“This Halloween, Let’s Really Think About Death”

Elizabeth Bruenig writes for The Atlantic:

Halloween is no approximation of the firsthand experience of death. But it does foreground the visceral fear of death (occasionally via viscera itself). And it offers an opportunity to engage playfully with the idea of dying, through community celebration rather than solemn contemplation—or jarring confrontations with violence in headlines and images of brutal killings at home and abroad. Halloween’s reminders of mortality may be less explicit than artworks directly aimed at promoting virtue among the living, but they’re perhaps just the right inspiration for a culture as removed from death as we are. The skulls present the idea of mortality, and the jack o’ lanterns and costume parties make it approachable to a society that rarely spares time to consider the passing away of all things.

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