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. “On a scale of zero to ten, ten sending you to the emergency room, how bad is your As Eula Biss says in her essay “The Pain Scale,” “Zero doesn’t behave like. The Pain Scale. Eula Biss · English. Research output: Contribution to journal › Article. Language, English. Journal, Harper’s. State, Published – Jun

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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. She includes all of these points in her essay to fully express her ideology of what she pqin scales, of any kind, are made up of.

The reason behind her confusion is due to the many different texts sacle theories we are presented with through time. While reading the essay it feels like she does not actually have a thesis that she wants to explain to the audience. However, after analyzing the essay again I think what she was trying to explain to the audience is that we cannot base our thoughts and feelings around what people say the limits are.

Eula Biss is in a hospital trying to answer the question, how she would rate her pain according to the universal pain scale Biss writes: 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. With this pain that she is feeling, she finds it incredibly difficult to rate her pain level because of how other people would consider pain and her thoughts on people that feel a much larger scale of pain in other countries.

She uses the essay almost as a brainstorm. She looks closely at different levels of pain and then chooses the level that she relates her self too.

She feels like she should have a scale that is only for her and then she would feel more comfortable rating her pain. In her ideology zero is nonexistent therefore it should not be used as a fixed point for a scale.


She finds it easier to understand religion than to understand the concept of the number zero. I paiin 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.

She does this to provide evidence to back up her thoughts; Aristotle was a Greek philosopher and polymath. Therefore, when she compares her thoughts with those of a Greek philosopher it gives the impression that she is correct.

I think she talks about Zero because she feels that she needs a fixed point for her scale. I agree with her point here because scales do need a fixed point but what confuses me is why she questions it. This takes me back to my first theory biws how we cannot base our feelings around what people say the limits are. Further on, she uses the example of pain to express the reason why zero is a nonexistent number: I do agree with her theory about pain because everyone feels pain at one point in his or her life.

But I do not agree with the fact that she thinks zero is useless because Zero is used for many things bisd day-to-day life. Eula Biss does not think about the fact that 0 is a useful thing; it separates the negative from the positive. However, I do understand her anger with zero. From what we learn in mathematics zero has too many rules for anyone to remember and within those rules there are exceptions. This mystery of zero makes her worried and hesitant to how she should rate her pain.

Everyone feels pajn but I think she is scared to admit that she feels pain when in practice her condition is not meant to be that painful.

The reason behind her bringing in her reputation, which is still unclear, is too make the tne think about how their pain scale would be laid out. 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. She does this to make the essay more personal instead of a debate about scales. But she does not make it entirely personal; she describes herself as an average person, she has sdale distinct about her.


I think paib reason she does this is to not make the essay seem like an autobiography. But she includes herself in the essay so that people can relate to her experiences and understand what she is trying to say.

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

I think this was a good effect that Eula Biss used; the easiest way to allow people to understand what you are talking about is too include personal experiences. Throughout the text she explains her relationship with her father, who is a physician, and how that affected how she feels biss certain types of pain and how he changed her idea of pain. For example pain that might be intense for her might be very minor or even unnoticeable to her father.

Instead she uses this to show the reader that what you feel is unique and no one will feel the same thing due to everyone being unique.

The Pain Scale

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. 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. In the end, Eula Biss paih many different techniques and styles of writing to explain to her audience that everyone has different ways of scaling pain.

To me, the text was about perceptions of life and how people look at things differently and how bisw cannot base our thoughts and feelings around what people say the limits are. As well as that, she uses pain as an example to explain many different ideas because everyone can relate to pain.

The pain scale

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