Thursday, November 14, 2013
GHOSTS AND THE AFTERLIFE
Blog#5 Option#1: A
GHOSTS AND THE AFTERLIFE
In Isaac Bashevis Singer’s short story “The Reencounter” the main characters find themselves without their human bodies. The main characters are Dr. Greitzer and Liza Nestling. They were former lovers but broke up many years before their deaths. For some unknown reason the pair find themselves together in the spirit world. The short story “The Reencounter” and the movie Ghost both show what the afterlife might be like for human beings. The main characters in the movie are Sam Wheat played by Patrick Swayze and Molly Jenson played by Demi Moore. Both of these stories deal with romantic love and death.
Love is a major theme throughout both “The Reencounter” and Ghost: the love stories allow the reader to feel empathy for the characters. The stories are full of love and heartbreak. In the movie Ghost, Sam is murdered by a jealous friend and has to keep his girlfriend from falling in love with his murderer. The story follows Sam’s spirit as he tries to connect with living people but unfortunately he can only speak to one person. “The Reencounter” is also a story full of love that evokes empathy for the main characters. The inner dialog in the story describes his love for Liza: by saying, “twelve years had passed since their breaking up. She had been his great love” (Singer 236). Their relationship in the human world did not workout but for some reason they were pulled together by the cosmos after death. And for some mysterious reason at the end of Ghost, Sam is finally able to speak to Molly before he is pulled into the next world.
Both stories revolve around the idea of the afterlife and death itself. The stories try to give a brief glimpse into what people might experience after they die. In both stories the characters maintain their cognitive abilities without their bodies and are able to remember their human lives. Although in “The Reencounter” we learn that death does come with a certain amount of amnesia. As a Ghost, Sam does not leave earth right away because he was brutally murdered by a man that he thought was his friend. Sam has to stay on earth longer to keep his girlfriend away from this man. In both of the stories the afterlife is not heavenly as might be expected. In “The Reencounter,” Dr. Greitzer says, “of all my disenchantments immortality is the greatest” (Singer 241). The doctor is not amazed by “being dead” the way that he apparently thought he would be. These stories are interesting and engaging to many people because we wonder what will happen to us after we die. Death is one of life’s greatest mysteries because we do not get to understand it until we are dead.
Ghost. dir, Jerry Zucker. perf, Patrick Swayze, Demi Moore, Whoopi Goldberg, Tony Glodwyn. Paramount Pictures. 1990. DVD.
Singer, Isaac Bashevis. “The Reencounter.” American Gothic Tales. Ed. Joyce Carol Oates. New York: Plume, 1996. 191-98. Print.