Critical Analysis of Everyman: Representation of the Journey to Death

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Everyone has a place on this earth, what you do with it is your decision. We all make bad choices and have our share of annoying habits. Do we allow these habits to become who we are? In some ways we do but that's just human error. We can’t physically control everything we do. Some of the decisions we make are based on social influences. When being chosen to go to heaven or afterlife, do you think the little things play into your approval? Learning through the journey Everyman deals with death, rejection, and trying to understand how to get to heaven.

Every man in Death: In the article Looking Death In the Face, John Kaag and Clancy Martin tell us Ramses II better known as Ozymandias story on how he became this great mogul. He explained in one of his famous poems how not to become stuck on your fame and how eventually it all fades away saying “ fame has a shadow”. (Looking, Kaag) He explains to us how “death is easier to think of as an adjective than a verb”. We think of it as a descriptive word rather than something we do like dying. Usually, on a daily basis, we don't think about death. It adds a gloomy existence to your day, but it’s never good to think about something too late. When death came to him it raised a question. Do you really have free will on earth comfortably? So we really don’t know if the afterlife is real. If your religious you just believe and trust it is. For Bible readers and believers there are a token set of rules to follow called “The Ten Commandments”. In it you will find rules that you follow throughout life. If not followed they have consequences for example “ Honor thy Father and Mother”. If the commandment is not followed like disrespecting your mother or father your days on earth will be shortened. We have been taught in Christianity that we can make these mistakes and genuinely ask for forgiveness and receive it to get into Heaven. With these examples he choose to try and turn his life around. But would it get him into Heaven?

Others have asked daring questions that no one really can answer unless you’re God himself. In Everyman, there were decisions that he faced that made him seem to crumble but in the end, she stood tall. I attended a retreat at my church. In it we had a group session called “Questions About Life with God” In this session, we could ask any questions we wanted about life and our youth minister answered them with passages from the bible that corresponded. One girl asked why do children die or be stillborn. He responded with a passage about God's will for people's lives. Another asked Why do so many people go to jail. This question offered several answers, he told us that sometimes children have to suffer for the stupidity of their parents. He continued to answer saying we have consequences for our actions. Lastly, I asked do we really live on earth comfortably? Going way beyond being a double minority in the world today. Do the decisions I make ruin my chances in Heaven? Are there some things I can’t be forgiven for? He was stumped oddly be didnt know how to answer my question.

I continued my pondering as we continued and would come back to my first question. Secondly, I asked if any of my peers had seen the NBC show “The good place. All of them answered no or told me they stopped watching after the first few episodes. I explained to them the relevance it had to religion, but it also has a bigger relevance to philosophy and how earth affects afterlife.

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Reading the article on the philosophical background of “The Good Place” and Life After Death by Reginald W. Bibby I got a better understanding of the shows Philosophical relevance. Bibby talks about how “believers” view death. How it is meant to be a celebration of life because you are going to a place far better than what you had on earth. We are told in the bible in Heaven there is no pain, sadness, and the streets are paved with gold. We never learn if it is “architecturally built to satisfy each of our needs” (Good, Street). In both articles they zoom in on the religious beliefs from a philosophical aspect. In Andrew Streets take on “The Good Place” in philosophy we get a peek into the characters and how they helped the world learn philosophy.

You can see it in the way people live, talk, act. The way we measure it depends on what backgrounds we come from. There are different cultural, religious, and social things that may tell a person they are living wrong or right. The main point we get from all of those contributions is to be a good person. In the show there are six main characters Michael, Eleanor Shellstrop, Chidi Anagonye, Tahani Al-Jamil, Jason Mendoza, and Janet the AI. In the beginning we learn that Eleanor and Jason don’t belong in the Good Place but they don’t want to get caught and sent to eternal damnation. So a previous philosophy professor Chidi Anagonye, teaches Eleanor and Jason the moral good.

Quota a sight that groups a collective opinion defines a good person as “ someone who thinks about others needs and comfort as much as they do themselves”. That is a simple concept but socially there are many definitions to a good person. Many people look to their religions while others look socially for help defining them as good. Though many believe there is no text or social construct that can make you a good person. The world believes you’re born with it. It’s not something that you can create in a person. In the show he refers to the theories of Kant and Socrates. While teaching the whole world what it means to be a good person. We learned from the Trolly example and several difficult situations they had to pull themselves out of by being “good”. Later we learn that Eleanor finds out that they were never actually in the good place. They were in a mock world created by head architect Michael who is really a demon from the bad place. He thought it would be a good idea to torture them psychologically. When Michaels boss Shawn finds out he failed he only gives him one more chance to pull it off. Wiping their memory and adjusting his plan he tries again. After about eleven days into the new simulation Eleanor finds out again. Without telling his boss Michael attems the trails 600+ times. When blackmailed by one of his fellow demons he must learn how to be a good person too. To gain access into the real good place

My take on this show and the examples it and Bibby gives us is, to be the best person can be. We are not made to judge or hate people. We are put on the world to coexist but yet crime still happens. These articles show us there is no perfect way to live. Even the “best” people in our eyes are wrong in life.

In Conclusion I do not believe we have free will on earth comfortably something we do, say, or feel will affect the world in a negative way. So I can understand why Every man took the road he did in order to get to where he needed to be.

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Critical Analysis of Everyman: Representation of the Journey to Death. (2022, July 14). Edubirdie. Retrieved May 20, 2024, from
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