn quickly it is often sheer waste of time. Very few colleges prepare their students for any special work.”
—Mary Roberts Rinehart (18761958)
“The point of vision and desire are the same.”
—Wallace Stevens (18791955)