The aim of this essay is to present you with a portrait of the thematic core of the book ‘The Postmortal’ by Drew Magary which is an innovative approach to an issue which has been troubling and terrifying human nature. The essay will focus on the life lessons which are put across to the readers of the book as far as to what life’s meaning is supposed to be and how it is to be adopted by human societies.
‘The Postmortal’ is a book belonging to the science-fiction genre. It is a book whose plot addresses it readers with the full promising question: How would they feel if they were given the chance to stop aging? How would they feel if they were offered the possibility to go on living in a reality that has beaten mortality?
Both these questions appeal to readers’ interest and inner, unrevealed passions and questions. Why? Because simply there seems to be no way despite the technological progress and advances to stop time running. If only time could go back or being in their hands to be treated and exploited in the way they would choose, then this would probably be their paradise. There have been more than once cases in everyday life when individuals support that they need more time or that they wish they could turn the clock backwards.
This is the starting point of Magary’s writing inspiration. Magary imagines a world which offers its people with a cure. And this cure treats aging. It stops it. So what happens? Whatever happens is given to the readers through Farell, the main leading person of the novel, who is a 20-year old lawyer. He witnesses his own decision to buy this cure although it is very expensive and painful and he describes the way this cure affects everybody who has decided to buy it and the whole world as well.
Death has not been stopped, mortality has. There is a great significance of Magary’s riting piece. He does not treat with death since death is supposed to undergo a number of interpretations according to religious systems, mentalities, ideologies. Magary deals with an issue which can teach people a lot about the way they live. Magary emphasizes on the problem people seem to have with one particular aspect of mortality. There has been a feverish attitude adopted by all people to stop this aging procedure. Millions of money is invested in industry and medical science in order to provide people with the ability to remain young. So the arising questions are many since all those in the book who went under this cure do not seem happy. On the contrary they seem unhappy and they seem to have second thoughts. Why? Because simply it is not so nice after all to stay stable at one age in life. Then life’s beauty in the changes taking place, in the surprises, in the ambitious goals to be set, in the feelings of agony and hope which are entailed in the whole procedure of living are vanished.
Humor and deep sarcasm are employed by Magary so that his lessons on life’s meaning are put across. Humans ought to feel lucky they live and they are provided with this unique present of living. Living is a blessing if they decide to do something with their lives. If humans refuse to see the benefits of being able to create, to help, to offer, then the meaning of their lives is lost. After all life’s beauty does not by any means lie in the eternal youth or in the stopping of aging. The beauty of life lies in offering, in sharing, in experiencing, in feeling. And all these experiences and feelings cannot be felt genuinely if people are not given the ability to grow older, to mature, to enjoy the outcomes of their living and their efforts. Therefore the lessons by Magary are numerous. He points at people his finger criticizing them indirectly on being disorientated as far as their lives are concerned.
Paraphrasing Cicero who once said that ‘ a room without books is like a body without a soul’, one could support that a life without all its stages is no life at all.
Cicero,Marcus Tullius, Michael Grant (translator), (1960), Selected Works, (1st ed.) Penguin Classics
Darwin, Charles (1929) The Autobiography of Charles Darwin, The Thinker’s Library
Frauenflder, Mark (2011), The Postmortal: A very creepy thriller about a cure for aging’ retrieved from http://boingboing.net/2011/09/07/the-postmortal-very-creepy-thr.html
Magary, Drew, (2011) The Postmortal, Penguin Books; 1st edition
Raets, Stefan (2011) ‘Forever Young: The Postmortal by Drew Magary’ retrieved by http://www.tor.com/blogs/2011/08/forever-young-the-postmortal-by-drew-magary
Singer, Peter (1995) ‘What’s wrong with killing’, retrieved from ‘The Oxford Companion to Philosophy’ Oxford