Reflection on Art and Suffering

Death Cab for Cutie, the band who wrote the uplifting and emotional song, “Soul Meets Body.

Death Cab for Cutie, the band who wrote the uplifting and emotional song, “Soul Meets Body.”

One of the hardest things to deal with in respect to suffering are the emotions that often come with it. Rationally, one can turn suffering into a more positive experience by highlighting some of the good that can come from it. However, despair, anger, or other negative emotions that result from suffering, can cause the hardships to seem worse. Art can help combat the negative emotions by replacing them with positive ones. One piece of art that helps me keep a positive outlook on suffering and overcome the negativity is the song “Soul Meets Body” by Death Cab for Cutie. The overall tone of the song is slightly melancholic, but also very whimsical and uplifting. The first verse is hopeful, ending with the phrase: “And feel, feel what it is like to be new” (“Soul Meets Body,” Death Cab for Cutie). The singer wanting to feel new connects to the sufferer’s desire to feel something other than the negative emotions pervading the suffering. He then goes on to sing: “And I do believe it’s true/ That there are roads left in both of our shoes” (Death Cab for Cutie). I interpret the “roads” to be different metaphorical paths, or different courses of action one can take. This is comforting because it speaks of possibility and freedom. The sufferer can feel tied down by suffering, so the hopefulness and freedom in the song is uplifting. The steady drum beats throughout coupled with the bright, high vocals lend an otherworldly quality to the song, which helps me transcend suffering and think of the bigger picture while also invoking positive emotion.

By Isabela Pap ‘24, Creative Writing Editor