Death in Literature
Of the two inevitable things in life, it is perhaps not surprising that numerous writers have attempted to tackle the subject of death. Death remains the great mystery of existence, and death in literature is as old as literature itself. In literature, however, death can represent many different themes.
One of the earliest examples of death in literature becoming a major turning point in plot must surely be Homer’s Iliad. For much of the early part of the epic, Achilles sulks in his tent after being insulted by Agamemnon. It is only after Achilles’ cDeath of a Traveling Salesman research papers delve into the story, written by Eudora Welty, that takes place inside the mind of a traveling shoe salesman.ompanion Patroclus is killed in battle that Achilles rouses from his stupor and joins the battle, killing the Trojan hero Hector.
American literature has also been preoccupied with death. Since American literature emerged as a unique form in the late 18th and early 19th century, when death was a regular part of life, many writers incorporated themes of death in their work. Many consider Moby-Dick to be one of the greatest American novels of all time. Much of the center of the book’s purpose is the life and death struggle between Ahab and the white whale. In the end, everyone aboard the Pequod dies save Ishmael, who survives by floating on a coffin.
It has been said that writers tackle the subject of death in literature either out of fear or as a way of coming to terms with its inevitability. From Homer to Dante, and Edgar Allan Poe to Stephen King, the theme of death in literature may also be inevitable.