Exploring the motifs of death and immortality

  • OM Maina


felt threatened by the eventuality of death, inculcating in them a fear so great that all possible strategies are engaged in the search for an avenue that would prepare them for this eventuality. A careful exploration of human activities surrounding the issues of death and immortality reveals an obsession with the expression of the possibility of defeating death through the artistic act. Art functions as the arena where human beings can mock, jeer, and repudiate mortality. Indeed, death is a central conundrum in philosophical, literary and even religious arguments that focus on human identity and reality. The usefulness of literature in exposing human fears, aspirations and desires is emphasized as literature functions as the meeting point where all manner of philosophies are presented and debated. In examining how the motifs of death and immortality are represented in the artistic act, it is imperative that this article draws from a wide range of genres. Apparently, both oral and written forms of human expression, as well as metaphysical, fantastic and mythic representations of the cultural text have been taken into consideration. The revelation is that we rely on art to express even our deepest fears, and we reciprocate by giving art an immortal status. This results in an interdependence that combines to defeat the abrasiveness of mortality. Also, this symbiotic relationship accords the creative act a pivotal role for it gives death a form and a face, making it easier for us to deal with it and assume a privileged psychological standpoint.

Journal of Language, Technology & Entrepreneurship in Africa Vol. 1 (2) 2009: pp. 187-197

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1998-1279