Dostoevsky in Notes from the Underground might have had a point when he suggested that for the living, suffering was the point.
Then again, Tolstoy might also have had a point when he suggested in The Death of Ivan Ilych that we are all Ivan Ilych.
What, one wonders, did Nathaniel Hawthorne mean when he wrote in his classic, The House of the Seven Gables, "In this republican country, amid the fluctuating waves of our social life, somebody is always at the drowning point."?
Who would venture to say that using his Yankee ingenuity he was subtly hinting that it might not be a bad idea to manufacture more life-rafts to keep the sharks at bay?