Thesis writing and offensive viewpoints

I think it’s actually thesis news on my blog here, and if it’s not it should be since I started over in September, and I know I haven’t posted since long before then.

I’m working on a novel for my thesis, one of the few students, I think, who is. And I see why. It’s draining to come back to the same piece day after day, to not get a break from the characters and their lives. Don’t get me wrong–I’m loving writing these characters, and I’ve somehow managed to find a soft spot for each of them–but it’s challenging. Especially when it isn’t going well.

Tonight, however, was one of my best writing nights so far. Yeah, some of the middle of the scene I’m working on is pretty flimsy, but I feel that I’ve always had trouble with conflict. Tonight’s scene dealt with the usage of the word raped to describe, well, things other than actually getting raped. What I found most challenging about this scene was to write it from the point of view of a character who is uncomfortable at how much another is offended by the usage rather than from the point of view of the character whose opinion I share (which, if you know me, you know what it is). I’ll be curious, in my meeting next month, to see how well I pulled off separating my own opinions from those of my characters.

So now my question: What books/stories/films have you read/seen that put you in an uncomfortable situation in regard to your own beliefs? For me it’s currently Lolita, a book which I love and am currently rereading as part of my thesis list.