What Lets You Do Bad Things?

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"'I think you can only do bad things,' Corvus said, 'if you forget you're going to die"' (148).

"'Remembering you're going to die lets you do bad things' Alice said" (148).

            I found these quotes quite interesting. I am not sure whether or not Corvus is religious; however, her opinion seems to fit in well with how people who believe in God or some other supreme being may feel. If you forget you are going to die, then you also must be putting off the idea that a supreme being will eventually judge you; therefore, forgetting lets you sin.

            Alice on the other hand seems to share an opinion most would who do not believe in a God or gods. When you remember you are going to die, you have an excuse to do what you want regardless of what is right. You only have your time on earth once and you don't know when that time will come to an end so why not have some fun, right?


I completely understand what you mean, but I don't think Corvus' quote necessarily implies that she believes in some omnipotent being. It definitely makes sense that she would according to that quote, and maybe her ending in the book is actually symbolic of her reaching the afterlife. However, I feel like Corvus is simply saying that you you only have one chance, one time, that you can use to do good things. Maybe Corvus just wants to leave a positive, lasting impression on the world.

Alice's quote, to me, sounded kind of spiteful, like she wants to defy death. Corvus seems to accept it and uses that acceptance to dream of doing good deeds, but Alice wants to reject death and defy it by doing exactly what one should not do.

Josie Rush said:

I think Karyssa and I may be on the same page with this one, though I also understand where the presence of an all-powerful being may fit in with Corvus's quote.
I think that the fact Alice says "remembering you're going to die lets you do bad things" could be less spiteful and more of a comment about perspective, however. As though the fact that life is temporary makes us judge our actions on a grander scale. What's one stolen item, or even one murdered man? Soon life will be gone and all the actions in it will mean nothing.
And I just sounded like a scary sociopath. This is all what I'm assuming the book is saying, not my own personal beliefs, lest any of you be afraid to talk to me in class now. lol.

Brooke Kuehn said:

I agree with both of you. I wish i had paid more attention to the religious references in the book, but there was just so much to anaylze that something had to give, right? I know Alice was not religious. She always seemed quite negative about religions as she did most things so its not surprising that this quote seemed spiteful. Corvus seems like she could be religious being that she says at one point that she doesnt hate anyone. I mean how could you not hate someone who killed your dog? But i see what you guys mean, people dont have to be religious to be good people so maybe Corvus does simply mean we have one chance to be good.

Brooke Kuehn said:

Josie, i see what you're saying about Alice possibly meaning why not do bad things since we will be dead and forgotten at some time; however, if that is what she meant, i would have to disagree with her. Maybe petty crimes would be forgotten, but not all bad actions would. I mean i don't think Charlie Manson will be forgotten anytime soon, or any other murderer for that matter.
Thanks for commenting guys!

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