The Importance Of Human Suffering

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Dorian Williams ENG 221 (001) Dr. Halpern The Importance of Human Suffering Over the course of this semester we have read several books and plays that have in one way or another tie into the overall theme of human suffering. The Letters of Abelard and Heloise, Prometheus Bound, Women of Troy, etc.….all contain elements of intense suffering, despair, and struggle, which made each of them particularly hard for me to not only read, but digest. The Book of Job in fact, was at first the single most depressing piece of literature I’ve read so far in my academic career, simply because it seemed to be page upon page of suffering without any hope of relief. As I look back and reflect, I find myself asking why the concept of human suffering is so important, especially when regarding literature (because obviously we wouldn’t learn about it if it wasn’t), and why authors and playwrights throughout history have chosen to build their work around it. After further thought, I believe that in a unique way human suffering in literature is vital because it inspires hope, restores faith, reveals truths, and aids us in our daily wrestle with personal struggle. Whether or not we like it or care to admit it, two things remain true when talking about human suffering. First off, suffering exists, plain and simple. Many people try to absurdly pretend that it doesn’t, and that they’ll never experience struggle or pain because it only exists for those who allow themselves to believe it does.
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