Symbolism of Death by Abby Collier Essay examples

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In “Tradition, Modernity, & Postmodernity in Symbolism of Death”, Abby Collier argues that the symbolic representation of death has been redirected to a individualized representation of the deceased from a traditional representation, influenced by the social and cultural ways of dealing with death. The article discusses the evolution of the cemetery as social records, community and a postindustrial record, focusing on the transformation of the gravestones and memorialization of individuals through symbolic imagery. Collier insists that over the three distinct eras traditional, modern and postmodern, the symbols remain the same, while size, material and finish of gravestones differ.

The cemetery is believed to be a reflection of life,
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The other is subinistitutional, imagery of recreation, individual identification, informed and personal or a mixture of both kinds of symbolism (Collier 732). Other factors included birth cohort, the division of plots, inclusion or exclusion of footstones, commemorative objects and what Collier found to be the most consistent change, the shape, material, finish and height of the gravestone (Collier 738). It was also suggested that there are three distinct eras, traditional 1880-1920, modern 1930-1959 and postmodern 1960-present to indicate the various changes in funerary practice and characteristic of gravestones (Collier 733). The transitions were influenced by culture and assisted in illustration the individuals social class, power and status, until the mid-twentieth century when equal treatment of the individual with uniformity and cultural egalitarian perspective (Collier 736). This shift could be considered a product of the identical mass graves in military cemeteries, and reaction to the rising cost of death.

In Camp Hill cemetery there is a wide range of gravestones from 1844 to the mid-2000’s that reflect similar findings discovered in Collier’s article. There aren’t many individualized gravestones, but of the few there, the symbolic imagery consisted of both institutional and subinstitutional, with a higher number of stones with inscription than decorative imagery. Camp Hill is quartered into

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