Analysis of “Godfather Death” Abstract: “Godfather Death” as told by Margaret Taylor is a short story about how fate is predetermined, and cannot be interfered with without consequences to another. Treatment: Characters: Man, God, Devil, Death, Boy/Physician, King, Kings Daughter. Setting: The Great Highway, Forest, Kings Castle, Underground Cave Time: Lifep of Boy Plot: (4 Parts) A Man recently has his thirteenth child and goes in search of a godfather. He first comes across God, who promises to keep his son happy.
The man denies God because he believes him to be unfair. He then comes across the Devil, who promises to bring his son joy and riches, but the man is aware of his corruptions and finds him unsuitable as well. Lastly, the man is approached by Death. Death declares that he makes all men equal, and can make his son rich and famous. The Man takes Death as his sons’ godfather. After the Boy had grown Death, brought him to a forest to give him a gift. He told the Boy that he would become a famous physician, but only with his help.
He told him he would appear at either the head or foot of the patients’ bed to indicate whether they were to die or to be healed of all ailments with a special plant found in the forest. Then Death warned the boy not to disobey his orders, or death would be his own fate. The Boy became the most famous physician in the world and was sent for when the King fell ill. Death stood by the Kings feet to indicate he should die but the Physician disobeyed his orders and saved the King with the plant.
Death was terribly angered by this and later approached him to scorn his actions and threaten his life if he again disobeyed him. The Kings Daughter then became sick. The Physician was called and found her beauty so intriguing that he again disobeyed his godfather to save her. Death grabbed the Physician, screaming that he had had enough of him, and dragged him underground. There were thousands of candles everywhere that were constantly going out and sparking back up. Death clarified to the Physician that each candle represented a person’s lifep, and the Physician asked to see his own candle.
His candle was near its end and he begged his godfather to light a new candle for his life. Death explained that one life must go out for another to begin. The Physician asked for him to then put his old candle on top of a new one to continue his flame of life. Death pretended to do as the Physician asked, but purposefully drops the small candle and the fire is snuffed. The Physician instantly collapses into the hands of Death. Evaluation: This is a complicated short story that involves many characters in the beginning but end with only two.
The story is in 4 parts, told first in the view of the boys’ father, and then by the boys godfather, Death. It has a literal ending, the boy dies in the hands of Death. The lesson to be learned by this story is that we are not to interfere with the balance of nature or severe consequences arising. The story is reported by Margaret Taylor, the boys’ father, Death, and the Physician. Conclusion: Everything in nature must be balanced. If we disturb this balance then there will be severe consequences.
This is told through interfering with others fate in this story, but can be seen in other scenarios as well. In our ecosystem, changing even one small part of demographic region can incur a great threat. When the Chinese farmers shot down all of the red sparrows, who they had thought been eating their crops, there was no defense left to eat the locusts who were the actual ones eating the crops. The locusts multiplied without any predators and demolished fields of crop all across the country. In conclusion, changing the balance of nature can have detrimental implications for all.