Seize the Day Paper

Topics: Saul Bellow, Fiction, Character Pages: 2 (473 words) Published: November 27, 2012
Seize The Day Essay

In Saul Bellow’s novel, Seize the Day the author tries to show the connection of irony within the main character Tommy Wilhelm and the final scene of the funeral. He does so by showing readers the connection a stranger may have with another individual they have never encountered with before. This has to do with the work as a whole because in the final scene irony is portrayed.

In the final scene, when Tommy Wilhelm carelessly attends a funeral for a stranger on the street, he begins to sob uncontrollably at the sight of the unknown corpse. This is a painful reminder of his own mortality and the release of emotion he has been building up over the decline of his life. This would be considered ironic because Tommy is the only one present at the funeral that is expressing such emotion and this makes others in attendance believe he must have been very close to the deceased to be so devastated. In realization no one is crying for the dead man, not even Tommy, because he is crying for himself. This is not only irony but it also serves to emphasize the entire theme of the novel, which can be portrayed as the “world laughs with you; cry and you cry alone”.  It seems that his crying is the realization of the title. It’s the first time in the novel where Tommy simply drops his rationalizations and succumbs to the moment, to his emotions, to his state of being in the world as a human being. His crying indicates the sum total of all his tribulations. He seizes the moment to weep openly at his failures, at his shortcomings, and at how the reality of his life did not mirror anything of its dreams he hoped for. His tears for this unknown deceased person indicate that he has recognized his own failures. One can only hope that such a benign moment could yield something in terms of a new beginning with a better sense of self. In a world where few would weep for him, he must seize the opportunity to weep for himself of what might have been, what could have...
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