Death in the open

Topics: Life, Death, Organism Pages: 3 (831 words) Published: October 7, 2014
Death in the open
In the essay “Death in the Open” Lewis Thomas talks about the dead animals he finds on the side of the road and how he feels about such death. Life is about leaving an impression in one way or another. Death is a reflection on what a person has done in the world. Thomas’ feelings towards death is sadness and anger because of the way he reacts towards dead animals on the side of the road, how he feels about life as a whole is a positive feeling, and how he thinks animals deal with death. When the author sees death in the open, he feels as though it a reminder of death. This is proven when he reacts by seeing a dead animal on the side of the road. Thomas says, “[t]he outrage is more than just the location; it is the impropriety of such visible death, anywhere” (Thomas 534). This shows that just by witnessing death of another living animal the author feels anger because this dead animal is a reminder that one day he will die. When the author talks about life he has a slightly different tone. Thomas says, “[i]f it were not for the constant renewal and replacement going on before your eyes, the whole place would turn to stone and sand under your feet” (Thomas 534). This shows that even though he views the world as a place where living creatures die on a constant basis but to the author life is able to defeat death by reproducing and never giving up. He gives this example when he talks about single cells. Thomas says, “[t]here are some creatures that do seem to die at all; they simply vanish totally into their own progeny. Single cells do this” (Thomas 535). He goes on to explain how the cell first starts as just one but then multiplies itself into two then four and so on. This demonstrate the author's amazement of life, the cell doesn't die but just reproduces with itself to make more life. Thomas also wrote about how death is also well hidden in most cases. At the begging of the essay he talks about dead animals on the road and how it makes him...

Cited: Thomas, Lewis. “Death in the Open” The Norton Book of Nature Writing. Robert Finch and John Elder. College ed. New York; W.W. Norton and Company, 2002. 533-535. Print.
Thomas, Lewis. “The World’s Biggest Membrane” The Norton Book of Nature Writing. Robert Finch and John Elder. College ed. New York; W.W. Norton and Company, 2002. 536-538. Print.
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