Paper Example on Middle Eastern and Other Civilizations in Literature

Paper Type:  Argumentative essay
Pages:  4
Wordcount:  903 Words
Date:  2022-07-04


Literature is considered as a representation of the actual activities and beliefs held in a specific group of individuals or a community. Through themes and indirect cues such as the use of proverbs and symbolism, literature aims at educating the members of the society by either praising or condemning a behaviour or belief in the society. For instance, the Epic of Gilgamesh has revealed various facts such as the inevitability of death, the significance of remembering great kings such as Enkidu and Gilgamesh on the communities in Mesopotamia's cities. Additionally, The Coco film exhibits the various death stages, the need to remember the dead, and sacrifices for the dead as a means of appeasing them. Therefore, the essay will establish the common themes exhibited by both kinds of literature such as views on mortality and death, the importance of commemoration and sacrifice.

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In both the literal pieces, death is identified as inevitable and immortality as vanity. Most of the influential figures in the societies have the power over most of the day to day activities, which they utilize the power and ability awarded to their gods and subjects. However, none of them has been able to cheat death. For instance, Gilgamesh had though on nothing in his lifetime concerning death and mortality. However, after the death of Enkidu, he was fixated on his impermanence and was forced to accept his mortality in the long-run (Sandars). Thus, regardless of his qualities and power, he had to die like all other men in his society. Moreover, in the Coco film, Miguel is transported to the land of the dead, where he tries to seek for his great-grandfather to help him maneuver in their territory. This indicates that each has to die, first eventually, we die physically, and then we go to the land of the dead. This acts as a clear revelation to the members of the society that death ought not to be feared since it represents a transition from the living world to the land of the dead (Unkrich). Therefore, death has to be cherished in the society.

Consequently, the commemoration is identified as a significant act to remember the crucial members or major contributors to societal development. Community heroes or diligent leaders are hard to find and considered as a gift in the society. Thus, after their death, it is significant for the living members of the society to regularly remember them through ceremonies, sacrifices, and offerings as a show of appreciation. For instance, in the "The Death of Gilgamesh," after the death of Gilgamesh, the villagers, his wife, concubine, son, and his servants sing praises for Gilgamesh, terming his as the "best of men" and "faithful servants of the gods" as they celebrated a life of a community's hero (Sandars). Moreover, from the Coco film, the day of the dead is presented as a selected day, where families appreciate their ancestors by visiting their graveyards. This presents the necessity of commemoration in their culture, which allows the departed souls to escape the afterlife and proceed to spy on their living descendants (Unkrich). Therefore, these cases indicate the importance of commemorating the departed members of the community.

The act of sacrifice has been dominant in both literature sets, which is represented to have significant impacts on the society. Sacrifice may be in terms of human sacrifice, which either leads to the death of a member of the society, or the one that one sacrifices his or her life for the sake of the society by ends up not dead. In most cases, human sacrifices are made to represent critical scenarios or result in a drastic change in the community. For instance, the death of Enkidu is considered as a sacrifice since it was not a voluntary death. This was installed on him as a punishment for his actions from the gods for killing the Bull of Heaven. This came first as grief for Gilgamesh, who had lost his brother and he even regretted, and fury is saying they "If I had known that this was all the good that would come of it, I would have raised the axe and split you into little pieces..." (Sandars). This act further resulted in Gilgamesh acknowledging mortality and changing to a good leader in the society, who came later to be commemorated by the community members. Additionally, the Coco film presents Miguel, who sacrificed his life to go to the land of the dead to gather his history and origin due to his love for music. He wanted to meet Ernesto de la Cruz, who he thought was his ancestor (Unkrich). Therefore, this can be termed as a sacrifice, indicating the importance of sacrifice in the society and the impact it can have.


In conclusion, the essay has established the common themes exhibited by both kinds of literature such as views on mortality and death, the importance of commemoration and sacrifice. In both pieces, death is identified as inevitable and immortality as vanity, and no one can evade it. Additionally, commemoration has been identified as a significant act to remember the important members or major contributors on societal development and human sacrifice is considered to cause significant changes in the society and also drove by the urge for great discoveries or inventions.

Works Cited

Sandars, N. K. The Epic Of Gilgamesh. Penguin, 2006.

Unkrich L. Coco (2017 film). Walt Disney Pictures and Pixar Animations Studios. 2017.

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