The Interior Castle By Jean Stafford Links Essay

The Interior Castle By Jean Stafford Links Essay

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How is someone supposed to convey a normal state of mind when pain is encompassing his or her being? Experiences of pain are very common in the healthcare system, yet there are still gaps in distinguishing between the different types of pain that people experience. In addition, pain is physical, emotional, spiritual, and in some instances a combination of them all. Throughout literature, pain is represented and treated in various ways by conveying a patient’s experience and interpreting the meaning of pain and how it can shape an individual. Pain is subjective and each person experiences pain in unique ways. Representations of pain can take place in many forms; pain is personified, pain is self-perpetuating, and pain is selfish. In the texts, “The Interior Castle,” “Pain Has an Element of Blank,” and Autobiography of a Face, pain has an altering effect to each person, but can cause markedly different transformations in each case.
“The Interior Castle” by Jean Stafford links the physical reality of Pansy’s world to her theoretical world. As Pansy treats her brain as a sacred treasure, she uses her mind and internal thoughts to live in a complete separate world inside her own self. During a time when outward appearance is valuable in women, Pansy shows no hint of panic toward the appearance of her face, but is exclusively concerned with the interior brain and believes this to be the sacred part of her body: “It was only convention, she thought, that made one say “sacred heart” and not “sacred brain” (Stafford, 409). In Pansy’s case, the physical pain she endures is nothing compared to the pain she feels towards the thought of her brain being violated in any way. Although the demands of surgery and the physical pain have ...


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... “Pain Has an Element of Blank” describes the building blocks of pain that causes the transformation in Pansy and Lucy. Emily Dickinson presents pain as being an all-consuming world with infinite ends. The reader sees this element of physical and emotional pain as being the key to the transformation in both women. It is clear that pain possesses a certain power over people and their experiences in life.


















Works Cited
Cuenca, Mercè. "“Inscrutable Intelligence”: The Case against Plastic Surgery in the Works of Jean Stafford and Sylvia Plath." Australian Studies Center, 2009. Web. 23 Sept. 2014. .
Dickinson, Emily. "Pain Has an Element of Blank." (1924). Print.
Grealy, Lucy. Autobiography of a Face. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1994. Print.
Stafford, Jean. "The Interior Castle." (1969): 406-17. Print.

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