Reworking the balance
Saliba, M.C. (2011) Reworking the balance : anthropomorphic personifications of death in Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett. Dissertation Faculty of Arts. Department of English. University of Malta. URI: https://www.um.edu.mt/library/oar//handle/123456789/4756
The following dissertation is an examination of two cases of the anthropomorphic personification of death in fantasy literature.
The first chapter is an introduction that gives a definition of the term anthropomorphic personification, along with a brief look at several examples of personifications of death in literature from the fourteenth century to the nineteenth century.
The second chapter gives a basic background to Neil Gaiman, the author from whose works The Sandman and its Death spin-offs consist of the first example of a characterised death is taken. The aim of this chapter is to analyse Gaiman’s character Death of the Endless from the perspectives of character and function.
The third chapter gives a basic background to Terry Pratchett, the author from whose works Mort and Reaper Man the second example of a characterised death is taken. The aim of this chapter is to analyse Pratchett’s character Death of the Discworld, again from the perspectives of character and function.
The fourth chapter is a juxtaposing of the two Deaths in order to compare and contrast their several aspects and characteristics, so as to examine their similarities and differences. The point behind this chapter is to analyse the way both characters are written so as to determine if any revisionism or re-writing of death as a trope has been performed by the authors, and if so then the second aim is to analyse how they achieved this, and what new elements they bring to the concept of death as an anthropomorphism. The conclusions are drawn throughout the chapter, and show that revisionism of the death trope does occur in these particular writings of Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett, and that although they manage this in different ways, their aim in showing the importance of a balance between ….