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Death Be Not Proud

John Gunther


Key Facts

Key Facts

full title ·  Death Be Not Proud

author · John Gunther

type of work · Non-fiction memoir

genre · Illness narrative; epistolary narrative

language · English

time and place written · Late 1940s, the United States

date of first publication · 1949

publisher · Harper & Row

narrator · Gunther (in main narrative); Johnny (in letters and diary); Frances

climax · Johnny's doctor's cannot extract any fluid from his stone-sized tumor.

protagonist · Johnny

setting (time) · 1945-47

setting (place) · New York; Connecticut; Massachusetts

point of view · Gunther's; Johnny's (through his diary and letters); Frances's

falling action · Johnny's death and funeral

tense · Immediate past tense

foreshadowing · Gunther reveals on the first page that Johnny died; he also sees it on a doctor's face early on.

tone · Elegant, journalistic, yet often emotional and philosophical

themes · Courage and willpower in the face of death; the uniqueness of loving life; childhood versus adulthood

motifs · Johnny's bump

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