The End, Everyone Dies

Decent Essays

In the end, everyone dies. Imagery of the grim reaper and death echo throughout all of human culture. Death is taught as something to be feared and avoided. However in the end, everyone will still die. Anatole Broyard analyzes his confrontation with his own mortality and how he came to accept it in his essay “Intoxication with My Illness”. By confronting his own mortality, Broyard learns more about life and gains a greater appreciation for it. Is it only possible to learn to appreciate our lives through a confrontation of our own mortality and suffering? Broyard’s confrontation with death begins in the traditional panic and despair. He feels like “a real deadline had been imposed on him” and that he would “never be able to finish his book”. However over time, he gains a more serene view of his mortality. Broyard recounts a time when he was trying to convince a suicidal friend of his from commiting suicide with a rather dispassionate speech. Rather than going into the vividness of life, Broyard just list off objects with no real importance placed between them. In contrast, now that he is intoxicated with his own illness, and is prepared to accept his own death, Broyard begins to describe things in terms of actions like a “rush of consciousness” or a “splash of perspective” (Broyard, 345). Even describing his dreams takes on a very active tone, presenting the imagery of a lawyer defending himself from a crime. Broyard’s activeness presents a thirst for life now that he has

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