An eye-opening near death experience

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"Going out the window was a very interesting experience. I can remember passing the third floor on my way down and the glorious sensation of release." (Miller 1).

Although this quote appears in the second paragraph of the work, I immediate connected it to Foster's chapter on flying. I found it interesting that flight can be so freeing, even as a suicide attempt. In addition to feeling "a glorious sense of release", the character, Jeanine speaks of feeling transparent, seeing sharply, and even believing in God. Then the sidewalk broke her fall, or should I say flight. Although a suicide attempt, I think Jeanine's flight was undoubtedly liberating. I equated the "seeing sharply" to one's life flashing before her eyes. Perhaps Jeanine saw the void in her life before she took flight. Similarly, the "sensation of release" may mean that Jeanine is not the same person as she was before the flight. And Jeanine must like being this new person, freed from the confinements of her previous life, because she mentions being happy that her suicide attempt proved unsuccessful. Jeanine also states, " ...I feel rather cheerful about it all, in a remote way, now that I died, or almost, and have my life again" (Miller 1). Jeanine may have failed at death, or did she? She failed in life, at least her past life, but I would say her suicide attempt was successful in that it resulted in the death of the old Jeanine, and enabled her to begin anew. Perhaps she even has a new appreciation for life, which she previously took for granted.

 http://jerz.setonhill.edu/EL267/2009/04/miller_resurrection_blues/

4 Comments

Nikita McClellan said:

Very good point. It is like she is reborn, ready to become a better person.I never gave any of that much thought. To be quite honest, I mostly dwelled on the fact that she tried to committ suicide. I that "that poor girl",but now, after reading your blog, I can see that I should feel sorry. Yes, it was a horrible act, but it savesw her in the end. She is anew and can have a new clarity in her life and that is something most wonderful.

Julianne Banda said:

I really like your blog, it really gets me thinking. You brought up a good point about her possibly being reborn in a way. Yes, she may have failed at life, but I am not sure whether or not she failed at death or not. It does seem as though she did but I cannot be completely sure.

Alicia Campbell said:

It is like she failed at the life she led before the suicide attempt, which drove her to that point. But I think her suicide attempt was not a failure because she was successful in killing that Jeanine that was so unhappy, and giving birth to a new Jeanine that has an appreciation and zest for life.

Georgia Speer said:

I believe that this beginning is positioned well by Miller in the opening of this play in that it is showing that the beginning can result from an end. Jeanine’s end was to end her life by trying to commit suicide. Miller is showing that even with failure it can often breathe new life into us all. As long as we can learn from our failures it is not a bad thing. It many times, as in this case with Jeanine just goes to show that this can often turn a person around. It may not need to go as drastic as a suicide attempt, but how many times do we all take our lives and people in it for granted and sometimes when tragedy strikes us we often stop and take time to reflect on this and hopefully change our lives…but for how long before we get caught back up in all the chaos of our lives.

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