Theme Of Pain In Twilight Sleep

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It’s an innate part of the human condition to avoid pain when possible, but pain exists as a natural part of life and exposure to it is necessary in order to live a healthy life. Pain and suffering are everywhere in Twilight Sleep; the words appear a total of 32 times throughout the novel. However, they are not often experienced by the characters. Instead, the characters take great care to avoid pain and any unpleasantness that accompanies it. The constant avoidance and dismal of pain leads to a numbing of emotions, which allows for destructive relationships to develop. Therefore, I claim that the dismal of pain leads also to a disconnection from reality, where harmful relationships reside. In order to demonstrate this I will examine the …show more content…
Though, unlike Pauline Lita does not exhibit any concern about the pain of others. Furthermore, Lita does not appear to care about the pain and suffering her directly causes those in her life. The most apparent connection between Lita and pain is description of the conditions surrounding the birth of her child, which is prefaced with the fact that she did not want anything to “hurt” her. Pauline willing accommodates this wish by acquiring Lita a place at a “Twilight Sleep” establishment, which allowed Lita to experience childbirth with absolutely no pain. The first inkling that this affects the relationship between her and her child is the closing line of the paragraph about the birth that states “…Lita really hadn’t minded in the least.” This, in contrast to Jim’s unbound joy in his son, shows a strong disconnect between Lita and the child. Evidence for this disconnect grows stronger as the novel progresses and interactions between Lita and the child are minimal and unmotherly. As the novel progresses, Lita exhibit a blatant disregard for the happiness of those in her life. She directly causes Jim a great amount of suffering and sites boredom as her reason. She also causes Nona pain by allowing Jim to suffer. Lita is aware of the pain she is causing her best friend, as made evident by the scene at Cedarledge regarding Jim’s letters, but she does not alter her actions in any way to lighten it. Lita’s avoidance of pain has allowed her to destroy and manipulate the relationships around her without moral

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