Nietzsche On Suffering Essay

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“Suffering” is a word which carries negative connotations, used to incite pity, empathy or fear. Why would it not? Is suffering not simply agony, defined justly by the Oxford Dictionary as “the state of undergoing pain, distress, or hardship” (“Suffering)? Yet, we accept suffering as part of life, a fundamental aspect that defines living. Nietzsche tells us that the very act of living is suffering itself, but to survive is to find value in that suffering. Yet, what sort of value can be attached to an idea so negative? Pico Iyer’s editorial in the New York Times explores the value of suffering, likening suffering to passion and “[p]assion with the plight of other’s makes for ‘compassion’” (________________).I began to think upon the cohesive…show more content…
In fact, much of writing shows the positives of strife; those who are affected grow stronger as“... [W]e also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.” (Romans 5:2-3). Thus, there is an overarching idea that with all adversity, there is hope. Such is the case in Adiga’s “The White Tiger,” narrated by Balram, who transcends his confinement to a lower class and becomes a successful businessman. Balram’s ascent to success attaches value and beauty to his suffering, which was catalytic in nature to his achievement. We are first introduced to Balram’s hardships in his description of Laxmangarh as a decrepit town within the “darkness” of India. Through a series of events only describable as suffering: being pulled out of school, losing his father, working odd jobs, and being maltreated by officials; Balram eventually becomes a driver. Even within this rank, there is already a sense of achievement for Balram and his ordeals as a path to his success is symbolized in his short struggle to become a driver. Balram says of his…show more content…
In fact, by attempting to glamourize suffering by portraying it superficially, writers may lose the connection with us that appreciates literature. Instead, what we are left with is an over extended attempt to glorify suffering, or hide it within a guise of reality that is too savage to be true. Instead of the appreciative feeling that reality imbues within me as a reader, I am left with a sense of disgust, confusion and dissatisfaction. This feeling almost overwhelmed me while reading Adiga’s “The White Tiger” and it tainted my experience with the book. Adiga had written the novel without any firsthand experience in the rural areas of India to which his main character referred to as the darkness. Instead, being of a higher class, his accounts were based on second or third hand experiences which do not adequately depict the lower class’ realities. I found the following depiction of India’s ghettos both farcically unrealistic and eventually
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