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Death Be Not Proud

  • Study Guide
Main Ideas

Key Facts

Main Ideas 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