Saturday, February 7, 2015

"Life in Death" ft. Kafka,Eliot and Baudelaire

Thought T.S. Eliot's The Wasteland, there are several scenes where we view people gaining life from death. In The Burial of the Dead, Eliot writes, "That corpse you planted last year in your garden, Has it begun to sprout? Will it bloom this year? Or has the sudden frost disturbed it's bed?" The described scenes of dead bodies personified as flowers gives them essentially life once more. The dead are achieving life from death, almost as zombies, in Eliot's last few lines of The Burial of the Dead. More like The Burial of the Dead yet the come back to life like flower zombies. ANYWAYS, this reminded me of "The Carcass" by Baudelaire. The Carcass that he and his lover come across a carcass that serves as a source of nutrition for the forest. Though dead, other animals can feed themselves and their families off of the open resource. Like the dead buried underground who will find life in death in blooming, the carcass found life in death by helping her forest friends. In addition, Kafka's Metamorphosis again reminded me of the life in death theme. When Gregor dies, his family is transformed and given a different kind of life. Gregors selfless death relieves his family of the burden of taking care of a bug son. They decide to focus on the growth of Grete, a new caterpillar emerging, and the growth of the family. All of these examples show that it is possible to receive life after death, whether your a flower, nutritional source, or a new family.


Isabel Celata said...

I think that a lot of these works also have Christ-like imagery. Christ is also all about life coming from death, because according to Christian theology, you get eternal life by accepting that Jesus died to redeem your sins.

Tiffany Tavassoli said...

I also agree that in A Carcass and in the Waste Land death and life come so close to one another that in my opinion, it's hard to tell them apart. I feel that it's a constant remind that out of death, life can come out of it. In the Waste Land, the roots and this idea of clutching reminds me of memories or things of the past that are now "dead," yet we try to grasp or clutch onto these roots to bring them back into our life. In a Carcass, the dead body has its legs open, which is a symbol of life and death all in one. I think that Baudelaire, Kafka, and Eliot tie life and death together to wake up the reader to the reality that life and death might not be as independent from one another as one may think.