Dealing with Death in Life and Literature
Keywords:suicide in literature, death in literature, death scenes, emotional triggers, suicide as plot
As teachers of English, we cannot escape exposing our students to emotional triggers in the classroom. When my student’s father (a former classmate of mine) died by suicide, I found myself struggling with the ever-present emotional trigger of death and/or suicide in every major literary work scheduled for study that year. Death is unavoidable. Reading about death is also, apparently, unavoidable, but I was not convinced that violent death deserved so much of our literary attention, especially for this young man whose pain was raw and new.