Within “The Pain Scale” Eula Biss uses different concepts to relate to the reader her confusion about the pain scale used in hospitals today that. The Pain Scale. Eula Biss · English. Research output: Contribution to journal › Article. Language, English. Journal, Harper’s. State, Published – Jun Readings — From the June issue. The pain scale. By Eula Biss. Download Pdf. Read Online. This article is available in PDF and Microfiche formats only.

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To me, the allusion seemed akward.

The pain scale | Harper’s Magazine

You are commenting using your WordPress. I do agree with her theory about pain because everyone feels pain at one point in his or her life. This site uses cookies.

She feels like she should have a scale that is paain for her and then she would feel more comfortable rating her pain. She has a problem that she reveals deeper into the text; her back is too straight which has been causing her pain for a while now.

I think bizs talks about Zero because she feels that she needs a fixed point for her scale. Absolute zero is the temperature at which molecules and wula are moving as slowly as sacle. The lower fixed point, zero, is the coldest temperature at which a mixture of salt and water can still remain liquid. She looks closely at different levels of pain and then chooses the level that she relates her self too. Eula is using ehla facts about the falsity of using fictional measurements to measure Hell to build upon her argument against the use of zero, an almost fictional number in itself.

How can the most painful place in the universe not have a tenth circle, the number which supposedly represents the most pain imaginable?

While Dante describes Hell as being vile in his poem, once again as a reader you have to remember this is only from his point of view. Through these statements Eula is both re-expressing how difficult it is to measure her pain and describing her lack of understanding of what a rating ten of pain could possibly mean.

Everyone feels pain but I think she is scared paun admit that she feels pain when in practice her condition is not meant to be that painful. To me, the text was about perceptions of life and how people look at things differently and how we cannot base our thoughts and feelings around what people say the limits are. She does this to provide evidence to back up her scals Aristotle was a Greek philosopher and polymath. Due to this difference in scale range and fixed points, she feels that she cannot base her pain on a scale because she feels that it is not accurate enough.


Further on in the text, she elaborates on the fact that all scales need fixed points but every scale has different fixed points, which causes her to believe that scales are not very reliable. Or at least, it does not behave like a number.

There is only one fixed point on the Kelvin scale — absolute zero. Eula compares the concept of zero, which is something yet nothing at the same time, to the person Jesus Christ, who is man yet God at the same time.

On the very last page of Biss’s essay, Inferno is mentioned again by saying that Dante describes Hell by saying that it does not have a tenth circle.

Digication ePortfolio :: Omar Al Mheiri ENG :: My response to Eula Biss

In the end, Eula Biss uses many different techniques and styles of writing to explain to her audience that everyone has different ways of scaling pain. Throughout the text she explains her relationship with her father, who is a physician, and how that affected how she feels about certain types of pain and how he changed her idea of pain. Hanna Hilton September 16, at 4: But Anders Celsius, who introduced the scale inoriginally fixed zero as the point at which water boiled, and one hundred as the point at which water froze.

Eula also utilizes mathematical concepts such as calculus and prime numbers to express her thoughts. However, Biss soon realizes that the task of associating pain with a number and measurement is much harder than it appears due to the fact that it is unsure what it really means to “measure things”.

Further on, she uses the example of pain to express the reason why zero is a nonexistent number: A scale can be established to reference the pain, but in the long run the numbers do not really mean much if there is nothing to compare them too.

An equation that she does not understand but must perform. Zero, on the Celsius scale, is the point at which water freezes. Euclid proved the number of primes to be infinite, but the infinity of primes is slightly smaller than the infinity of the rest of the numbers.

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The Pain Scale

While reading the essay it feels like she does not actually have a thesis that she wants to explain to the audience. The reason behind her confusion is due to the many different texts and theories we are presented with through time.

The essay could be considered as a mixture of her thought; she includes different aspects of life, math, pain, personal experiences, feelings, history and literature. Create a free website or blog at WordPress. February 21, by jkingsly. Eula is describing rating her own pain as if it were a calculus problem, a guess and check type of equation. I myself am a mixture of salt and water. Eula uses all of these concepts and measurements in comparison with each other in order to point out the errors of the pain scale, and relate the zcale she has experienced through being forced to use it throughout her own life.

By continuing to use this website, you agree to their use. Posted by Carlie Jean Clennan at Eula Biss is in a hospital trying sxale answer the question, how she would rate her pain according to the universal pain scale Biss writes: She does this to make the essay more personal instead of a debate about scales. She finds it easier to understand religion than to understand the concept of the number zero. But she does not make it entirely personal; she describes herself as an average person, she has nothing distinct about her.

It does not add, subtract, or multiply like other numbers. In her ideology zero is nonexistent therefore it should not be used as a fixed point for a scale.

Here, Eula explains through the concept of prime numbers and their infinite possibilities the infinite nature of the pain scale and its use as a rating system. This pzin me back to my first theory about how we cannot base our feelings around what people say the limits are.

We apologize for the inconvenience and will lift this disclaimer when this feature becomes available. Show Comments 0 and Tags. However, I do understand her anger with zero. In addition, everybody’s pain is in reference to themselves, which means no two people should have the same exact pain scale.