Many prominent writers have described the theme of suicide, analyzing the idea of death in many forms. Suicides are often the most affecting, whether there is an internal monologue of the character in the story or a horrifying mystery surrounding his intentions. In the real world suicide is not romantic at all, however in literature it is often romanticized and shown as beautiful, strange and connected with love. Many books show this particular kind of death, and let us look at several examples of them.
One of the most famous literary works featuring suicide is Shakespeare’s “Hamlet”. Hamlet’s lover Ophelia could not withstand the treachery and committed suicide. The story shows as she drowns in a stream surrounded by the flowers she had held in her arms. This scene is beautiful and scary at the same time. Ophelia’s death could be considered an accident, however we know of her growing madness and incapability of dealing with her distress. Gertrude’s monologue about the drowning of Ophelia is known as one of the most captivating descriptions of death in Shakespeare’s works.
Another dramatic suicide is shown in the novel “Anna Karenina” by Leo Tolstoy. Going through the emotional chaos, desperate Anna throws herself under the train, following the description of the death of a rail worker mentioned earlier in the novel. The reader can imagine the heroine gracefully leaping to her fate, holding her hand up to her forehead.
The death of Emma Bovary in “Madame Bovary” by Gustave Flaubert is another famous suicide in literature. In her life, Madame Bovary dreamed of romance, intrigue and escaping the banalities of provincial life. She was the wife of the doctor and her life was not spectacular at all. She decides to finish her life by eating a bowl of arsenic, however her suffering does not end that fast. She is doomed to publicly suffer for hours before her eventual death. Readers can sense the chilling strangeness in the description of Emma’s losing grip on reality.
Edna Pontellier in “The Awakening” by Kate Chopin is another lady who committed suicide. It is a strange and calm example of suicide – the woman simply walks into the water, and nothing messy happens. The author’s version of suicide is relieving and seems to be a cool compress against the pain Edna experienced in her soul. Her death released her from all the pain that was killing her.
Many prominent writers have described the theme of suicide, analyzing the idea of death in many forms. Suicides are often the most affecting, whether there is an internal monologue of the character in the story or a horrifying mystery surrounding his intentions.