Exhaustion and gloom pressed on him more and more heavily. Did he want someone to talk it over with? Or someone to complain to? Or just someone to have a heart-to-heart talk with, who might perhaps even show him a little pity?
Of course he had read and heard that pity is a humiliating feeling: whether you pity or are pitied.
Because throughout his life, no one had ever pitied Dyomka [him].
Here in the ward it was interesting listening and talking to people, but he couldn’t talk to them in the way he now wanted. When you’re with men you have to behave like a man.
from Alexander Solzenitsyn’s Cancer Ward