Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The Wounded Storyteller

I thought this book was extremely interesting; Arthur Frank's explanation of each kind of pain narrative especially struck me as key for understanding how people deal with different kinds of pain.
The example used with Job in particular was very thought provoking. Explaining Job's situation as a puzzle shows a lot about our current culture; certainly it allows us to see that there was a reason for his suffering, that in the end he is happy again and rewarded for his fortitude in that terrible situation. If the story had gone a different way, however, and he was not rewarded, people would not have gotten anything of value from the story. It seems that we are looking more and more for the reason that things happen - because of the story of Job, so many people in desperate times can say "well it is all part of God's plan" and survive day to day. If there had not been any restitution for Job, now people would see it as a mystery. A problem unsolved and not likely to ever be solved, and as such it seems less worthwhile for people to keep faith in hard times and believe in a higher power. I just think it is interesting how so much of people's lives can be explained in that one simple example, that people need to be able to see the good coming out of a situation to deal with it. Granted it isn't like this all across the board, but most people I know, and myself in certain situations, react that way without a second thought.

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