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Man's Attraction to Death

Man's Attraction to Death

Posted on Oct 2017

Man’s activities such as the exploration of the space and the oceans have been dangerous as they act as an attraction to their deaths. Poe’s novel The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym, gives its readers an experience of how it is like for one to be on the open sea. One of the dominant themes in this novel is the attraction of man to death. The open sea is subject to terrible storms that may wreck ships and lead to the death of people. The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym by Poe is an illustration that man does a number of things that makes him get attracted to death, something that still exists in the contemporary world.

In the novel, the ship is heading for Antarctica so as to find a route that is closest to the South Pole. The attraction of man to death is evident when Jane Guy’s crew drives the ship far beyond where no other Western ships have reached, which makes them to make contact with welcoming primitives who later turn murderously treacherous. Pym travels in a secret trap,

This was on the twentieth of June. It will be remembered that I had then been in the hold for three days; and, during this period, there was so constant a bustle on board, and so much running to and fro, especially in the cabin and staterooms, that he had had no chance of visiting me without the risk of having the secret of the trap discovered” (Chapter 4).

Even though most of Pym’s shipmates are slaughtered, he does everything so that he may stay alive as well as escape. Death attracts the Pym and his fellow shipmates the moment they set on this dangerous expedition as occurrences of the sea are dictated by nature and the strong winds.  In addition, violence and terrible storms arise during this expedition leaving the crew members stranded on the wreckage for a long time until Jane Guy comes to their rescue. All these are a reflection of the fact that mankind have done many things that are dangerous enough to cause deaths.

The exploration of nature by man is a major activity that exposes man to death, for instance, mountain climbing. There is an obvious madness that is identified with mountaineering, which has prompted terrible events, for example, the 1996 Mount Everest catastrophe where lives were lost. Into Thin Air is a record by Jon Krakauer that represents this unfortunate occasion that was brought about by the proposition of a few individuals to conquer Mount Everest. The risk of climbing the mountain is tremendous, and through joining in, for example, endeavors, these aides, famously known as the Sharpa are set in peril. Into Thin Air by Krakauer portrays the downfall of a few climbers in an enterprise that was perhaps regarded as sheltered by the Sherpa. According to Krakauer, “mountain climate is not fit for the survival of human beings owing to low oxygen levels that make the human’s brain be limited in terms of its functioning” (77).

The joining of people in the armed forces acts as an attraction to death as they are going into the battle field to face an enemy that would not hesitate to put a bullet into their head. Many soldiers have lost their lives on the battlefield in the past few years. Unlike during the World Wars where people were coerced to join the army, nowadays people joining the army do it voluntarily which puts their lives on the line. The attack against the Iraqi nation by the U.S. put the lives of those who went to the war in danger. There are many U.S. soldiers who were deployed to go to fight the insurgents in Iraq. As a result, many Americans lost their lives. According to Chantiloupe, “President Bush made the decision to attack Iraq with the blessing of Congress. They put the lives of more than 150,000 U.S. soldiers at risk unnecessarily because the U.S. was not at work with Iraq and neither was there any danger of being attacked with these purported weapons of mass destruction” (352).

Poe is by all accounts proposing in the novel that the creative energy can be an unsafe thing; this is especially perceptible in the circumstance where Pym is sliding a rock from an extraordinary tallness and stresses over tumbling to his demise. He starts to permit his creative ability to assume control, really imagining the minute when he falls and hits the ground. This gets to be so compelling, so genuine, that he really does tumble off and is spared by Peters. The circumstance in the hold is telling too, for Pym's conviction that he is covered, and that his puppy is an awful animal, makes him unreasonable and pernicious to himself. This thought is upheld by a quote from Ernest Hemingway: "Cowardice...is quite often essentially an absence of capacity to suspend the working of the creative energy.  

“More than once he had resolved to acquaint the mutineers with the secret of my being on board, but was restrained from so doing, partly through recollection of the atrocities he had already beheld, and partly through a hope of being able soon to bring me relief.

In conclusion, man is indeed attracted to death through some of the dangerous activites that he engages in. Poe was entranced by the ocean, and his first and final novel embraces huge numbers of the traditions of the extremely mainstream nineteenth century sort of investigation writing. He drew on the work (and for one situation, even level out utilized the work) of well known pilgrims like Morrell and Reynolds, and creators like Daniel Defoe. He impersonated their direct, perception situated tone and their wordy, lively style. There are numerous "logical" entries about different species and cruising themes, for example, stowage. He filled his novel with the majority of the tropes of the class - storms and wrecks, savage savages, human flesh consumption, revolt, and experimental investigation. Numerous commentators accept he was really caricaturing this sort of writing through the sheer abundance of fantastical occasions and experiences. Poe has taken a commonplace structure and misrepresented it certifiably. Despite the fact that Poe accepted this to be a "senseless" book, its study of a prevalent structure is truly shrewd.