Appointment In Samarra

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Midterm Exam “The Appointment in Samarra” is a short story that has a different outlook from the one that is popular in western cultures. In the story Death is a woman who let’s a servant know he’s going to die while the servant is at a marketplace buying items. Death is personalized as a vulnerable woman who can make a mistake regarding one’s fate. This “Death” character differs from the established idea of the current society in which Death is portrayed as a man or as the frightening Grim Reaper. Death in the story doesn’t seem to embody the idea of the Grim Reaper but rather the opposite. She isn’t threatening or evil where as the popular conception of death are threatening, evil and an ominous figure. In the story when Death is introduced by the servant, he establishes that she is a woman by saying “I was jostled by a woman in the crowd and when I turned it was Death that jostled me” (Maugham 1). She doesn’t seem threatening and intense as represented by the Grim Reaper. The Grim Reaper usually is a male that doesn’t show his identity because he hides under a dark robe. He also carries a scythe for slaying souls. However in the story death is represented like a normal woman at a marketplace. She is Non-threatening, neither scary nor intimidating. Nevertheless The Servant recognizes who she is and once he acknowledge the current situation he’s in, he becomes frightened. At that point The Servant runs away to Samarra and believes fate would change because Death won’t find him there. The Merchant who’s the Servant’s master then asks Death “Why did you make a threatening gesture to my servant when you saw him this morning” (Maugham 1). Death replies with “That was not a threatening gesture, I said, it was only a start of surprise” (Maugham 1). This implies that she isn’t accurate when it came to being “Death”. She was shocked to find the servant in Baghdad when
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