Jessie mothers remarks to commit suicide is to accept the logic of the absurd but in some small way to triumph over it. (p. 24) Psychiatrists believe that committing suicide is self-abuse and self-murder (masturbation and suicide). Both behaviors became the bogeys of the psychoanalysts as well. In 1910, Freud concluded the first essay in which he specifically addressed the subject of suicide with these words: “Let us suspend our judgment till experience has solved this problem. ” (Freud, 1910). What is the problem? It was “know[ing] how it becomes possible for the extraordinarily powerful life instinct to be overcome.
” In 1917, Freud announced his famous solution self-murder is aggression turned against the self: “[N]o neurotic harbors thoughts of suicide which he has not turned back upon himself from murderous impulses against others” (Freud, 1917). Freud’s far-reaching generalization is a sobering reminder of the influential influence of the religious-psychiatric tradition: He treats suicide as if it were a unitary occurrence. David Hume (1711-1776) would wholly disagree with Jessie, arguing that suicide is not contrary to love of self, of neighbor, or of God.
Hume claimed that even assuming the truth of Aquinas’s theism, one requirement of not preclude suicide from being rational and moral. That is, if it is consistently permissible to encroach on divine providence by disturbing the operations of diverse natural laws (by curing diseases and the like), then, by parity of reasoning, it ought to be similarly permissible to commit suicide. Moreover, couldn’t a person commit suicide while expressing gratitude to God for the good she has enjoyed and for the ability to escape her current misery?
After all, Aquinas allowed self-inflicted killings when one is divinely commanded to do so! Hume, a known skeptic on religious matters, is being ever so ironical and sardonic in his essay. When I fall upon my own sword, therefore I receive my death equally from the hands of the deity as if it had proceeded from a lion, a precipice, or a fever…. There is no being which possesses any power or faculty, that it receives not from its Creator, nor is there any one, which by ever so irregular an action, can encroach upon the plan of his providence, or disorder the universe.
Its operations are his works equally with that chain of events which it invades; and whichever principle prevails, we may for that very reason conclude it to be most favored by him (Hume, 1783). Moreover, Ecclesiastic law still forbids suicide, and religious penalties against the act are, nominally, still in force. However, as soon as secular law recognized insanity as an excuse for suicide, so, too, did canon law. For approximately the past century, rabbinic and church authorities alike have classified suicides as ipso facto non compos, permitting them to receive normal religious burial services.
The Encyclopedia of the Jewish Religion states: “Judaism does not consider the individual as the owner or unlimited master of his own life; consequently, suicide, which amounts in rabbinic thought to murder, is strictly forbidden. . . . However, recent rabbinic ruling considers the suicide as being of unsound mind, and as such he is allowed to be interned [sic] with others. “(R. J. Z. Werblowsky and G. Wigoder, p. 367). The Roman Catholic Church and the Protestant clergy use the same formula for annulling the sinfulness of suicide.
After a well-known Catholic American killed himself and was given an elaborate burial, a spokesman explained: “Today it is the church’s feeling that a person must be crazy to commit suicide. And we place the insane in the hands of God, for his mercy and his judgment. . . . The church will not judge [him]. “(San Francisco Chronicle, 22 October 1983, p. 3) Roman law expanded the criteria that made suicide morally acceptable. For example, tedium vitae — a mental state we are likely to call “depression,” but is better rendered as — “having had enough (of life)” — -was a justification for it (A. J.L. van Hoof, p. 122).
However, Roman law prohibited the suicide of slaves, because they destroyed not themselves but their masters’ property; and of defendants accused of crime, because their deed prevented the law from determining whether they were guilty or not. If their deed was interpreted as signifying guilt, the law required that their corpse be denied ritual burial and their property be confiscated. Christian canon law adopted the practice of denying religious burial to the suicide’s corpse, and medieval English criminal law reinstated the penalty of forfeiting the suicide’s property (A.J. L. van Hoof, p. 16).
Views for suicide Jessie claims the decision to be a rational one, a logical conclusion to a life that has lost its true meaning; there are disturbing glimpses of another motivation. To begin with she is on medication, which has given her an apparent sense of clarity and equanimity. If she is ‘herself’, then, she is so by virtue of chemical intervention, though there are hints of an obsessive behavior not touched by her medicine. She has a notepad in her pocket which contains a checklist, a countdown to annihilation.
