Khalil Gibgan's At A Graveside

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INTRODUCTION First, let us ask - what is death? Death is an abstract idea. It is a phenomenon that unites, within it, the beginning and the end of consciousness, for there can be no death without life. Over time art, literature and philosophy have provided us with several interpretations of death. Death has visited us repeatedly, sometimes as the grim reaper, sometimes as an old friend. However, of all that we know about death, the first and foremost is the fact that death is the only certainty to life. In this paper, I intend to study the idea of death in literature and philosophy and simultaneously, attempt to relate them. For this, I shall be working with two specific texts - Khalil Gibran’s On Death and Søren Kierkegaard’s At a Graveside.…show more content…
He states that to die is to stand “naked” in the wind and “to melt” into the sun. The use of the word “naked” is important here; what Gibran attempts is to re-establish the fact that there is equality in death. The image of a naked man evokes a sense of vulnerability in our minds. Without his garb of expensive apparel, the rich man stands just as exposed in his nakedness as the poor man does. In their nakedness, they are equal because they’re reduced to creatures of flesh and bones. In their vulnerability, the rich man stands just as vulnerable as the poor man. Yet, why does Gibran say “stand naked in the wind”? It is because he uses abstract elements of nature such as the wind or the radiating warmth of the sun to remind the reader that man comes from dust and shall return to it. God has brought forth man through nature and in the end nature shall consume the last of mankind. The vicious cycle of birth and death is inescapable. Thus, one who seeks death in order to attain equality is deceived – when he dies, he stands “naked in the wind” with the man he had envied but he is no more aware of this equality because “to die” is “to melt into the sun” – a gradual fading away of the corporeal
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