Sunday, September 28, 2008


Alright, we've been and school for a few weeks and I have gotten into a sort of rhythm with my schedule. I get up way too early, go to a few classes, come back to my house, chill for a bit, go to football practice, do some pledge work, and then go study. I like reading, and we all know that Wabash is literary intensive. I've been reading 150-200 pages a night but don't really mind. That is until I come to my Intro to short fiction work. My major pain with these readings is that someone almost always dies--and if they don't die, they go insane. (see "The Yellow Wallpaper). Granted, the deaths vary. In "The Story of an Hour,'' it was a death from pure joy. Sometimes the death is slow and painful for the body and the mind like in "The Son's Veto." And yet again, other deaths are are sudden, violent, and unwarranted like with "A Good Man is Hard to Find." One can understand why I find myself asking "WHY?" At first I was asking why Dr. Benedicks would assign work so depressing to a class full of students, but then I got out of middle school and asked myself a better question. Why do so many authors use death as a tool to make a point?"

I've started to answer this question for myself. Here's a brief overview. I think that authors-- particularly those of short fiction-- use death as a way to show that their characters and the choices they make are solid and absolute. They do this to show us that once a character chooses a path they must follow it to the absolute end. Still, I'm very unclear on the whole matter and this is concerning. I would appreciate it if anyone would like to respond to this blog with their thoughts or ideas. Thanks

1 comment:

Jacob said...

I struggle to relate. I find the topic extremely mystifying. Seeing so many people die makes me question my own finiteness and mortality more than ever. You've never stopped to ask yourself: "Why am I alive?" "Do I have a purpose?" Never wondered that at the end of your days, which will come inevitably that you'll say, "What did I do for the world?" Death, while not a personal obsession, has enigmatic qualities that go as deep as questioning our own existence.