On the Merits of Disturbing Literature

Yet I do not only want the reader to fear for Elsie. I tried to both intensify and relieve that fear by placing it alongside the hope that Elsie will heed the best in herself, as she is, intermittently, able to do. Elsie’s journey does not ultimately paint a disturbing portrait of life. Rather, Wreck and Order sets a young woman’s disturbing behavior against her attunement to the “countless earthly riches” of having a body and a mind, showing how difficult and how necessary it is to honor the simple and the good.

From On the Merits of Disturbing Literature