Death has been portrayed in many ways in literature, from a dark mysteriousstalker to a celebration of eternal life. Every person has their own view ofdeath, which means that death has no boundaries as to what form it takes. Someof the more widely used views are as a feared being, a humorous clown, and as acontinuance of life. In the short story “Idiots First”(1223) death isportrayed 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 whichhinder “Mendell” from completing his task. In the end of the story”Ginzburg” has “Mendell” at his mercy, at the gate to thetrain, and looks into the eye’s of Mendell and can see the fear he has of notbeing able to take care of his son.
Death takes pity on Mendell and allows himto put his son on the train. In “Appointment in Samara” the servant issent to the market, while at the market, he sees death. When the servant returnsto his master he tells him that he has seen death and that he must leave beforedeath comes for him. The servant fearing for his life leaves for Samara.
Themaster goes to the market place and also sees death and asks him about hisservant. Death tells him that he has nothing to worry about that his servant isnot to die here but in Samara. The servant fearing that he will die runsstraight to his death. Humor and death are an odd combination, and to somepeople it may seam morbid. In some context death has a humorous side. A goodexample of this is in Woody Allen’s, Death Knocks (1305). Death is viewed as aclumsy 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 deathinto a game of Gin Rummy, and if he wins he gets an extension on his life. WhenNat wins the game and all of the money that death has, death is forced to leavewith nothing to show for his night’s work. In the poem “Nobody Loses AllThe Time” (1280), Uncle Sol is described as born loser who never in hislife had anything go in his favor.
Only in his death was he a success atanything. The humor of the poem is ironic due to the fact that Uncle Sol becamea successful worm farmer after his death, and was in the grave. Every man atsome time in his life has thought about what will happen after they die. In somereligions people continue to be reborn after their death until they reach theirutopia. In literature the theme of eternal life is a popular topic. In”Death Be Not Proud”(1263) death is viewed as only a messenger offate, an end to the physical world.
What comes after death is eternal life wheredeath does not exist anymore. In “When Death Comes”(1294) the speakerask what is next, the speaker knows that physical life is not all there is andout of curiosity ask what happens after death. “To An Athlete DyingYoung”(1269) eternal life is not the same, eternal life is being held as ahero even after death. Weather death is viewed as an evil being or as eternallife, there is one thing that holds true. Death comes to us all in the end.English Essays