Death scares everybody. It evens out all human differences. The poorest man is equal with the richest being when it comes to death. Everybody tries to get away from it. No matter what technological advances there are, no matter how advanced a society is, the fear of death lurks around in every corner of each person’s mind. Why do people dream? Why do people have hope? It’s because they look at the coming days and years to come. They have hope and they dream for their future to be better. Nobody wants the good even the bad things in life to end. People work hard for those.
After having 4 unsuccessful marriages, Jack Gladney finally settled with Babette together with her children (Jack’s stepchildren). At the same time, his career in the field of Hitler Studies is also at its peak. With all these accomplishments from a rocky history, there came a chemical spill over their place. Because of this incident, Jack has no choice but to face the scary issue of death. The happy image that his family has in his mind turned out to be just a bubble when he found out that Babette (his wife) has been cheating on him in order to have access to the drug (known as Dylar) that cures the fear of death since she is facing the same problem with death.
Jack accepted Babette together with her children whole heartedly. By accepting each other’s past, it is apparent that they both love each other. They care about what is important for the other and vice versa. Their relationship to each other is like the typical husband and wife that we see everyday. And it should be put on note that both of them are also among the usual human beings that we see. Humans that have pride, ambitions and worldly wants. They actually mirror the typical characters of humans.
Reality bites. Fear of death is as powerful as the feeling of love. Just like what happened to Jack and Babette. As much as they want to preserve their loyalty to each other, the urges to fight for their own lives and to be liberated from fear of death are stronger. In this case, Babette started to cheat on Jack for the drug. And Jack, in the end, wasn’t able to contain his fear and started to seek his own supply of the drug. Why did these things happen to their family? The answer is simple, nobody wants to die. It is lovely to have a happy family but once you think of death, you realize that you will lose everything that you have including all your dreams and hope.
The loyalty between Jack and Babette should not be questioned. Although they started to cheat from each other because of their personal needs, people should understand that it is human nature. Humans have the tendency to be selfish and conditional when it comes to their safety, security and peace. As mentioned earlier, although love is great, fear of death and death itself is as powerful. It doesn’t just cause fear but a lot of different emotions, which consequently drives people to do things they don’t normally do.
Humans’ relationships with each other are sacred. However, humans are not perfect. There are ideal measures on how to react to situations but most often than not, people cannot faithfully follow. The bible says that death isn’t something to be scared of but something to be celebrated. Very ideal, but definitely not possible to majority of thinking people. The world has so much to offer. People cannot ran out of things to wish for, so why die? Just like in the novel, every society’s greatest fear is nothing else than death.
Death is something that nobody cannot control. Nobody knows when it’s coming and how. So the only option left is to fear it…