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Response to Death and Dying

Responseto Death and Dying

Responseto Death and Dying

Agingand death cannot be avoided by any living thing be it a person or ananimal. However, natural factors or fellow human being out of malice,sacrifice, or self-interest can bring about death. This essay aims atreflecting on the issue of death and dying from the works of threeauthors.

Accordingto the short story by Hemingway(1927)“Hills Like White Elephant,” a couple is faced with a decision ofwhether to end the pregnancy or to keep it. From their discussions,it is evident that the man wants the girl to terminate the pregnancy.

“Ithink it’s the best thing to do. But I don’t want you to do it ifyou don’t really want to.”(Hemingway, 1927)

Thequote below portrays his desire to continue with his active lifestylesince having the child would force him to resolve on settling downand raising his family. This would see him to abandon his wish oftouring the globe.

“Hedid not say anything but looked at the bags against the wall of thestation. There were labels on them from all the hotels where they hadspent the nights.” (Hemingway,1927)

Itis quite visible that the girl wants to carry the pregnancy to term.She is tired of arguing on the state of her pregnancy, and she says,

“Can’twe maybe stop talking?” (Hemingway(1927)

Whenshe sees the long and white hills, she equates them to whiteelephants where white represent the elated birth of her baby who isinnocent and pure. Her admiration of the field represents herfertility and fruitful in her current state of pregnancy whereas thedry land represents the state of barrenness and sterile and death ofher unborn child which is as a result of abortion.

“Theysat down at the table and the girl looked across at the hills on thedry side of the valley and the man looked at her and at the table.”(Hemingway,1927)

Thestory “Red Convertible” by Lamartine (1984) depicts the lives oftwo brothers whose love for each other is quite visible as they buy acar together and tour the country together but everything changesafter Henry’s return from serving the military for three years. Heis jumpy, gloomy, and has lost interest in life. Since most of thetime, he is by himself and ever quiet, Layman’s decides to changethis by messing up the car, which infuriates Henry, although he endsup fixing it up. The story also brings to light the aftermaths of waron the soldiers. His refusal to change clothes makes him feel like heis connected to the war and portrays his desire to go back to war anddie in a situation he has come to know all too well.

“Hehad his field jacket on and the worn in clothes he’d come back inand kept wearing ever since.” (Lamartine, 1984)

Notably,it is evident that Henry has a posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD),which eventually drives him to his death. His army boots filled upwith water, which eventually causes him to drown.

“Weowned it together until his boots filled with water on a windy nightand he bought out my share.” (Lamartine, 1984)

Theboots symbolize the war and since they are the one that caused hisdeath, its right to say the war caused Henry’s death. Additionally,water in this story signifies death, although unclear if Henrycommitted suicide or accidentally drowned, it is clear that watertook his life.

Thestory by Serravalle de Sá &amp Jackson, (1948) “The Lottery,”starts in a cheerful manner and she leads us to expect a celebrationat the end of the lottery that is entirely the opposite as thelottery ends in a devastating manner. The pockets of Martin andfellow boys were full of stones while together with Harry andDelacroix they set aside a pile of rocks. This represents death inthis small community.

“BobbyMartin had already stuffed his pockets full of stones, and the otherboys followed his example, selecting the smoothest and roundeststones.” (Serravalle de Sá &amp Jackson, 1948)

Theact of choosing the lottery winner represents the person to besacrificed by the village. This in contrast to our belief about thelottery as the winner, Mrs. Hutchinson, in this story gets stoned todeath instead of winning huge amounts of cash.


Finally,in the three stories the authors did not take into consideration thatGod is the giver of life and only him has the right to take as themandate impose death is given to the individuals and community. As wesee from the story, “Red Convertible” of how soldiers have PTSDafter the war and this suffering extends to the families and if it isnot treated will lead to the death of the person suffering. While,the story “Hills Like White Elephant” tells of the dilemma ofabortion, the death of the unborn child and its effects on the girl.Additionally, the story “The Lottery” portray the irony of thelottery which in this small village it represents the death of thewinner. The three stories explain about death and dying, cause ofdeath and its effect on the person dying, family and community.


Hemingway,E. (1927). Hills like white elephants.&nbspThecomplete short stories of Ernest Hemingway,211-14.

Lamartine,L (1984). “The Red Convertible.”

Serravallede Sá, D., &amp Jackson, S. (1948). The Lottery.