The Loneliness of the Aging in Two Contemporary Novels
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Purpose of the Study: In The Loneliness of the Dying (1985), sociologist Norbert Elias claims that 'aging' and 'old age' have become frightening, almost taboo terms in Western society because death is increasingly made invisible in advanced societies. Years ago, death was a part of life and the dead were granted the honor of passing away in their homes, surrounded by their communities; in present-day society, most have never seen a corpse and are ignorant of anything related to death. Design and Methods: According to Elias, the consequences of this distancing from death have been a distancing from the aging process as a whole. This paper aims to analyze to what extent Norbert Elias's theories about death and the aging process are reflected in contemporary British fiction, using two novels as case studies. Results: Ending Up (1974) and These Foolish Things (2004) depict older British characters who decide to share their last years when they realize that they are increasingly forgotten and invisible both within their communities and their families. Implications: In each of their particular styles, bleak and ironic in the case of Kingsley Amis's Ending Up, and refreshingly humorous and moving in the case of Deborah Moggach's These Foolish Things, both authors reflect on possible outcomes for an increasingly aging population.
Is part ofReproducció del document publicat a: Gerontologist, 2016, Vol. 56, núm. 2, p. 193–200
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