Death is a topic that we are all a little curious about whether we like to admit it or not. It is something that people have called into question time and time again. Is there life after death? What does death feel like?
Utopia by Ahmed Towfik launches into the topic of death within the first few moments of the novel. The narrator of the book references the movie Platoon, specifically the iconic scene in which Willem Dafoe is dying a death full of pain, starvation, and weakness. The narrator describes this gut-wrenching scene in a way that glorifies death in an almost seductive way.
We come to find that this particular character glorifies death and finds it to be so attractive because it is, for lack of a better term, ‘forbidden fruit’. Let’s put this in a context that is applicable to most people. We are often attracted to the things that we are not supposed to do. There is a sort of adrenaline rush and thrill that we feel when we do/ see something that is elusive to us. Well, the narrator in this story is a bored Utopian who has every possible need taken care of and is bored of doing the same old thing over and over again. And what is the one thing that seems to excite him? That’s right, death. That is because for some reason it seems as if death does not come easily to the Utopians and is something of a novelty.