The truth about immortality

Mortality is a topic discussed very often in literature.  The idea of life without death is of constant interest to the human mind.  For centuries, people have gone in search for the key to escaping death.  Immortality has its pros and contras, as pointed out by different authors. 

In “Tuck Everlasting” by Natalie Babbitt, the Tuck family unexpectedly discover the secret of immortality and its curses.  Unhappy and stuck in time, the Tucks must work and travel constantly to avoid the discovery of their secret, while wishing for the blessing of death. 

In “The High King,” the fifth and final volume in “The Chronicles of Prydain” by Lloyd Alexander, Taran, the main protagonist, is given the choice between immortality and a hard life ending with death as its reward.  Taran chooses the latter, much to the disappointment of his friends.  Feeling bound by honor and the promises that he made, he chooses this mortal life out of love, the maturity that he has attained through experience, and the true humanity that he belongs to through his noble actions.

Considering the society that humans have created, “eternal life” would have disastrous consequences on this planet.  Although all would remain young and disease would cease to exist, over-population and crime would escalate to such a degree that life itself would become death.  The typical response to the subject of death is fear and anxiety, without realizing that death may sometimes appear to be evil, but is necessary for survival.  The action of dying and a possible afterlife is the root of that common fear, but no one stops and contemplates the boredom that would be interfused with living forever while here on earth.  Unless one had a hobby or an interest that he/she could devote himself/herself entirely to for eternity, immortality would equal only eternal boredom and an everlasting curse.  Immortality could only work in a different world, a different life, or with a different species, especially one that is not greedy, selfish, and always wanting something more.

Natalie Gorna

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