Flatliners

Essay by EssaySwap ContributorHigh School, 12th grade February 2008

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FLATLINERS Death is a part of life that everyone at sometime or another will have to face it is true that many people feel differently about this subject, and many people don't like to talk about it. I myself have asked the question what happens during and after death. Is there a big bright light, is there voices calling you towards the light, does your whole life flash before your eyes? That is only what could possible be happening during the time of death, but what about after death, is there an afterlife do you go to heaven if you are good and hell if you are bad, or do use just die and rote underground. The reason why I chose the movie Flatliners, is because these characters want to solve the questions that I and many people have about death.

There are four types of death clinical, brain, biological, and social death.

In the move the Nelson a medical student has an idea that if he causes clinical death in a controlled and strategic way he can experience death first hand and then be revived to talk about it. The movie exaggerates the idea of distorted reactions; Nelson being the first to go under is the character, which they use to exaggerate this concept. The idea of distorted reaction may not be exactly what is shown in the movie, but it is very similar. In most cases, distorted reactions are normal symptoms carried to an extreme degree. They include adopting the behaviors traits of the deceased, such as aspects of the deceased's fatal illness and other types of psychosomatic ailments, particularly colitis, arthritis, and asthma. An example we know of is a young man whose mother died of lymphomic cancer. At her death, she had large boils on her neck. Some weeks after she died, her son discovered lumps on his neck that quickly developed into boils. On examination, they were found to be benign. In fact the only explanation of their existence was the great stress in the young man's mind over the loss of his mother (Dacey 484). The reason why I believe that Nelson shows a more serious case of this is, because his mind causes him to see a young boy by the name of Billy Mahoney, a boy who died because of Nelson actions a young kid. Not only does he see him, but also what he did to Billy, Billy did to him. This is like distorted reactions because Nelson was physically hurting himself, but his mind was making him believe that it was Billy Mahoney.

Michel de Montaigne's statement about his near death experience is also portrayed in the move by most of the characters. He said, "Having nearly died, I've found death like the sweet feeling that people have that let themselves side into sleep. I believe that this is the same feeling that people find themselves in whom we see fainting in the agony of death, and I maintain that we pity them without cause if you know not how to die, never trouble yourself. Nature will in a moment fully and sufficiently instruct you; she will exactly do the business for you; take no care for it". After their first experience with death most of the characters said that they felt protected that if they went further under some force would guide them. This also brings to mind something that is briefly touched upon in the movie.

Many people find dying much harder than other, like the old women in the hospital who knows that she is going to die, but doesn't want to be buried on a Saturday because it would be more expensive. Many families fear death because of the cost not only because of the loss of the loved one. Everyone wants to have a beautiful funeral for his or her loved one, out of a form a respect, but funerals are very expensive.

Our text talks about suicide, but not about the affect it has on the loved ones of a suicide victim. I feel that this subject is very important because the character of Rachael suffers greatly from her father's suicide. In the movie Rachael feel that see is responsible for her father committing suicide and that is what starts to haunt her after she takes her turn at death. I can not provide any hard evidence of this, because it was not talked about in the chapter, but I feel that because Rachael's father committed suicide when she was so young, and because he did it right after she walked in on him doing drugs, she feel responsible. I believe that if a person truly feels deeply about this kind of situation there mind does have the ability to cause a form of illusion or able to make the person relive the event over and over again, and this can cause many different types of ailments.

Guilt also has something to do with what a person might feel or think he is seeing. Just like Joe's mind making him see all of the women that he filmed while having intercourse with, without them knowing that they were being filmed. Joe's guilt causes him to see these women at the time that he took his trip trough death. After his trip the guilt got so bad that his mind keep making him believe that these women were all around him. Dave also dealt with the issue of guilt, when Dave was young he made fun of a black girl in his class and the guilt caused him to see this girl taunting him. This issue of guilt leads me to the subject of despair. Just like Joe Dave also felt guilt, because of what he did in the past. I feel this represents despair, because the meaning of despair as written in the book is When people look back over their live and feel that they have made many wrong decisions, or more commonly, that they have not made any decisions at all (Dacey 475). Unlike Joe, Dave was able to make a mends with the little black girl that he taunted. So he was able to over come the haunting of what he had done in the past. On the other hand, Joe may have dealt with his guilt by paying for what he did, because he lost the one woman that he truly cared about.

One thing that I must say is that my questions about death have not been answered by this move. The movie did show many aspects of dealing with death, but didn't make a definite conclusion on what happens during death or of what comes after death. Doing this paper I have come up with one conclusion, When you die, no one's going to punish you for what you've done and in any case, the thought of punishment after death should not be a motivator for how your lead your life. You have freedom to do whatever you want to do while you are here, but if you want to be happy with that freedom, then don't do anything to others that you wouldn't want done to yourself. Finally, regarding death itself I think death is a natural consequence of life and not something to be feared or put on a pedestal in any other manner.



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