The End: What Everything Comes To.

All life ends in death. Depressing, but true, it’s just the way of life. Throughout the course of the semester, we have read many books that forced us to alter the way we think about the world. One of the main themes that stuck out to me the most was “death.” It is amazing to me to think deeply about what life is all about. No matter what, death is the ending result of human existence. Looking at other themes that we have covered over the semester; the possibility of human perfectibility, nature and technology, love and friendship, freedom and desire, human rights, equality etc., the similarity between each topic is that they all will come to an end when death is experienced. There are many meanings of death. It is the termination of the biological function of living, a tragedy, a departure of the soul, end of consciousness, loss of personality, and the end of existence on Earth. Through literary, philosophical, and religious texts, we raised questions of human existence. Life is an amazing gift and can be lost at any moment. It is important for people to cherish everything that is granted to them and to live life to the most of its capabilities. The most compelling aspect of life to me is the perplexity of equality and how violence and death is a result this. All human beings should be equal no matter what ethnicity, religion, gender, status, or age. History proves that people will fight for their rights to change the way society is shaped. Human life is the greatest sacrifice. Although death is the end of existence, the events within and memories can last forever. Forms of art, like the ones in this gallery allow future generations to learn about the past.            

Even living such a simplified life, Thoreau expressed how hard it can be to survive in the nature world. He proclaims, "Once or twice, however, while I lived at the pond, I found myself ranging the woods, like a half-starved hound, with a strange abandonment, seeking some kind of venison which I might devour, and no morsel could have been too savage for me (Thoreau, 166)." Being alone can make people realize how hard it is to have to rely on only themselves. It forces people to step out of their comfort zone and do what needs to be done to survive. This picture is a representation of where Thoreau lived; in the woods, near a pond and the darkness represents loneliness. This painting is first in my gallery because Thoreau is the furthest from death. He chooses to live a simple, independent life, which can become very difficult.
The Vindication of the Rights of Woman, Wollstonecraft strives for equality between men and women. On page 20, Wollstonecraft states, “Consequently, the most perfect education, in my opinion, is such an exercise of the understanding as is best calculated to strengthen the body and form the heart.” By this quote, she wants women to achieve habits of virtue so that they can be dependent on themselves. Wollstonecraft believes that a lack of good education for women is the biggest cause of misery in this world. What happens when a husband suddenly dies and leaves his wife and children? How is the mother supposed to care for her child without the education needed to acquire a job? This is one of the reasons why Wollstonecraft expresses so much on why both sexes should be equal.
With the issue of inequality, segregation, and oppression in America, the Civil Rights Movement brought change in the 1950's. Negros suffered from hate crimes, slavery, lynchings, and murder just because of their race. “We became aware of the existence of a right to have rights (and that means to live in a framework where one is judged by one’s actions and opinions) and the right to belong to some kind of organized community, only when millions of people emerged who had lost and could not regain these rights because of the new global political situation (Arendt, 37).” Because of the way American society was shaped, The negro community fought for equality. Civil rights activists used nonviolent protest and civil disobedience to bring about change, and the federal government made legislative headway with initiatives such as the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the Civil Rights Act of 1968. Many leaders from within the African American community such as Martin Luther King, Jr., Rosa Parks, Malcolm X, Andrew Goodman and others helped transform society. They risked and sometimes lost their lives for the fight of freedom and equality.
This photograph represents the feeling of emptiness when the death of a loved-one is experienced. Grieving is hard, but it is important to be able to accept that fact that someone you love is gone. It can be very depressing and many people will feel empty and alone in the world. This painting is placed before the "Structure of Existence" because once people experience the feeling of emptiness, and loneliness, they can then spend time with family and reflect on the past.
This photograph describes certain traits that will continue down the line. As time goes on, the family tree will continue to grow and memories of the past will be remembered. "We are most interested when science reports what those men already know practically or instinctively, for that alone is a true humanity, or account of human existance (Thoreau, p 166)." Even though death of a human being is the end for that person, traits passed down and memories will be reminders of him/her forever.
According to Lucretius, death is not something to be feared. He talks about the banishment of fear of death in the third book. Since there is no recollection of our earlier existence after death, why should there be a fear of death? Lucretius believes that after death, nothing matters. In Book III, Lucretius also argues that the soul suffers after the body dies. The soul has no characteristics of an immortal, therefore, it cannot feel things, or continue to live a life without the body attached to it so death should not be feared.
In book II of Epictetus, he says, “Death and pain are not frightening, it’s the fear of pain and death we need to fear (Discourses, p 78).” In this photo, this frightened child is masking her face with paint and her hands. It is not death itself that is frightening, its the fear of it and the pain it will bring. Death is not escapable and everyone will have to experience it along their journey through life.
Although this photo may look depressing, it makes me happy because the couple is in love and it seems like they have been together forever. I think this painting represents a couple dying together. They are both holding hands and looking in an upward direction. It looks like they are ready to experience death as a couple and be with each other for eternity.
Jesus, the son of God was crucified for the belief that he was the Messiah. Jesus sacrificed his own life to save us all from sin. This beautiful painting is placed after the "End of Life. Elderly Couple at Night," because the couple has not died yet. Whereas, Jesus is crucified and has already died.
In the episode of the TV serious, Black Mirror, Martha found a way to communicate and eventually bring her boyfriend, Ash, back into the world after he died in a tragic car accident. She found a way to connect with him through mimicking software. No kind of software can exactly replicate something like a human being. Towards the end of the episode, Martha realized that the replicated version of Ash just wasn't the same. Martha got so attached to communicating with Ash instead of understanding the fact that he’s gone and could never be “Ash” again. Nothing will ever come close to a deceased person after they are gone. This Photo is last in my gallery because it mocks the replica version of Ash. In the TV show, this type of model was used AFTER his death.
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