Mortality In Ben Wolf's Deadline

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It is a popular hypothetical question: If you only had a year (or some other finite period of time) to live, how would you spend it? What would you do? What conversations would you have? Where would you go, and with whom? Ben Wolf, Deadline's narrator, is faced with these questions at the beginning of his senior year of high school. When he is diagnosed with a terminal illness, Ben decides, against his doctor's wishes, not to undergo any treatment and to tell no one, but rather to live his life in a meaningful way without worrying his family and friends. Despite his small stature, he joins the football team, and does quite well. He starts dating a girl he never thought he had a chance with before. He befriends and does his best to help the…show more content…
In reading Deadline, one sees death from Ben's point of view, but as he begins to realize how his passing will affect those who care about him, the reader can also sympathize with Ben's friends and family. We have all experienced, or will someday experience, the death of a close friend or family member, and at some point we will all have to come to grips with our own mortality. Deadline treats these universal truths with both humor and…show more content…
This would be a good pre-reading activity for the students to take part in. If they only had a year to live, what would their priorities be? They could record their lists in a journal, and those who wish to could share their answers, or they could all share their lists on an electronic discussion board. With such a delicate subject, the latter might be preferable, as students sometimes feel more comfortable expressing themselves in writing (Rozema and Webb 31). The Moe Bandy song "Too Old to Die Young" (written by Scott Dooley, Kevin Welch, John Hadley; see YouTube video below) appears several times in the novel. As a pre-reading activity, students could listen to the song (and, perhaps, read along with a print-out of the lyrics) and write a journal entry about what the lyrics mean to them. Upon finishing the novel, students could listen to the song a second time and write a response about how the song relates to Ben and his last year of

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