Concerns of Death

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Imagine a parallel universe where an individual departs from the living world. Imagine discovering that heaven or hell is not what one faces postmortem. Imagine hearing one’s heart beat when traveling between life and death. Imagine being the only one existent in the world of the dead. Imagine someone’s memories keeping the dead being of many in the undead world, Imagine disappearing once that person who remembered oneself. Kevin Brockmeir portrayed these images in the short story, “The Brief History of the Dead.” Brockemeir begins the narrative in a town where everyone has a different story of how they journeyed from life to death, but they all have one thing in common; the sound of a beating heart. The heart becomes the symbol of the memories of the living keeping the dead alive in the town. The living world, which is referenced many times, is desecated with biological terrorism and war, causes the town’s population to flux. Following these events, the dead begin to disappear in large scales. This provokes the reader to ponder death, religion, oblivion, and complete seclusion. Religion is an important aspect for many in the living world, but what happens when their beliefs are false and God doesn’t exist. The reader comprehends Brockmeiers’ setting the stage for this concern when he states, “no, the city was not heaven, and it was not hell, and it certainly was not the world. It stood to reason, then, that it had to be something else… it was an extension of life itself” (Brockmeier). Bringing up the question whether there is a heaven or a hell. Many of the townspeople continued to worship their God even though they know they are dead and have not met that said God. This is seen when the author states, “some of the dead, it was... ... middle of paper ... ...he fact that in death one finds complete isolation from the life once lived. This is seen when the author writes about the blind man thinking that the heartbeat was his own. Thus feeding into the fear of being secluded. This piece draws on many fears that the reader must face. By feeding off the readers’ fears of the realness of God, oblivion, and total seclusion. The author weaves a web of thought processing that leads the reader into a period of self-observations that are meant enhance one’s understanding for what a person stands for as a human being. Thus, forcing the reader to deal with issues that are prevalent inside of fantasies. Works Cited Brockmeier, Kevin. "The Brief History of the Dead." The Floating Library. N.p., 19 June 2012. Web. 23 Feb. 2014. Gazar, Ben. "Top 10 Ancient Religious Sites." Listverse. Listverse, 25 Aug. 2011. Web. 25 Feb. 2014.

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