Death Is So Common?

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It is not uncommon for media to allow us to think about death without the actuality of losing our love ones. Why is it then that we are often so upset when or favorite characters die in books, movies, or television? They are merely works of fiction passed on to us through text on a page or actors on a screen, and yet, they can often bring us to tears. One might just attribute this to the fact that humans are a sensitive bunch, but perhaps it is something else: deep within us, we all contemplate the meaning of life (and death), so each and every experience with death, especially those in media, remind us of our own mortality. Death has been a popular theme in literature for as long as literature has been around, partly because it was so common prior to the 20th century. Infant mortality, war, disease, and famine were all far more common, even in the western world. In fact, death was so common, one that studies a piece of fiction revolving around death prior to the 20th century would have probably experience a close family death, whereas now, very few people experience a close family death until much later in life. There are three works in particular that truly reflect death in times of sadness, and, unsurprisingly, all of these works were written amidst the cloud of either revolution or war. James Joyce’s “The Dead” from Dubliners sheds positive light on the controversial topic of living a short but fantastic life, or living a long and dull life. The Metamorphosis by Franz
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