Literary Analysis Conflict Essay: Death Be not Proud, by John Gunther
Denial is always present in the thought of individuals with illnesses. It is extremely difficult for someone to accept the fact that they are going to soon cease to exist. Denial hinders the view of reality. When at the doors of death, denial is there to ease the pain. In the personal memoir Death not Be Proud, written by John Gunther displays how his son, Johnny, battles cancer and how he strives to accept the cruel reality set in front of him; death. His struggles represent a true man vs. himself conflict. Johnny’s first major conflict appears after Frances visits him. The subject of death is brought up between the two. Johnny later records a journal entry of his understandings. “Yesterday I discussed fears of death with Mother. For years I have had a lack of confidence in myself, fears about ultimate reality. Accept death with detachment. Take more pleasure in life for its own sake (173).” After the discussion with Frances, Johnny promises to await death with feelings of separation so he can have a strong desire to live the remaining months of his life to the fullest. He believes he’s going to see the end anyway, so why not just enjoy the pleasure in life? Pleasure such as devoting his time to science, finishing as much school work as he can, and spending time with family. He also realizes that the denial he has put in front of the actual situation can no longer substitute for the fear he has been hiding. It’s time to face reality no matter how painful it is. Johnny believes that denial will only deceive yourself. Therefore, the understandings retained from the conversation prove a man vs. himself conflict. Johnny’s next major conflict occurs at the Gerson nursing home while he is on the Gerson Diet. His cancer condition seems to be stable until his blood count starts to drop. Johnny’s health begins to decline. Based on the sudden conditions, the team of doctors...
...‘Death be not proud’ – Sonnet X (Holy Sonnets by John Donne)
Donne’s dilemma – ‘caught between the active vocation of Catholicism and the predestination of Calvinism’. What can one do, if anything, to influence God’s final judgement? (Helen Wilcox).
Context – religious, historical
Biblical theme – (Corinthians 1.15.55) Paul – after a passage discussing Christ’s victory over death – ‘O death, where is thy sting? Oh grave, where is thy victory?’
Donne’s ‘Meditation xvii’ – Devotions upon Emergent Occasions.
Sonnet (Petrarchan) form – but breaks with the usual form. Rather than love of a woman, it is love of (devotion) God. Uses the octave, sestet and marked turn (volta).
Biblical precedent – Jacob who ‘wrestled’ all night with God and would not let God go until he received a blessing. (Genesis 32.24-30)
Context and values – social, personal (religious)
Sermon/preacher/intellectual – dramatic voice
Conceits – intellectual/courtly/popular and clever way of communicating in society. Also representative of his intellect/mind which he uses to attempt to understand God, faith and salvation.
Paradox and contrast - reflective of the paradoxes of religion and science, discovery and fear etc.
Echoes of martyrdom – the best men go willingly? “our best men with thee doe goe”.
Donne as an intellect and preacher (theatrical/dramatic, wits and conceits). Intellectualises Also reflective of the times....
...discuss death in their poems. They were written in different eras and both poems have different views on this subject. John Donne had a rather privileged upbringing as he was born into a prosperous family and studied law at Oxbridge. Donne, however, was also unfortunate as he lost is father very early in his life and this could have affected his views on death. Tony Harrison on the other hand was born into a proud working class family in Leeds. Harrison’s poem is completely opposite to Donne’s as it tells the reader about his personal life and the unfortunate passing of his Mother.
“Death be not Proud” was written three hundred and fifty years ago and written in sonnet form, a traditional form of writing at that time. In “Death be not Proud”, Donne personifies death, calling death “thee” and “thou”, this makes “death” seem less influential and demonstrates that Donne is not scared of death. Indeed, he challenges and threatens it by saying, in line four, “Die not, poor death, nor yet canst thou kill me”. Donne compares death, a word which normally carries negative connotations, to sleep which is a pleasant experience. By saying this, Donne suggests consequently that death is an enjoyable experience. In lines five to six, it states “From rest and sleep, which but thy pictures be,...
...Donne’s sonnet “Death Be Not Proud” points to a higher power, and particularly shows that death is not always what it seems.
1. Death (define)
2. Lines 1-2
3. Lines 3-8
Body and soul
4. Lines 9-12
Power over death
Causes worse than death
5. Lines 13-14
Death is a step towards eternity
Death is not always what it seems.
An Unfolding of John...
South University Online
February 23, 2013
Instructor: Kathy Knecht
English 1002: Week 1 Assignment 2
“Death Be Not Proud”
Death be not proud, though some have called thee
Mighty and dreadful, for thou art not so;
For those whom thou think’st thou dost overthrow
Die not, poor death, nor yet canst thou kill me.
From rest and sleep, which but thy pictures be,
Much pleasure, then from thee much more must flow,
And soonest our best men with thee do go,
Rest of their bones, and soul’s delivery.
