A Comparative Analysis Of Symbolism Used In The Death Rituals Of The Rural Greeks & Balinese To My Own Experiences With Death Ritual Symbols

2176 words - 9 pages

In all areas of life there are symbols. As human beings, it is in our nature to define things, name things, and place meaning to things. At some point in time, human beings saw that order, not just of the natural world, but man made order was good for everyone. However, there are things that human beings could not put into that order. When something living and breathing is here one day and gone the next, how could they make sense of something that was once so concrete, but now so remarkably changed in form? There are things that are not things, but they are ideas. Ideas are not seen or touched, but they are just there. Love, hate, justice, purity, and so forth are things that have no certain physical form. We named them, but then came the dilemma of how to show that they exist. A symbol, then, is a concrete object from our physical and material world that is used to represent an intangible thing in the physical world. Symbols play the role of intermediaries by connecting the abstract with what can be seen and touched by our own eyes and hands. Through this physical connection, human beings can come to terms with their passing fellow man into a world that no one can describe, except to place other meanings to the objects we already know. So, let us travel half way around the world to a third world village in Bali, located in Southeast Asia. It is there that several families have pooled their money and resources to have a long awaited cremation ceremony for their deceased loved ones. Despite waiting many years already, it is important that the ground in which the bodies were originally buried not get too "hot," because not only does it mean that the body is decaying, but symbolizes the anger and decay of the waiting soul that has not been allowed to pass through the proper means. One week prior to the cremation ceremony special objects called effigies are made. They look like little dolls and are made of coins and grasses. The effigies are very important, because they represent the deceased persons since the actual bodies are no longer able to be there. Everyone sits around making them and makes sure they know which effigy is which relative. It looks like any other family gathering where people are making arts and crafts until their spiritual leader comes and the effigies are wrapped in white shrouds. The effigies are treated just as the dead body of the deceased would be treated if it were still intact for the ceremony. It seems very important that the Balinese honor their deceased loved ones' once presence in the physical world. The shrouded effigies are placed on a bed-like table and mourners file by touching and chanting at the effigies to say goodbye. Later, as offerings are being prepared, special grandparent figures are made to be in charge of the offerings. They will be carried and used throughout the ceremony almost like puppet figures that give orders and tell people what to do. An even more important moment comes when a chick is...

Find Another Essay On A Comparative Analysis of Symbolism Used in the Death Rituals of the Rural Greeks & Balinese to My Own Experiences with Death Ritual Symbols

Symbolism used in Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman. In particular, the three main uses of symbolism mentioned include machines, diamonds, and garden seeds

1052 words - 4 pages çade of this dream is explored in the play with the use of three symbols: machines, garden seeds, and diamonds.Miller uses diamonds to illustrate how brittle Willy's formula for achieving the American Dream really is. Diamonds are tangible proof of success in the eyes of Willy Loman. They represent a verification of triumph in achieving the American Dream for both himself and his family. Willy often seeks advice about success in imagined

Symbolism In Death Of A Salesman

970 words - 4 pages Symbolism in Death of a SalesmanArthur Miller?s Death of a Salesman is the origin of modern tragedy; indeed, Miller created the genre when he penned the tale of Willy Loman, the sad, struggling average Joe who just cannot make his life succeed. Numerous and clearly defined examples of symbolism helped to make this play a successful and accepted tragedy. These symbols gave the play a depth that allowed it to reach its audiences on a more personal

Symbolism of Life and Death in “The Masque of the

1064 words - 4 pages Symbolism of Life and Death in "The Masque of the Red Death" One characteristic of a romantic piece of literature is the use of symbolism the authors use in their works. In Edgar Allan Poe's short story "The Masque of the Red Death," symbolism is used and seen many times. Some things in the story, when taken at face value, seem peculiar and confusing, such as the different colored rooms in the hallway, the purpose of the giant ebony clock, and

Explore the ways Seamus Heaney presents emotions and experiences in “Digging” and “Death of a Naturalist”

672 words - 3 pages . Perhaps Heaney is referring to his pen as a tool for digging because he is unearthing his childhood memories with the pen; excavating his mind. There is a clear divide between the two stanzas in “Death of a Naturalist”, both typographical and linguistic. The division is made evident when the word “then” is used, indicating a change. In the first section, a young child’s wonderment and awe at the beauty of nature is emphasised, particularly when

The Use Of Symbols In "The Masque Of The Red Death"

1119 words - 4 pages Everyone fears their own death, thus why some people will do anything to escape it. In Edgar Allan Poe's short story, “The Masque of the Red Death”, this fear is experienced by all. In the story, a prince named Prospero and his people try to elude the Red Death through seclusion and isolation in the prince's abbey. However, no walls can stop death since it is unavoidable and inescapable. Throughout the story, Poe uses symbols such as the rooms

