The Art of Death - Wanting to Die Summary & Analysis

Danticat, Edwidge
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Summary

Danticat begins this essay quoting Camus, who says, “There is but one truly serious philosophical problem, and that is suicide…[suicide] is confessing that life is too much for you or that you do not understand it” (77). Danticat then discusses how a character from Tony Morrison’s novel Sula decides to make suicide a public holiday. The character, Shadrack, asserts that “death [is] deliberate” (78).

Danticat uses her analysis of Morrison’s novel as a segue to discuss slavery. Danticat tells us that “suicide was common among enslaved people who sought their freedom in the afterlife” (79). The agency to choose death was a way slaves “[affirmed] their humanity” (79). Speculating on the physical trauma of suicide, Danticat says that “literature thrives on suffering,” asserting the characters’ suffering provides the writer with a story (80). By exploring the suffering of characters, writers question whether or not...

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This section contains 1,779 words
(approx. 5 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Art of Death Study Guide
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