"The Following Day, No one died" (1). New Years Day finds one country in complete confusion. No one has died since the stroke of midnight, signaling the new year. The very foundation of the church is shaky, people have to die so that they can recieve the blessings of heaven...but no one is dying. People are in the stage of not quite dead, but not living. They are permanently stuck dying. Those bleeding to death continue to bleed, but cannot die. No one knows why death has stopped and no one can find the way to make it begin again. Death has only stopped in this country, and insurance companies, grave diggers, and funeral parlors are losing money. The country is in turmoil which only seems to increase after the wish of an old grandfather brings one family to sadness and starts a revolution of sorts. He desires that he and his young dying grandchild be allowed to leave their misery behind and recieve death. The family fulfills the old man's wish by bringing him and his grandson over the country border. Bringing family members over the boarder of the country is the only way to bring death to these permanently dying individuals. The Government finds out about these secret quests and posts guards at the border to selectively allow only certain people to cross. One government official starts making deals with the maphia, with a ph "To distinguish us from the original mafia" (47) to find a way of making money out of these illegal crossings. A young philosopher has a discussion with a fish spirit at an aquarium and discovers that there are different types of death which is why only human life is spared from death. Why has Death stopped? And will it ever return to this lost country?
1. In the novel Death is personified to be a living being and a female, yet the grim reaper is always portrayed to be male. Why do you think the author has portrayed death as a female?
2. If you were in this country where no one dies and you had a family member or friend stuck in this permanent stage of the "living dead" what would you do? Would you bring them to the other country to simply be rid of them or would you care for them even though you knew nothing would change, they would not get better, but they would not get worse? What if it was their wish to die?