In "A Painful Case," do you prefer to sympathize with Mr. Duffy or Mrs. Sinico?

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While I feel incredibly sorry for Mrs. Sinico, it is actually Mr. Duffy who I find to be a more sympathetic figure because he must live with his terrible regret. He eventually realizes that the messiness and chaos of a romantic relationship would actually have made both his and Mrs. Sinico's lives worth living. It likely would have prevented her from turning to alcohol to dull her feelings and eventually taking her own life. Such a relationship, though it would have made Mr. Duffy emotionally vulnerable, the thing he seems to fear the most, would have prevented him from becoming an "outcast from life's feast." In the end, Mrs. Sinico at least tried to reach out to another human being; she tried to foster a connection and was rebuffed. Although this would be painful, I would imagine it is far more painful never to have tried to experience this kind of connection with another human, only to realize one's choices have rendered one completely and totally alone in the world. Mr. Duffy is alone, and he has only himself to blame, and this—to me—makes him even more sympathetic than her.

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