The Gift: Creativity and the Artist in the Modern World - Part I, Chapter 3: “The Labor of Gratitude” Summary & Analysis

Lewis Hyde
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Summary

Hyde begins this chapter by discussing certain instances of thresholds gifts—funeral gifts, for example—that mark a type of passage or transformation. Such gifts are exchanged during times of great change. Funeral gifts are a particularly salient example because all transformations involve some kind of death, according to Hyde. Religious conversions, for example, mark the death of a particular kind of self as well as the birth of something new. The gifts that commemorate these types of passage (and death) are meant to “make visible life’s reciprocation” as “they are not mere compensation for what is lost, but the promise of what lies ahead” (55). The death that occurs during these moments of change opens on to more life and threshold gifts serve to mark the time and occasion of the transformation.

In each case in which...

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This section contains 896 words
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