Symbolism In Being Dead

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In his 1999 novel, Being Dead, Jim Crace writes about a married middle-aged Zoologists couple, Celice and Joseph; victims of a brutal murder. The couple met as graduate students and spent a summer at Baritone Bay with four other students doing research. As Zoologists, Joseph and Celice observes animal life’s developments: studying the animal’s behavior, habits, interaction—the way the animals live their life on earth, and nothing more after. The novel begins with their return to Baritone Bay where their plans to recreating their romance; however, cut short by a thief who bludgeoned them to death with a chunk of granite. Their bodies lie undiscovered and decomposing for six days, prey to swag flies, crabs, and gull; ironically, Joseph and …show more content…
Ferryman, a person who operates the ferry, in Geo’s case the cab, to the Styx, which separates the land of the living and the land of the dead, to bring Syl to her dead parents. Ironically, Joseph and Celice enjoy the shoreline; Crace metaphorically represents the land for the living and the water for “fish”. Crace argues that the death of both Joseph and Celice was all that was left of them. While Joseph and Celice’s body in the dune eventually discovered by their wounds and waste aroma, for it enticed the “swag flies, crabs, and gull” because this will befall as food for nature (36). Crace expresses his philosophy about life after death whilst, “[a]s you regress, from Zoo. to Bot” (1). Because Crace creates his characters as Zoologists, this poem he created is fitting to how the scientists think; when insects die they become food source to other insects or deteriorate back to earth and become compost; Crace do not believe in life after death, resurrection, or reincarnation. Nature is the only source of all life. When Celice was teaching her Natural Science class, she would project slides that displayed our birth are our gateway to death she then says, “ [y]ou’re

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