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"Animals learn death first at the moment of death; man approaches death with the knowledge it is closer every hour..."

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Introduction

Jacqueline D'Angelo English 246 - 02 Prof. Jim Cody December 20, 2002 "Animals learn death first at the moment of death; man approaches death with the knowledge it is closer every hour..." -Arthur Schopenhauer, The World as Will and Idea Death is a theme that is inevitable to come across in day to day life. From the moment we are all born, we are dying. It is an idea that is common amongst all living creatures and because of its widespread cohesion many authors use it as a tool in their writings. Most of them mention death, depict death, and even reenact death, however every time this device is used an attempt is made for a different message to be sent. Messages of new beginnings, solemn endings, the halt to injustices, sadness, relief, etc. are all portrayed through different techniques while presenting death in literature. Over the past few months collectively as a class we have read many works that have shown death in one way or another. Three of them that stand out the most are A Rose for Emily, Our Town, and I'm Not Rappaport. Each one of these pieces had displayed death in a different way and the messages sent to the reader through their depictions were all different as well. First, William Faulkner's A Rose for Emily deals with death in a strange and sometimes unbelievable way. ...read more.

Middle

Emily wouldn't loose another person in her life so she kept him for herself. In this story overall we get the sense that death is used to show the insecureness of Emily. She needed the people who had left her and found it hard to let the concept of them be lost. Most people create a memorial or something to commemorate the life of the deceased, for Emily it was the body of the person that was her memorial. Next we have Thornton Wilder's Our Town which throughout the first two acts of the play it seems to be about everyday town life. However, it isn't until the third act in the cemetery that the idea Wilder is trying to get across comes clear. Thornton Wilder wrote in the preface for Our Town that the play "was an attempt to find a value above all price for the smallest events of our daily life. Our claim, our hope, our despair are in the minds - not in things, not in scenery." And just that was accomplished through the character of Emily Webb. When Emily views her life from the afterlife point of view she notices so much she never did before. She notices how fast life goes and that her whole life she took all of the small things for granted. On page 108 she exclaims, "I can't. I can't go on. ...read more.

Conclusion

He is different from Midge in a way that while living in the present he is becoming everything and everyone that he's never been. Throughout the play Nat changes his identity to be a mob boss, human rights agent, and realtor to name a few. He is always fighting for what he believes in and finds unity highly important. With all of his identities, it isn't until the end when Midge asks Nat his real name that he replies, "I was and am now no one." Nat and Midge together take death as something that is bound to happen. They know that they have lived their lives to their fullest and now they're just waiting on a good ending. It is going to happen inevitably and both of them are ready for it. However, until that day comes they are going to appreciate the minutes they have left on this earth to breathe. Collectively we've had death show us what it's like to not move on with our lives, how we should act as every event is our last, and how death itself is certain. It doesn't always have to be gloomy and depressing, yet it's never always cheerful. The lesson I've learned has got to be to live life to the fullest and accept what it will bring to you. There will be ups and there will be downs but that's just how it is. Additional Sources http://www.geocities.com/SoHo/Den/1151/wilder/ourtown.htm ...read more.

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