Authors: Sr.Judy Gomez

Abstract: Margaret Drabble is one of the most important British contemporary novelists who showcases the importance of construction of meaning in life. Using the form of fiction as a probe she highlights human beings lived experience in search of meaning in the contemporary social order. The author chosen for this paper displays the different aspects of the construction of meaning through the characters and her novels to show their identity as meaningful human beings. Drabble's protagonists face the conflicts of inner growth in dealing with the discrepancy between the reality of existence and ideal image to which they have to conform. Through their suffering she explores whether true meaning could lead to progressive elevating places resulting in totality of development. A few concepts of suffering namely Vedic, Nietzsche’s and Christian outlook are also mentioned. Viktor Frankl’s theory of meaning was found relevant to analyse meaningful suffering in Margaret Drabble’s novels and this theory is used in this paper. Embracing Suffering deals with Drabble’s chosen characters and their attitudes towards suffering. Their existence in different situations and environment allow them to recognize the individual’s attitude towards life. In the process individuals find unique meaning which makes them to accept suffering with hope and courage. The Needle’s Eye, The Millstone, and Ice Age considered for this paper have elements of suffering echoed throughout. This paper proposal proves that compartmentalisation, isolation, craving for identity, desultoriness in the social setup leads to suffering. The protagonist Rose, Rosamund and Anthony Keating suffer in their lives. But suffering for them is not submission, rather an elevation which leads to a wider perspective of life and living ultimately resulting in self-transformation. The buoyancy extends an in depth experience of the reality of life, no more mode of escapism except acceptance of sufferings.

Keywords: Suffering, meaning, transformation, Drabble


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