"Godfather Death" by Jakob and Wilhelm Grimm, "Death By Candlelight"

Essay by italian_empressUniversity, Bachelor'sB, February 2006

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As one journeys through his or her life, decisions will ultimately have to be made--whether simple or complex. This will carry a person from point A to point B and, if fortunate, achieving point C along the way. This is never as simple a process as it appears to be, because life itself is not simple. A decision has consequences, both good and bad, and will lead people down their life paths. These decisions often include: what people will eat or wear, what career they will end up in, if and when they will marry. This does not happen for all, as some are unfairly afflicted with disease or sickness, fall victim to freak accidents that cannot be controlled, and even where they are positioned on a global scale. One assurance that all of humanity has, regardless of belief, status, or gender, is the life cycle and the choices on can make.

A person is born, lives, and dies; that is essentially, the life cycle. On the other hand, being restrained within this life cycle, humans can choose their paths and make their own decisions. In Godfather Death, by Jakob and Wilhelm Grimm, the decisions of a godson are explored as he journeys through his life, takes advantage of possible opportunities, and ultimately decides his own fate.

One will quickly see how a simple decision can change a life forever, through the following passage:

"Show me my life light," said the doctor, assuming it would be very tall.

Death pointed to the small stub that seemed about to flicker out.

"Oh dear godfather!" cried the terrified doctor. "Light a new candle for me. If you love me, do it, so I may enjoy my life, become king, and marry the beautiful princess."

"That I cannot do," Death replied. "One...