"Everyman" Perception of Death

Topics: Death, Life, Afterlife Pages: 6 (2147 words) Published: October 30, 2012
Perception of Death and Treatment of death in "Everyman"

Thesis Statement
Death is perceived in differently in various cultures and tends to impact an individual personally as compared to a group.

Introduction and Thesis Statement
Discussion 1: Perception of Death in various cultures
Discussion 2: How People Treat Death today as an individual
Author’s Perception
“Everyman” is a metaphorical story that illustrates the value of life and death. The famous medieval play of the 20th century elucidates around the lifetime journey, the sins, family, and the day of reckoning. Death is perceived distinctively in various cultures and tends to impact an individual personally as compared to a group. The journey to death is associated with life’s morals, values, and experiences witnessed in life, but each person’s reactions to death are quite different. Following the brief overview of the “Everyman,” the essay discusses death in several cultures and how individuals treat death with support from scholars. In the story, Everyman is the central character who represents mankind and everything that mankind experiences in life until the Day of Judgment. The story is shown as life lessons for others in the path they have chosen in their lives. Everyman meets different aspects of his life which are themes for humans. He first meets Death sent by god to deliver a message that his life is coming to an end. In response, Everyman tries to bribe Death with material possessions (Goods). Death has no value of these possessions, can’t be bribed, doesn’t wait for anyone, and his decision is final. No man can cheat death and ultimately avoid it, it is inevitable. Death tells Everyman to find someone to accompany him on his journey if he can and that is where the journey begins. On his journey, he meets his best friend (Fellowship), family (Kindred and Cousin), and material wealth (Goods) who all forsake and betray him in his time of need. After that, he meets Good Deeds who is weak to join Everyman on his journey but directs him to call on his awareness of sin (Knowledge) to guide him to Confession. From Confession, Everyman performs atonement (penance) which reinforces Good Deeds strength so that she can accompany him on his reckoning. He also wears the band of remorse (Contrition) while Good Deeds informs him to call upon “three great mights:” discretion, strength, and beauty who are joined by Everyman’s Five Senses. In the last aspect of his journey, Everyman donates his material possessions to charity and with the advice of Knowledge, receives the seven sacraments. In the end of the journey near his grave, Knowledge is left behind while Everyman and Good Deeds ascend to God (Adu-Gyamfi2011). Perception of Death in Various Cultures

People in daily life take certain actions that define who they are. Buddhism defines death as the ultimate truth with little importance to pleasures and attitudes. A Buddhist believes that his path to enlightenment is completed when that person surpass death to reach a higher power. In the current era, Buddhist teachers advise their students to focus on meditations of death and keep minor concerns about the present life and an individual’s transitory happiness. In the West, death is viewed as fulfilling pleasures and obtaining material wealth. They believe that happiness, satisfaction, and enjoyment come through wealth, power, friends, and family. This is highly prevalent in the United States of America. Through innovation of technology, the media educates people to believe or desire sensual pleasures, power, and wealth. They are also told to believe that death is a minor aspect in life and can be ignored. Even customers try to hide signs of aging through plastic surgery and other health-care products, making people believe that they are not getting closer to death. The whole perspective values that the life has happiness and death is the end. Dr. Kalish...
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