Death as a Lecture Essay examples

Submitted By ylin2
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DEATH AS A LECTURE From a philosophical perspective, death is just an ending phase of a cycle that everyone will inevitably experience. On one hand, some people are so afraid of death that the fear limits them. On the other hand, others utilize their awareness of death as a reason to cherish every single minute they spend and learn from the mistakes they have made. It all depends on how people interpret and use the fear of death. In “The Nick Adams Stories,” Ernest Hemingway presents a series of short stories discussing a boy’s life in the early 1900s in the Michigan woods. This boy, Nick Adams, has gone through several incidents of encountering death. He not only witnesses death personally in his childhood, but also faces the decision whether or not to help people near him at the brink of death. After he grows up and joins the war, he finally overcomes the fear of death and realizes that death is a required stage of life. Nick could have been restricted by the fear of death, but he learns from the past and applies those lessons to his life. Thus, he is completely comfortable with the fact that he will die eventually and is able to teach his child about the meaning of death. As a result, the experiences of facing death foster Nick to grow rapidly into a respectable and honorable man. The incident of witnessing death in his childhood leads Nick to develop and grow faster than common children of his time. Nick feels the fear of death when staying alone in the woods. This is the first time he encounters the prospect of death. If he remains within the protection of his home, he will not confront this reality. Unlike other children who grow up in safe environments, Nick has to learn survival skills at a young age. Therefore, he has a deeper impression and understanding of death than other children do. In “Three Shots,” Hemingway writes, “Some day the silver cord will break. While they were singing the hymn Nick had realized that some day he must die” (Hemingway 14). The quote obviously shows Nick’s fear in facing death. However, he also overcomes the fear and turns it into a positive power to grow; the positive power that accelerates his development as a respectable character. By having an optimistic attitude towards death, Nick adapts the fear he has experienced and converts it into valuable knowledge in later life. He is not defeated by his fear, but he obtains it in an effective way that helps him to develop as an affirmative and kind character in the future. Throughout watching Ole Anderson’s example of facing death, Nick grows mentally at a fast pace to become a mature man. He realizes that in general a real man does not fight against nor does he escape from death. Instead, a real man would face adversity bravely because he has proved his masculinity. Ole says, “I’m through with all that running around” (Hemingway 67). As a result, Nick finally understands a man’s way of dealing with death. In addition, he sees both the good and evil sides of human nature. He figures out that a man can be as heartless as the killer, but also as gentle as Ole. In other words, he learns from this experience that one needs to be able to protect oneself in this dangerous world. Due to his sympathetic nature, Ole’s example helps him develop the unique characteristic of kindness. Consequently, he learns psychologically from Ole’s attitude of facing death. Stuckey argues, “Nick stands to the victim (Ole) in somewhat the same relationship as the husband in “Indian Camp” stands to his wife. As a result of this experience, he feels quite sure that he will never die” (Stuckey 129). From being afraid of staying alone in woods to being assertive of his capability to withstand hardship, Nick makes this great accomplishment from witnessing death around people nearby him. Readers can also see that Nick becomes confident; he can conquer the fear if he is in the position of the Native American husband. Nick learns and applies knowledge from his past