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Essay 3

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If the man is selling “Sake,” while B. asks, “or milk? They assume what the vendor is selling through his race. They assess someone through his racial features. Flight from Death emphasizes that when people fear death, they tend to overgeneralize people. Jeff Greenberg, Psychology Professor of University of Arizona, notes that after 9/11, a number of people are so deeply disturbed of being reminded of their death that they killed a man wearing a turban, when he was an Indian Sikh (Flight from Death). He stresses that because of the heightened reminder of death, several people resort to scapegoating and generalization (Flight from Death). The makkoli vendor in Krukowski’s story detests the generalization. In the end, he does something symbolic: “[He] pours the white liquid into a paper cup, eyes locked with ours. Still smiling, he pours it on the ground” (Krukowski 9). The action signifies that he does not care what he is selling because his occupation does not define his existence. When a group of people see another as different, they fear death that come from clashing ideologies, so they denigrate the other as inferior.Another way of hurting others is through competing with them in a rat race culture. Sheldon Solomon, a Professor of Social Psychology at Skidmore College, says that the American culture perpetuates death anxiety, even more through its various social expectations. He notes that it is not enough to be a person with integrity because they must also be rich, beautiful, famous, or extremely thin (Flight from Death). Otherwise, they are more likely to feel wanting in the world and more anxious of their mortality (Flight from Death). Krukowski exemplifies competitiveness in the real world that drives people’s fortunes: “Clue to the power of silent movies: Clara Bow’s career was ruined when sound revealed her heavy Brooklyn accent. This accent undoubtedly helped her silent performance, however” (14). What is in and what is hot differ across time and generations. The irony is in her identity- it is her boon and bane at different stages of her life and career. Death anxiety shows that it does not matter what level of success one achieves in the past, when success is changing and competition intensifies. Many people constantly strive to be better than others, if not the best, because it helps them feel more alive and less anxious of their deaths. The same sentiment is present when poets in McHugh’s poem
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preview essay on Essay 3
  • Pages: 6 (1500 words)
  • Document Type: Essay
  • Subject: English
  • Level: Ph.D.
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