“…that Sir William was master of his own actions, which the patient was not. There some weakly broke down; sobbed, submitted; others, inspired by Heaven knows what intemperate madness, called Sir William to his face a damnable humbug; questioned, even more impiously, life itself. Why live? they demanded. Sir William replied that life was good. Certianly Lady Bradshaw in ostrich feathers hung over the mantelpiece, and as for his income it was quite twelve thousand a year. But to us, they protested, life has given no such bounty. He acquiesced. They lacked a sense of proportion. And perhaps after all, there is no God? He shrugged his shoulders. In short, this living or not living is an affair of our own? But they were mistaken” (Woolfe 101).
I think this is a daily issue people deal with. Those that struggle greatly in life tend to question it and it’s necessity while those that have it a bit easier tend to find bliss in life. It’s not that they haven’t seen pain; everyone goes through pain. However some people just go through a deeper pain than others and so they don’t find life as blissful.
Woolf, Virginia. Mrs. Dalloway. San Diego: Harcourt, 1981. Print.
“‘Ought to have a look at the proud father. They’re usually the worst sufferers in these little affairs,’ […] He pulled the blanket away from the Indian’s head. His hand came away wet. […] The Indian lay with his face toward the way. HIs throat had been cut from ear to ear. The blood had flowed down into a pool where his body sagged the bunk. His head rested on his left arm. The open razor lay, edge up, in the blankets” (18).
The doctor makes a statement that generally fathers cannot stand to watch a Caesarian being performed on their wives, and that they experience great pain just by witnessing the event, but then he discovers that the father who was seemingly calm could not bear to live. I think it is interesting how a birth and a death occur in the same room and within minutes of one another. The language used in this passage is “matter of the fact” because there is nothing poetic or flowery about the Indian’s suicide. I thought it was interesting how Nick and Uncle George had names but the Indian characters did not. This may suggest that the “little affair” that occurred in the shanty that night was not unique to that couple. Other Indian fathers had committed suicide, or more generally speaking, other Indians had been suffering.
Hemingway, Ernest. “The Doctor and the Doctor’s Wife.” In Our Time. New York: Scribner Paperback Fiction, 2003. 18. Print.
“In tender hearted natures, those that mostly never feel strong passion, suffering often comes to make them harder. When these do not know in themselves what it is to suffer, suffering is then very awful to them and they badly want to help everyone who ever has to suffer, and they have a deep reverence for anybody who knows really how to always suffer. But when it comes to them to really suffer, they soon begin to lose their fear and tenderness and wonder. ”
Stein, Gertrude. “Melanctha.” Three Lives. Dover Publications, New York. 1994. p 110. Print.
This passage is interesting because everyone suffers at one point in life. Some may have suffered in some sort of way all their lives and to some, it is a fairly new concept. Through suffering, people become stronger and they get passionate. However, what effect will that have on people who were never passionate to begin with? For those, they lose a part of themselves and it kills them to even bear with their pain. This experience still play a big part in molding a person to better themselves and develop even the smallest passion for something.
“Jeff learned every day now, more and more, how much it was that he could really suffer. Sometimes it hurt so in him, when he was alone, it would force some slow tears from him, he lost his feelings of deep awe that he once always had for Melanctha’s feeling. Suffering was not so much after all, thought Jeff Campbell, if even he could feel it so it hurt him. It hurt him so bad that he knew he once had hurt Melanctha, and yet he too could have it and not make any loud kind of a loud holler with it.”
Stein, Gertrude. “Melanctha.” Three lives. Dover Publications, New York. 1994. p 110. Print.
This quote echoes the repetition throughout the text in a way that shows a structure of changing moments of feeling for Jeff. The quote proceeds by explaining the same concept throughout three different sentences. The concept being repeated pertains to the moments of “hurt” and “suffering” Jeff feels throughout the quote. For instance, in one moment, Jeff feels the extent to which he can handle suffering, and in the next moment, he feels effects of his hurting to the point of physical manifestation, otherwise tears. Then Jeff Campbell’s “suffering” turns empathetic where he feels empathetic for Melanctha’s hurting.
“I looked around, and I don’t know why, but I assure you that never, never before, did this land, this river, this jungle, the very arch of this blazing sky, appear to me so hopeless and so dark, so impenetrable to human thought, so pitiless to human weakness. `And, ever since, you have been with him, of course?’ I said”
Conrad, Joseph. Heart of Darkness and Other Tales. “Heart of Darkness”, 165. Oxford: Oxford NY, 2002.
The thing that seems to Marlow the bleakest is not the suffering of the Africans, but the way that the Russian is enthralled by Kurtz.