Thou art slave to fate, chance, kings, and desperate men,
And dost with poison, war, and sickness dwell,
And poppy, or charms can make us sleep as well,
And better than thy stroke; why swell’st thou then?
One short sleep past, we wake eternally,
And death shall be no more; death, thou shalt die.
Part A: My Emotions
When I first read this, it was a little depressing, just because it was talking about death in general. However, when I read it again I had a better understanding of where the author was coming from, and how he felt about death. I had an understanding and open-mindedness emotion during this poem for the simple fact that so many people avoid even talking about death, let alone writing about it. However, having said that, I think this...
...Primarily speaking, the necessity of death penalty has been the prolonged clamour of victims' immediate family and relatives of these predators who demoralize and disrespect the life of their preys. A plea for justice has always been the battle cry of these innocent victims who impatiently wait the verdict of this bureaucratic delayed justice system. Moreover, some of these convicts are generally given life imprisonment which in the long run can be granted with parole; years after repayment, vengeance is once sought after by these criminals. Though this humane world has been able to give a glimmer of hope for these prodigal sons to repent for the acts committed, the financial backwash should also be taken into consideration. The need to construct more prisons and jails is growing in leaps and bounds and the hungry stomachs of these people have long been siphoning our economic budget. On the long run, the taxes we pay are feeding these lackadaisical convicts more than the benefits we accumulate
For what we pay.
The first established death penalty laws date back to the Eighteenth Century B.C. in the Code of King Hammurabi of Babylon, which codified the death penalty for 25 different crimes. The death penalty was also part of the Fourteenth Century B.C.'s Hittite Code; in the Seventh Century B.C.'s Draconian Code of Athens, which made death the only punishment for all crimes; and in the Fifth Century...
...CCHU9013: Cultural Heritages in the Contemporary World
Written Essay of Tutorial Assignment:
(Critically discuss the role of UNESCO in highlighting the
significance of cultural and intangible heritage in our modern
Name: Yau Ho Cheung, John
Date of Submission: 17th October 2014
The interpretation of ‘heritage’ differs among organizations and can be
ambiguous because it can connote a multitude of meanings, ranging from lifestyles to
religions. However, it is widely perceived that the broad concept of heritage entails
tangible cultures and intangible elements, as well as the environment (Yahaya, 2006).
The roles of United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
(UNESCO) in emphasizing the importance of cultural and intangible heritage in this era
can be classified into advocator, supervisor and supporter.
In terms of advocation, world heritage conventions have been implemented to
promote the significance of heritage around the globe. The Member States invented
international standards to initiate and strengthen cultural policies at different places of
the world. For example, at the 2003 session of the general conference of UNESCO,
convention about safeguarding intangible cultural heritage was adopted to put emphasis
on heritages that had not been benefited from the current protection framework. The
promotion even went further to the general public. Projects like the World Heritage...
... Death Be Not ProudDeath be not proud is a poem by John Donne where he focuses on presenting an argument against the power of death. Using personification by Speaking to/about death as if it was a person, John Donne addresses death by warning it from its pride and “mighty and dreadful” force (line 2). He starts his argument by telling death that those he kills do not die, and that doesn’t even apply to the poet himself.
In Donne’s point of view in this poem, Death brings “Much Pleasure” (line 5) since he believes earth is a suffering and torturous experience for good souls “Rest of their bones” (line 6). Then the poet starts criticizing death for believing that its above all and thinking highly of itself, Death is not but a “slave to fate, chance, kings, and desperate men” (line 9), here a choice is concluded; for these desperate souls, they can choose between the suffering of this earthly experience or choose the easy way out which is the rest that death offers. Even that can be achieved better by “charms” (line 11) so death has no superior power over us.
Donne uses apostrophe to address “poor death” (Line 3) which is probably pretty embarrassing since death thinks so much of itself as a Tough, mighty...
...Death be not proud
By John Donne
What is the poets personal view on death and what ideas does he bring across to support it?
The poem suggests that the poet has gained personal victory over death, disregarding its power and declaring his own ability to defy it. If you look closer, you would see that death has been written in small letters indicating that death is trifle. That it has no reputation or value. He mocks a very frightening subject implying that, the most severe power that ends the life of every man and woman cannot harm him because of his Christian belief in the afterlife.
In the first quatrain John Donne personifies death. He addresses death as an equal or inferior. By doing so, he is able to confront death and attach characteristics that make it easier for readers to grasp the abstract concept of death. He says that death is not as mighty and dreadful as people have perceived it to be. Giving us hope and motivation to overcome it, just as he did. Next the poet uses sarcasm to put forward that the people death thought he had “taken” are not actually dead, but in a happier place. By this the poet is able to rob death of its “mighty and dreadful” power.
The next quatrain the poet uses a simile that suggests that sleep and rest are like death. Sleep...