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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The pain scale | Harper’s Magazine

The lower fixed point, zero, is the coldest temperature at which a mixture of salt and water can still remain liquid. This module has unpublished changes. 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 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.

From what we learn in mathematics zero has too many rules for anyone to remember and within those rules there are exceptions. Eula is using these 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. She is not talking about pain that she feels she is talking about the thought of pain and how people would rate different pains compared to how she thinks pain is.

How to Read “The Pain Scale” By Eula Biss | jkingsly

You are commenting using your WordPress. But even at absolute zero, their motion does not stop completely.


Thanks very much for the share. Notify me of new comments via email. Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: On the very last page of Biss’s essay, Inferno is scxle again by saying that Dante describes Hell by saying that it does not have a tenth circle.

If you have a Digication account, you may log in below: I strive to remain liquid.

Eula connects these concepts to the use of a pain scale, and builds upon her own thought process through them. There is only one fixed point on the Kelvin scale — absolute zero.

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. I do agree with her theory about pain because everyone feels pain at one point in his or her life.

Everyone feels pain but I think she is scared to admit that she feels pain when in practice her condition is not meant to be that painful. Eula uses all of these problems, these small issues that do not line up, to express the great confusion and uncertainty that comes with such rating scales. 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 anguish she has experienced through being forced to use it throughout her own life.

The Pain Scale

And then about prime numbers Eula states: I think the reason she does this is because it troubles her to think the fixed point of her pain is considered, according to some theories, nonexistent. From there, Eula discusses the Fahrenheit, Celsius, and Kelvin temperature scales.


You are commenting using your Twitter account. The reason behind her bringing in her reputation, which is still unclear, is too make the reader think about how their pain scale would be laid out. And one hundred is the point at which water boils.

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. While Dante describes Hell as being vile in his poem, once again as a reader you have to scwle this is only from his point of view. This takes me back to my first theory about how we cannot base our feelings around what people say the sccale are.

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”.

The pain scale

However, after analyzing the essay again I think what she was trying to explain to the audience is that scqle cannot base our thoughts and feelings around what people say the limits are.

It does not add, subtract, or multiply like other numbers.

Biss realizes this and says that “[i]n the second circle of Dante’s Inferno, the adulterous lovers cling to each other Ways of Reading An Anthology for Writers.