Reading anger, compassion and longing in Beatrice Culleton Mosionier’s In Search of April Raintree | Intellect Skip to content
Volume 11, Issue 3
  • ISSN: 1740-8296
  • E-ISSN: 2040-0918



This article engages with polarizing debates about compassion by exploring the relationship between this emotional response and anger in Beatrice Culleton Mosionier’s In Search of April Raintree. While Martha Nussbaum argues that compassion functions as an ethical bridge linking one person to the next, affect theorists argue that compassion reaffirms unequal relations of power. This article maps the ways Mosionier’s novel might evoke the reader’s compassion, and investigates the role of this response by focusing on a narrative pattern where April experiences abuse, expresses intense anger at her suffering and then longs for markers of privilege such as white skin and affluence. This article contends that April’s anger interrupts the potential for passive compassion, and foregrounds the social stratification that gives rise to April’s suffering.


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