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Frailty

Essay by 24  •  November 9, 2010  •  495 Words (2 Pages)  •  658 Views

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Veronika Decides to Die is truly one of the most thought provoking books I have ever read. This was my first experience with Coelho (followed by "The Alchemist" and "The Pilgrimage) and it instantly blew me away with its cleverly weaved plot that is simplistic and poetic at the same time.

Paulo Coelho seems to make a habit of writing inspirational stories that are fictitious, grand and supernatural. This book however, strays away from his usual style of writing by being raw and straightforward; scolding readers of how they were neglectful of the life they have been given.

The novel began with a woman named Veronika, a 24 year-old who lives in the unknown country of Slovenia. She seems to have it all - youth, beauty, boyfriends, a loving family and a fulfilling job, yet, no happiness. Veronika is not exactly a believer of God and has a tendency to take the easiest way out, grabbing any opportunity near at hand. She resents the idea of being a housewife as well as all the expectations prearranged by the society to a woman. Hence, on the fateful day of November 11, tired of her routinary lifestyle; she decided to end it all by taking an overdose of powerful sleeping pills.

Veronikas' attempted suicide nonetheless was a failure. Instead of the abyss, she found herself in Villette - a notoriously-feared asylum in existence since 1991. Before she could catch up on the events, she learned that finally, fate took a turn and was informed that she irreversibly damaged her heart with less than a week to live. The story then slowly unravels, ultimately trailing the way the protagonist spends the final days of her borrowed life.

This creation of Coelho outlines an immense understanding of the world in which we live. It rekindles the readers' desire to live life fully and to fall in love with it once more. It intensely rips apart the illusions on life, likewise,

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