Analysis Of Life After Life

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Atkinson, Kate. Life After Life. London, Reagan Arthur Books, 2013. Print In Life After Life by Kate Atkinson (2013) Ursula Todd is reborn and dies over and over. She lives in an unending time loop that causes her to live every possible version of her life and death. For example, in her first incarnation she dies during birth due to the umbilical cord being tied around her neck, and in her second incarnation she drowns in the ocean at the age of two, etc. This continues each time allowing Ursula to live a little longer. Even living and experiencing life as both an English woman and a German woman during WWII. Eventually she realizes that she lived before and tries to kill Hitler in 1930. There are many themes, but I think the two strongest are fate and free will. This is because not only does Ursula keep dying, even after she realizes what is happening. So in some way she is complacent in all her future deaths. The biggest moral dilemma in the book is: Should Ursula kill Hitler? Does she have the right or obligation to take his life? If she chooses not to and millions of people die, are their lives her responsibility? Atkinson is an award winning author of twenty novels. Life After Life relates to the topic of morality and choices because at one point Ursula attempts to kill Hitler. The book of course raises the age old question if you could kill someone to save millions of people, should you. The novel’s themes of fate and free will tie in nicely with the other sources
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