Death Becomes Them

By Kelley, Raina | Newsweek, June 21, 2010 | Go to article overview

Death Becomes Them


Kelley, Raina, Newsweek


Byline: Raina Kelley

I swear, if anyone ever releases a photo of me taken after I'm dead, he should be prepared for a lifetime of paranormal activity--the Poltergeist kind. That said, I must admit I've looked at pictures of dead people myself. (Skip the moral outrage; hypocrisy noted.) I'm just saying that if the alleged pictures of a dying Gary Coleman are published (and if they exist, they will be), it'll just be another addition to the mausoleum's worth of celebrity corpses already on permanent display on the Web. CelebrityMorgue.com is one of the fanciest, with photos of the deceased Marilyn Monroe, Kurt Cobain, and Elvis Presley--not to mention a disturbing number of dead historical figures. But there are plenty of lesser sites out there, too. I was too squeamish to look--honest I was!--but when I Googled "pictures of dead people," I got 200 million results. "Pictures of naked people" got only 20 million.

Maybe that's not scientific, but you see my point: we have a love-hate relationship with death. Any time a photo, such as the one of a dying Michael Jackson, makes the rounds, or when autopsy photos of Marilyn Monroe and JFK are stolen, or when police photos from the Ted Bundy files show up on eBay, or every time somebody tries to steal Elvis, the lecture is always the same: Stop gravedigging. Let the dead lie in peace. In Coleman's case, we'll hear, "Why didn't we care this much about this D-list star when he was alive?"

The imagery of death is kept hidden now, but it wasn't always so. After the invention of the daguerreotype in 1839, 19th-century families regularly took photos of their dearly departed as remembrances. We'd call that macabre, but death was a more integrated part of life then. Newspapers regularly published pictures of dead bad guys like John Dillinger. At the viewing of the bank robbers Bonnie and Clyde, people ripped off pieces of their clothes and cut their hair for keepsakes. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Death Becomes Them
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.