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Horror: A study on Clive Barker part 28, The Life of Death

Published by OJB in the blog OJB's blog. Views: 255

Welcome to part 28 of my study on Clive Barker. Today, we will be looking at his short story, The Life of Death.

Summary: The story tells the tale of Elaine, a woman who has just had a Hysterectomy and struggles to find meaning in her life. As she wanders the streets of her city, she comes across All Saints Church, which is being demolished. There, she meets a man by the name of Kavanagh and become interested in him; this interest leads Elain to explore All Saints Church were she stumble upon a tomb full of plague victims. Elaine contracts the plague which leads her spreading it her friends (who die one by one.) Elaine eventually is killed by Kavanagh, who is a serial killer. As she dies, she realizes that Kavanagh will contract -and spread- the plague; this insight gives her a gleeful happiness as she dies.

What I really like about this story is that Elaine is a very sympathetic character. The sentence that made me fall in love with this character is as followed:

"She had feared their sympathies, feared that she would be held too close in their affections and quickly come to rely upon them." (Clive Barker's The Life of Death, page 8)

Being afraid of becoming attached to other's people sympathies is something I can relate to. So that sentence hit me hard.


The other thing I made note of was the name of the church, All Saints. For anyone who doesn't know, All Saints Day (The Sunday that hollows Holloween) is a day where those who have died over the last day are remembered. Since the theme of the story is about Death, I thought the idea of naming the Church 'All Saints,' to be very fitting.


This concludes my look at 'The Life of Death.' If you have a thought or a question, please leave a like or comment!

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