A Death With Dignity By Joanna Russ Essay

1227 Words Sep 26th, 2016 5 Pages
A death with dignity, either alone or with others, is certainly preferable over a death without dignity. Whether it be lingering or rather sudden, the moment when the impending inevitability of one’s death looms before an individual makes dignity all the more desirable. However, due to the erratic nature of life, the manner by which people die usually isn’t left up to the individual. When lives are claimed unjustly, people often develop bothersome feelings of malaise and desire justice for the deceased as they worry the departed party wasn’t able to die on his or her terms. Joanna Russ’s protagonist of her science-fiction novel entitled We Who Are About To… experiences similar sentiments following her indiscreet slaughter of her intergalactic shipmates. In the days following the incident, she desperately attempts to deny the inconsistencies in her neo-christian ideologies to thereby reduce the cognitive dissonance of her moral consciousness. Despite the objectionably cynical and misanthropic nature of the narrator, Russ thoroughly invests her audience in the self-contradicting narrator’s internal struggle in order to generate sympathy for the lost, confused narrator—whose merits of intrigue directly derive from her forever-receding pursuit of the occult—and elucidate the complex manner by which people resolve to die with dignity. Russ establishes the narrator’s mysterious allure through her peculiar preoccupation with death. Firstly, in order to perpetuate her…

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