Death In Literature


Death In Literature
Death has been portrayed in many ways in literature, from a dark mysterious
stalker to a celebration of eternal life. Every person has their own view of
death, which means that death has no boundaries as to what form it takes. Some
of the more widely used views are as a feared being, a humorous clown, and as a
continuance of life. In the short story "Idiots First"(1223) death is
portrayed as an evil stalker, who tries to keep the main character "Mendell"
from getting his son to a family member, to take care of him, before he dies.

Ginzburg (Death) takes the form of many characters in the story, all of which
hinder "Mendell" from completing his task. In the end of the story
"Ginzburg" has "Mendell" at his mercy, at the gate to the
train, and looks into the eye's of Mendell and can see the fear he has of not
being able to take care of his son. Death takes pity on Mendell and allows him
to put his son on the train. In "Appointment in Samara" the servant is
sent to the market, while at the market, he sees death. When the servant returns
to his master he tells him that he has seen death and that he must leave before
death comes for him. The servant fearing for his life leaves for Samara. The
master goes to the market place and also sees death and asks him about his
servant. Death tells him that he has nothing to worry about that his servant is
not to die here but in Samara. The servant fearing that he will die runs
straight to his death. Humor and death are an odd combination, and to some
people it may seam morbid. In some context death has a humorous side. A good
example of this is in Woody Allen's, Death Knocks (1305). Death is viewed as a
clumsy little man, who is out of shape, and is not very serious about his work.

Nat the main character in the play tries to control his fate, and coaxes death
into a game of Gin Rummy, and if he wins he gets an extension on his life. When

Nat wins the game and all of the money that death has, death is forced to leave
with nothing to show for his night's work. In the poem "Nobody Loses All

The Time" (1280), Uncle Sol is described as born loser who never in his
life had anything go in his favor. Only in his death was he a success at
anything. The humor of the poem is ironic due to the fact that Uncle Sol became
a successful worm farmer after his death, and was in the grave. Every man at
some time in his life has thought about what will happen after they die. In some
religions people continue to be reborn after their death until they reach their
utopia. In literature the theme of eternal life is a popular topic. In
"Death Be Not Proud"(1263) death is viewed as only a messenger of
fate, an end to the physical world. What comes after death is eternal life where
death does not exist anymore. In "When Death Comes"(1294) the speaker
ask what is next, the speaker knows that physical life is not all there is and
out of curiosity ask what happens after death. "To An Athlete Dying

Young"(1269) eternal life is not the same, eternal life is being held as a
hero even after death. Weather death is viewed as an evil being or as eternal
life, there is one thing that holds true. Death comes to us all in the end.

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