The Awakening by Kate Chopin, Paul’s Case by Willa Cather, and Daisy Miller by Henry James

The Awakening by Kate Chopin, Paul’s Case by Willa Cather, and Daisy Miller by Henry James

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Death is the fate of all creatures. From humans to the smallest organisms, such as an amoeba, death is inevitable and cannot be escaped. When pondering upon this, one can find great despair within this truth. Nevertheless, death can be premature. A premature death can be viewed as a death that comes before a being’s average age of death, or in shorter words “expiry date”. To bring this into light, premature death is seen in works of literature, specifically American narratives. Concisely, the narratives that will be brought into analysis include: The Awakening by Kate Chopin, “Paul’s Case” by Willa Cather, and Daisy Miller by Henry James.
Primarily, premature death is seen in the novella, The Awakening by Kate Chopin. In brief, this story revolves around Edna Pontellier, wife of a very wealthy Creole businessman, Léonce Pontellier. The novella focuses on the awakening of Edna who undergoes emotional and mental transformations that lead her to abandoning her lavish lifestyle in order to become “free” in her art, thereby “finding” herself. Feeling trapped by her sumptuous environment, she situates herself in a very infinitesimal abode, described as a “pigeon house” (89), where she remains in solitude. At the end of the novel, she swims out to the sea, ultimately being overwhelmed by the depths and drowns.
In addition, another illustration of premature death is demonstrated in the short story, “Paul’s Case” by Willa Cather. At length, the narrative follows a high school student, Paul. Paul is suspended from his school and is weary of his lackluster middle-class life. Subsequently, he steals $1000 from his current employer and absconds to New York City. At this juncture, Paul reconnoiters the metropolis, only to find that his lar...


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...ion is subjective; however, Henry James may support the fact that it is utter negligence. James would do so for the reason that it can be inferred that when one “does not care,” especially about themselves, they are being negligent.
All in all, the premature deaths of Edna Pontellier, Paul, and Daisy Miller disclose themes to the readers of The Awakening, “Paul’s Case,” and Daisy Miller, correspondingly. When associating similar situations to their own lives, these themes can teach people valuable lessons that can aid individuals in living their life. In any case, witnessing or even reading about deaths can abet a person to live well, in other words live life to the fullest. Life is too short and as proven by the examples above can end in an untimely manner, even so one must enjoy the precious moments they have for it can all disappear in the twinkling of an eye.

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