John Morgan Professor Brewington English 208 May 30, 2013 Everyone Mortal Must Die One of the major themes in the Epic of Gilgamesh is the theme of immortality. The theme of immortality is also a major theme in the motion picture A Walk to Remember. When comparing the epic to the motion picture, it is important to see that these two works have a similar theme. Both of the main characters in these stories have a fear of their pending death. In the Epic of Gilgamesh, Gilgamesh thinks that he is invincible. He is renowned for his lack of compassion. Gilgamesh and Ekidu defeat several monsters, including Humbaba and the Bull of Heaven. It appears that all of the women in the kingdom want to have sexual intercourse with Gilgamesh. His ego leads him to believe that he will never face death. However, when his powerful friend, Ekidu, passes away of illness, Gilgamesh realizes that he is mortal. He sinks into a deep depression and tries to escape his impending fate. Like Gilgamesh, the main character of the film A Walk to Remember has a hard time accepting her fate of death. Jamie Sullivan, a high school student, becomes sick with cancer and has no chance of recovery. In the beginning of the film, she seems to have accepted her fate. However, she meets the love of her life and does not want her brief time with him to end. Even though these two characters share the same plight, they could not be more different. Jamie Sullivan is a sweet, Christian girl. She treats others with respect. Gilgamesh, on the other hand, is a tyrant and an adulterer. He abuses those that he rules. Gilgamesh fornicates with the wives of other men and abuses his strength.
However, both of these characters are mourning the loss of a loved one who has an illness. Jamie Sullivan is mourning the impending loss of her boyfriend before her death. Gilgamesh is mourning the loss of his best friend, Enkidu, after he passes away from illness. These two characters also have different views on immortality. Jamie Sullivan accepts her death and does not believe that she is deserving of immortality. She never questions her sickness or death. However, Gilgamesh goes in search of an answer to immortality. He tries to find Utnapishtim, the only mortal to become immortal. Although the character’s perception of dying and the afterlife are different, the supporting characters in the stories have a positive outlook on life. Siduri, goddess of wine-making and brewing says to Gilgamesh, “As for you, Gilgamesh, let your belly be full/ Make merry day and night./ Of each day make a feast of rejoicing./ Day and night dance and play!” (Puchner et. al 147). This quote could be seen as a metaphoric message to Gilgamesh. The message is live life and enjoy it. Gilgamesh is so overcome with anxiety over death that he does not enjoy his life after his friend passes away. These two characters also have a different attitude towards death. Gilgamesh does not appreciate the life he had with his friend, Ekidu, until he was gone. It is obvious that he loved Ekidu. However, Gilgamesh does not consider the possibility of his friend’s death until he is sick and passes away. Jamie Sullivan’s outlook on death is very different. She spends as much time as possible with her loved ones. She says to her boyfriend, “Maybe God has a bigger plan for me that I had for myself. Like this journey never ends. Like you were sent to me because I’m sick. To help me through all this. You’re my angel” (A Walk to Remember). The circumstances surrounding