Monday, March 17, 2014

Death - Past and Present

I've had all of these ideas about Death (in The Book Thief) and how the past/present representation of death led up to the creation of Death and how both of them have contributed to our more recent representations of death. So, I decided to create a web with as many representations as I could think of off the top of my head.
My chaotic web

I started by finding the basic traits or actions of each of the outside representations and then I tried to see if they connected at all with Death, the narrator. I found that all of them fit fairly well, with the exception of two. The horseman, Death, from the book of Revelations and the Grim Reaper portrayed on The Simpsons. They were too emotionless, too cruel. Death as a narrator is neither. However, I would like to include the horseman, simply because it brings in a religious aspect and it would be another common example that is well-known, rather than Thanatos, who is not as well-known.

This web also solidified my use of present representations. Before I was unsure of how to insert them into my ideas, but now I could use them to explain how the past representations and the narrator, Death have contributed to our current ideas about death as a character. It’s a chaotic web, but it was very useful.

I've got a lot of research materials that can help me find more representations of death to use. They are listed at the bottom of my paper shell. 


  1. I don't know if you have this one listed yet, but a favorite character of mine is Death from Terry Pratchett's Discworld novels. This Death does his job well, but he has a growing fascination with human fashion, interior design... and cats. Try looking him up!

    1. I will. I've had several people mention him to me. Honestly, I'd never even heard of those novels. I'll have to look it up. Do some research. Thanks!

  2. I really like seeing how everything connects to death as a narrator in there, as everything is literally connected to death.

  3. I love your paper topic and I legitimately am so excited to read this paper. It's really interesting to see the change of perception of death over the centuries, starting with Revelations' horseman Death and the Greek God Death to the Death personified in The Book thief. Maybe you could include something about how different cultures perceive death?