Meaning of suffering in literature and life
University of Wisconsin--Stout. Office of Research and Sponsored Programs
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Suffering is an inevitable facet of life. All around the world countless numbers of people endure suffering from violence, abuse, natural disasters, and their own vindictive and self-damaging natures. It is difficult to make sense of and find meaning in the seemingly pointless suffering in our everyday lives. This paper explores the meaning of suffering through the lenses of Shakespeare’s play King Lear, Jane Smiley’s novel A Thousand Acres, modern psychology, and the survivors of real-world catastrophes. Literature imitates life and by exploring it, along with modern research and real-world survivor testaments, this paper takes a holistic approach to making meaning out of the seemingly meaningless pain and chaos that suffering inflicts. This paper uses a wide array of circumstances and examples to scrape away at timeless questions that are all too often answered by thoughtless clichés.
A Thousand Acres