Who is this Death you Speak of?: Piers Anthony's On A Pale Horse
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Who is this Death You Speak Of?
According to Alan Loy McGinnis, “there is no more noble occupation in the world than to assist another human being - to help someone succeed.” Piers Anthony, the author of the book On a Pale Horse, seems to agree with that statement when he writes the book series called Incarnations of Immortality, of which On a Pale Horse is the first. This book is a fascinating work of fiction that relates science to magic and expresses that human beings might need a little more help than they expect. The potentially disconcerting view of the world Anthony takes is that there are people assigned to job titles that exist outside of our Earth, and they are the ones who watch over the Earth and its inhabitants to make sure human life goes as it should. In this book, an average man named Zane happens upon a job offer to act as Death, takes the opportunity, and adds more meaning to his life than he has ever had before. Zane encounters a struggle when he has to face Satan, the Incarnation of Evil, and through his work learns that everyone should do what is morally right because it affects us more than we know. On a Pale Horse is an allegorical piece of fiction that uses Greek and Christian beliefs, possibly along with others, in an attempt to teach that everything you do matters, so always do what is right.
When Zane accepts the position of Death, he joins a group of Incarnations who reside in Purgatory, and work together to keep the world running properly. A majority of the names Anthony uses for the jobs have been taken from Greek Gods, Goddesses, and Personifications. Anthony uses these references to mythology to act as an aid to his creation of the characters. The main uses of mythology are as follows: “to answer t...
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