Futility

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Futility

See also Despair, Frustration.
American Scene, The
portrays Americans as having secured necessities; now looking for amenities. [Am. Lit.: The American Scene]
Babio
performs the useless and supererogatory. [Fr. Folklore: Walsh Classical, 42]
Bellamy, James
character who goes through phases “playboy, war hero” to suicide. [Br. TV: Upstairs, Downstairs]
Canute
king of England demonstrated the limits of his power by commanding waves to stand still in vain. [Eng. Legend: Benét, 165]
Danaides
fifty daughters, forty-nine of whom are condemned to Hades to collect water in sieves. [Rom. Myth.: LLEI, I: 326]
Fall, The
tale of the monotonous life and indifference of modern man. [Fr. Lit.: The Fall]
Grandet, Eugénie
lacking everything but wealth, she is indifferent to life. [Fr. Lit.: Eugenie Grandet, Magill I, 258–260]
Henry, Frederic
loses lover and child; nothing left. [Am. Lit.: A Farewell to Arms]
Moreau, Frederic
law student whose amatory attachments all come to nothing, concludes that existence is futile. [Fr. Lit.: Flaubert A Sentimental Education in Magill I, 876]
“Necklace, The”
having lost a borrowed diamond necklace, M. and Mme. Loisel suffer ten years of privation to purchase a duplicate, then find that the original was paste. [Fr. Lit.: Maupassant “The Necklace”]
Ocnus,
the cord of eaten by ass as quickly as it is made. [Gk. and Rom. Myth.: Wheeler, 767]
Of Mice and Men
story of George Milton and Lennie Small’s futile dream of having their own farm. [Am. Lit.: Of Mice and Men]
Partington, Dame
tried to turn back tide with mop. [Br. Hist.: Brewer Dictionary, 807]
pearls before swine
Jesus adjures one not to waste best efforts. [N.T.: Matthew 7:6]
Sun Also Rises, The
story of American expatriates living a futile existence in Europe. [Am. Lit.: The Sun Also Rises]
Tobacco Road
tale of Jeeter Lester and other oppressed, degraded lives. [Am. Lit.: Tobacco Road]
Tregeagle
condemned to bail out Dozmary Pool with leaky shell. [Br. Legend: Brewer Dictionary, 1099]