Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Donald Barthelme

Summary?  There's a class and everything died that was associated with the class. everything. including two class members.  There was always a "lesson" that went along with everything dying, although the teacher doesn't always know why things died.  The students questioned the meaning of life, was death what defined life, the teacher responded that life defined life.  The class then asked if the teacher would make love with Helen so they could see how it was done, he responded no because he would get fired.  Helen came over and he kissed her above the brow, the students were excited until the door opened and the new gerbil came into the room.

So is the moment where she goes over and he begins kissing her kind of like something I want to do before I die?  I don't want to have any regrets?  I find it very strange that the class asked them to have sex so they could see how it happens.  Although I'm not surprised it didn't happen because this all seems to be about death and the negatives in life.  Sex is supposed to be the epitome of human intimacy and love and hope.  Yet instead of that happening the class gets a new gerbil, which brings temporary hope because we all know the gerbil will die.  It's what always happens.

I think that death does define life.  Aren't we moving everyday towards death?  Don't we say we want to do things before we die?  Aren't people lives remembered once they're dead but not really seen when they're living?

So what has this world come to that life is not defined by what we are doing while living but what will be remembered once we're dead?  I'm guilty of this, guilty of thinking I should do something to be remembered.  I have a motto that I want to make a difference in the world, one person at a time.  But do I do this really to help or do I do this so I'm never forgotten?  Isn't that everyone's fear, to be forgotten?

1 comment:

  1. This is the hero's journey archetype. Does Beowulf battle Grendel for the greater good, or so his name will live on after he is dead? If there is no "punishment or reward" after death, in other words, no heaven or hell, then how does one "live forever"?