Encounter with Death; Comparing and Contrasting “the Appointment in Samarra” and “Godfather Death”

Topics: W. Somerset Maugham, Brothers Grimm, English-language films Pages: 2 (542 words) Published: May 7, 2012
In W. Somerset Maugham’s “The Appointment in Samarra” and The Grimm Brothers’ “Godfather Death,” The reader is exposed to two classic stories on Death, sharing both difference and similarities. Although the stories share the same character, it is through the authors’ use of language, plot and ending that it is evident to notice Death is not always portrayed in one specific form.

In “The Appointment in Samarra,” the author successfully manages to portray Death in a negative way by carefully choosing the language which he uses. His words express the fear the character has when facing Death; “She looked at me and made a threatening gesture…Death will not find me.”(Maugham 1).The reader can easily identify itself to this character as it is rare to find someone who looks forward to Death. In “Godfather Death,” however, Death is portrayed in quite a different light. The characters of the story welcome him and view him as morally sound “I am Death, who makes all men equal.’ Then the man said ‘You are the right one. You take the rich and poor without distinction.’” (Grimm 1). The Grimm Brothers evoke a sense of serenity and stableness with Death.

The plots in these stories are another aspect that sets them apart. In “The Appointment in Samarra,” the character runs away from Death, attempting to escape his fate. “I will ride away from this city and avoid my fate.” (Maugham 1). Maugham even defines Death’s look as threatening and describes the character running away to a city sixty miles away. In “The Godfather Death,” the character encourages Death’s presence, even requesting that he becomes a child’s Godfather because he will be the most just Godfather “The baptism is next Sunday be there on time.” (Grimm 1). The characters want Death because he treats all as equals. He takes the poor and the rich without discrimination.

Although these stories differ in various aspects, there is one unifying idea; the finale of the stories. In “The Appointment in Samarra,” the...
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