“Last Night” by James Salter is a story about dying and the right to do it on your own terms. Marit Such, one of the three characters, is dying from metastasized uterine cancer. Once a beautiful woman, she has become only a shadow of her former self. Stripped of hope and unwilling to live in this state she has decided to end her life with an overdose of her prescription medication. Marit choose to die with dignity, right which people should have when they figure enough is enough. Exhausted by deadly disease she finds that daily tasks, once done without any effort, are becoming more and more difficult. She complains to her husband that having no energy is the most terrible part of her condition. She is no longer able “to get up and walk around”. Her energy is gone and “it doesn’t come back”. Marit feels that it is necessary to finish her agony. Moments before the injection she reassures her nervous husband, Walter, saying “This is the right thing”. After the lethal dose of morphine, Marit’s pain is finally over and her face is peaceful. In her believes now she can live again, be young again as she once had been. When the assisted suicide goes wrong and Marit wakes up the next morning she is still confident about the rightness of the decision she has made. Her only concern is that she has to do it all over again. Her words to her husband “I thought you were going to help me” express a huge disappointment. She was supposed to be dead and she is not. Going through something like this once is unthinkable but going through it twice is simply macabre. Nevertheless, she will stick to her plan; she will choose death because living the way she is living is so unbearably difficult that “[we] have no idea”.
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