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Shvoong Home>Books>The Last Day of a Man Condemned to Death Review

The Last Day of a Man Condemned to Death

Book Review   by:Psildon     Original Author: Victor Hugo
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This abstract was translated from L'ultimo giorno di un condannato a morte
 
What does it mean to live the last day of your life? And how would you live being completely aware of the fact? This book tells of a moment, of the suspense before death...it takes you to the extreme consequences in an instant, hoping, in the moment of abandon, to make contact. The life of a man, committed to chains for a crime, who wastes away his last moments thinking about who he was, what he has done and what he is losing...His daughter, the driving force of the small novel; even more so than death the condemned awaits his daughter, waits to see her again, to hold her again...in the innocence of a child's gaze he seeks redemption, he seeks the justification of his own existence...But there's no time to waste words; you are a convict, your little daughter who you haven't seen for a year doesn't even recognise you and the void left by her goodbye finds peace and a conclusion in the only certainty that remains for a man after he has lost everything...Death, at least, will never forget me. There's nothing psychological in the description of all this; with almost romantic overtones he describes the essence of a life that is being extinguished and how in every man and every animal the spirit of survival is so strong...In the description of an approaching death there is a profound and visceral reminder of the ethical sense of life, of its value, of the knowledge of being part of a whole and to recognise, amid the evils that lurk in our society, the value of choice and of taking a stand. Life cannot exist without death and in a certain way the author asks the reader to choose which side they are on...
Published: March 20, 2006   
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