She is, she explains, ‘cold all the time’, and longs for the ‘dark and quiet’ of death, a place where ‘nobody can get me … Dead is everybody and everything I ever knew, gone. Dead is dead quiet’ (‘night Mother, p. 16). She likens herself to Jesus, whom she suddenly perceives as a suicide (‘I didn’t know I thought that’) (p. 17). Though, well known philosopher may agree with Jessie as Margolis takes suicide to be essentially a matter of choosing death for its own sake. In the case of genuine suicide, according to Margolis, the victim’s “overriding concern is to end his own life….
” (1975) Moreover, Immanuel Kant claims that the exercise of freedom in self-destruction is self-contradictory. He seems to favor, however, the moral heroism of Cato (a Roman statesman who killed himself rather than surrender to Julius Caesar), but does not label it a suicide, since Cato was presumably attempting to rescue his personal integrity and not intending to destroy himself. That is, despite his antisuicide stance, Kant claims that there are times when life ought to be sacrificed.
“If I cannot preserve my life except by violating my duties towards myself, I am bound to sacrifice my life rather than violate these duties. ” He views “humanity in one’s own person” as “inviolable. ” Suicide, by contrast, treats our personhood as a thing; it reduces us to the stage of a beast. Persons, for Kant, are ends-in-themselves, having the capability for autonomy and rationality that comprise their humanity. Jessie suicidal act goes with Kant view of life. According to him, Life is not more important than virtue.
“To live is not a necessity; but to live honorably while life lasts is a necessity. ” Kant maintains that the fabric of society is destabilized by those who advocate a right to suicide and romanticize it somewhat in the progression. Nonetheless, pace his categorical imperative, it seems suicide can be universalized on Kantian grounds, e. g. , anyone whose situation in life is such that his or her continued existence would cause others a greater amount of suffering than his or her suicide must commit suicide.
Conclusion According to the sources discuss, it can be said that argument against suicide are more powerful and it is definitely goes against Jesse’s suicide. Jessie chooses to shoot herself with her father’s gun, and if not with that then with her husband’s. These were the two men she loved, the two men who might have saved her had they not left, derelict her in their different ways. There is no irony in the choice. The man who saw her into life, and perhaps tainted her blood with the seeds of epilepsy, now ushers her out.
At the same time, Thelma, apparently disengaged, separated from her daughter by a sense of guilt and mutual incomprehension, and finds herself deeply committed to saving her. While her mother philosophy was ‘Things happen. You do what you can about them and see what happens next’ (p. 39) is not without its logic or ethics. Moments before her daughter’s death, indeed, this woman, who until now has appeared content to drift through life, unquestioningly, can be explained as ‘nearly unconscious from the emotional devastation … so far beyond what is known as pain that she is virtually unreachable'(p.52).
For the first time in her life she knows what she is living for and though she will be frustrated in her attempts to save Jessie, Jessie, perhaps, may have saved her in so far as she has lured her back into the world.
Work Cited “Catholic Church Says It Won’t ‘Judge’ White”, San Francisco Chronicle, 22 October 1983, p. 3. A. J. L. van Hoof, From Autothanasia to Suicide, (London: Rutledge, 1990) p. 122. Freud, “Contributions to a Discussion on Suicide” (1910), in SE [Standard Edition], vol. 11, p. 232. Essays on Suicide, and the Immortality of the Soul, ascribed to the late David Hume, Esq.
“Two Letters on Suicide”, from Rosseau’s [sic] Eloisa (1783) Freud, “Mourning and Melancholia” (1917), SE, vol. 14, p. 252 Joseph Margolis, Negativities: The Limits of Life (Columbus, 1975), pp. 23-36. Marsha Norman, ‘night Mother (New York, 1983). R. J. Z. Werblowsky and G. Wigoder, eds. , The Encyclopedia of the Jewish Religion, p. 367. Richard B. Brandt, “The Morality and Rationality of Suicide”, in Handbook for the Study of Suicide, edited by Seymour Perlin, pp 61-76, 1975. U S. News and World Report (April 9, 1984): 18.