Death Be Not Proud

Author Name: 
Gunther, John
Grades: 
10
11
12
Comments: 
General
Novel takes the reader through a father’s perspective of his teenage boy’s fatal illness that eventually leads to his death. le you live, then die and be done with”. These types of religious discussions permeate the entire book. For his funeral they had a rabbi and a priest conduct a joint service. The rabbi read the “Unbeliever’s Prayer” aloud. This book is set during World War II, so much of the medical information is outdated.
Religion/Hashkafa
There are a number of religious issues. The parents (who are divorced) seem to be Christians, but later it is explained that the mother is Jewish. There is a lot of talk of G-d and if one should believe in Him and how to believe in Him. Boy goes to a Christian school, and when he is home his mother conducts church services at home and read “The Bible of the World, The Old Testament and the New, The Prophets and J, also Buddha, Confucius, and Mahomet…” The mother says of G-d that though He stood by her, “in all His onmipotence, was helpless too (C”V)” To her, life is a series of mutations that G-d is also subject to. The boy himself was sometimes an atheist and sometimes an agnostic and wrote a prayer called the “Unbelievers Prayer” which is written out in its entirety- twice- basically doubting G-d’s existence. According to him “G-d is what’s good in me”. His philosophy- “Live, while you live, then die and be done with”. These types of religious discussions permeate the entire book. For his funeral they had a rabbi and a priest conduct a joint service. The rabbi read the “Unbeliever’s Prayer” aloud. Brief mentions of xmas, presents, carols.
TV, Movies, Rock Music, Internet and other Media
Many mentions of going to the movies, movies by name, books by name.
Boy/girl relationship, Tznius and Negiah
Boy is worried that he won’t know how to dance at the senior prom. Likes a certain girl- speaks to her on the phone, says his temperature goes up when he sees her, but he is so sick that nothing comes of it. When doctor wants to put him on a regime of hormones he says “Look out or you’ll make a s-- maniac of me”
Language
Language- hell (twice), G-- damn it (once) damn (once)
School Resource: 
Teen: 
0
Rating: 
Classic
Book ID: 
761