Death and Dying as a Literary Device

4 April 2015
This essay illustrates how the concepts of death and dying are powerfully used in literature and how those left living are affected.

The following paper examines how most authors look at death from their own unique perspectives, when writing about it. The writer explores the different ways in which death is something that appears to be the central point of just about any piece of literature. This paper makes reference to several novels where death is a key focus and is presented either through the novels’ characters as they contemplate the meaning of life or shown through surviving characters. The novels made reference to are : ‘Heart of Darkness’ by Joseph Conrad , ‘The Lovesong of J Alfred Prufrock’ by T.S. Eliot and ‘To the Lighthouse’ by Virginia Woolf.
The other ramification the death of Michael Furey has on Gabriel is that he comes to the realization that nobody could ever truly know another person. After learning that Michael Furey risked, and lost his life for Gretta, Gabriel became deeply contemplative. First he shows typical characteristics of a jealous lover. He wonders if Gretta and Michael Furey had a sexual relationship and also ponders other aspects of their relationship. From the time that Gretta tells Gabriel that the song “The Lass of Aughrim” made her cry, Gabriel knew it was over a past boyfriend that she related this song.
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