Symbols, Symbolism and Irony in Thomas Mann's Death in Venice

2303 words - 9 pages Symbols, Symbolism and Irony in Thomas Mann's Death in Venice       In the novel Death in Venice, by Thomas Mann, an observer compliments the main character Gustave von Aschenbach by saying, " 'You see, Aschenbach has always lived like this '-here the speaker closed the fingers of his left hand to a fist-'never like this '-and he let his hand hang relaxed from the back of his chair" (p. 1069).  This is a perfect description of Aschenbach

How are death rituals indicative of aspects of identity? Discuss with examples

3411 words - 14 pages which the deceased once belonged are immediately represented in the organisation of dispersal, and how, in the act of disposal, are buried the social, political and cultural symbols which served to derive the social persona of the deceased" (Prior; 1989; p174).Cross-cultural analysis reveals that neither grief rituals nor the meanings and taboos surrounding death are fixed. China is a culture with a strong taboo around death, they do not make

Symbolism in "The Masque of the Red Death" and "The Cask of Amontillado"

1200 words - 5 pages witnesses a plague known as the Red Death, consuming the entire city. Prospero invites the elite of his kingdom to join him in his castle and take refuge from the poor people suffering and the disease. To help his guests ignore the disease and suffering right outside the castle he holds a masked ball. Throughout the story Poe uses symbolism to emphasize the plague and death in his story. Some of the important symbols in this story are the seven

The Symbolism of Death in Alistair McLeod’s "The Lost Salt Gift of Blood"

770 words - 3 pages forever your own dreams and inclinations.” (p. ) After the father’s death the son was free to return to his own life and follow his own dreams. In the story “The Road to Rankings Point” death predetermines a young mans future. The young man Calum, has only been given a few months to live. He was living in Toronto but decided to go home to Cape Breton to live with his grand mother who is also unsure of her death. Calum’s grand mother loves him

Edgar Allan Poe's Use of Suspense and Symbolism in The Masque of the Red Death

661 words - 3 pages Suspense is the feeling of uncertainty or excitement, in waiting for an outcome or decision. Edgar Allan Poe uses suspense in his story “Masque of the Red Death” by using objects and great descriptive detail. Poe’s story is about a prince that tries to escape from the inevitable. He tries to lock himself away from the ‘red death’ and has a masquerade ball that doesn’t end happily. Prince and all of his guests die inside or around the seventh

Symbolism and imagery in The Masque of the Red Death and The Shawl

1048 words - 4 pages The Shawl written by Cynthia Ozick and Edgar Allen Poe's The Masque of the Red Death are elaborate allegories that use symbolism and imagery to illustrate the image of death. In both these stories, death is inevitable, the end of a human life. However, in the first short story, The Shawl, Ozick shows us that death is inevitable and it is useless if you attempt to escape it. And in the second story, Poe symbolizes the immortality many of us

Similar Essays

Symbols And Symbolism In Edgar Allan Poe's The Masque Of The Red Death

2006 words - 8 pages death, and he might also be quite interested in the interpretations that have arisen regarding his topics. In addition to the symbolism Poe includes in his writing of "The Masque of the Red Death", there are aspects of this short story that shine through to reflect Poe's own tortuous reality. Some see "The Masque of the Red Death" as a depiction of Poe's own life and the seemingly endless amount of death he came into contact with

The Symbolism Of Ophelia's Death Essay

1472 words - 6 pages develop her own convictions and individual identity and question authority. Secondly, Ophelia’s surrender to her imminent fate also echoes her unstable, manipulative, and emotional abusive relationship with Hamlet and the hierarchy in her dynamic, as she always obeys without hesitation. Regardless of how Ophelia’s death began, the result was a suicide, as the pure (graceful), serene, and beautiful imagery of her suicide implies that her death was a

Rituals Of Death Within Literature Essay

894 words - 4 pages death, and in turn Juliet commits suicide in hopes of joining Romeo for eternity. Such examples could signify the similarities between Shakespeare’s life and his fictional stories. The rituals from these literary works were based upon the “goodness” of the person, and the religious beliefs held upon the time written. From Beowulf, the protagonist was laid to rest in a burrow along with a massive treasure. In Hamlet, Ophelia’s funeral is

Symbols And Journey Used In Ellison's Book "Invisible Man" And Miller's "Death Of A Salesman"

512 words - 2 pages In the book Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison and the play Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller the two writers use various symbols to develop the American Literature Theme of The Journey. Two important symbols Ellison uses in Invisible Man are dreams and the narrator’s briefcase. Two important symbols in Death of a Salesman are diamonds and the car. Ellison and Miller use these symbols to take their characters through their life’s journey, whether