Death in Samarra

In “The Appointment in Samarra,” W. Somerset Maughan uses personification to show that everyone has an appointment with death; no matter how many times he or she tries to avoid it.   This is shown in the story where the servant tried to avoid his appointment with death by fleeing to Samarra.   However, as the story unfolds, we learn that Samarra is the city where he is scheduled to meet with death.   The fear of death plays a major role throughout this story.
Death is personified as a woman in the story.   The author uses a person to portray death to show that there is a connection between the nature of death and mankind.   For example, the statement, “Master, just now when I was in the marketplace I was jostled by a woman in the crows and when I turned I saw it was Death that jostled me,” shows how death can blend in amongst everyone else without being noticed.   The story also suggests that death is approachable, and willing to carry a conversation.   This is shown in the statement, “Then the merchant went down to the marketplace and he saw me standing in the crowd and he came to me….”
In society, death is viewed as a part of life that shouldn’t be talked about.   It is sought out to be unknown and heartless.   Society also sees death as a threat.   It is portrayed as a cold-hearted monster, like the Grim Reaper.   However, in the story, death is the opposite of what society’s conception of death is.   She is portrayed to be non-threatening and something to not be feared, but avoided.   The author shows this by having the servant flee Bagdad when he ran into her in the marketplace.   In the statement, “Why did you make a threatening gesture to my servant when you saw him in the marketplace this morning ?” the merchant shows no fear of confronting death, but actually walking up to her as if she was a regular person.   When we think of death in western culture, we imagine a masculine force.   However, the author avoids this traditional thought by gearing away from the male...