As I was reading the texts for this week, a question entered my brain: “why don’t we ever read anything happy?” At first it was only a grumbling, sarcastic question. Then I really thought about it and realized that most of the literature with a narrative or plot is rather depressing. It’s full of emotional manipulation, abuse, punishments from higher powers, unjust deaths, and the slaughtering of children. These tropes can be seen in works of both religious and secular natures. Most of this pain, suffering, and torture is used to teach the characters, and thus the readers, a moral lesson: do not commit adultery, beware of fate, do not slander religious authority or God, trust the Virgin Mary, and so many more. This teaching method is on a whole other level in the Middle Ages than anything contemporary I’ve read. It’s very visceral and painful for both the characters and the reader, instilling in them a desire to comply with anything to avoid a similar fate. I found this pattern rather interesting. Thoughts?