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Me and Earl and the Dying Girl

This low-budget film, without any special effects, was excellent. It was extremely clever, and the acting was good. I highly recommend it. It is about a 17-year-old girl who is diagnosed with leukemia. Over the course of about eight months she slowly dies. A boy at her school becomes friends with her. The boy is the main character in the film. His best friend is a boy named Earl.

Death is very sad, and the death of a teenage girl seems especially tragic. In the Middle Ages, though, people often fell ill, or had accidents, and then died as a result, so probably it did not seem as tragic to them. Tragedy is rare. Anything that is common, even death, is not tragic, or at least it does not seem tragic, because people become accustomed to it and feel that it is normal. When people watch “Me and Earl and the Dying Girl”, they often cry; I know that some of the people in the cinema with me did cry. In the Middle Ages, that probably would not happen. I am sure that people cried when their close relatives died, but they probably got over their loss much quicker than people do today, because back then life was hard and so people could not waste too much time morning. I doubt that anybody in the Middle Ages cried about the death of strangers.

There was one scene in the film that especially impacted me. The main character was trying to comfort the girl who was dying; he was trying to cheer her; but she knew that she was dying, so she knew that he was lying to her. She told him that it was an insult to tell her something that she knew to be false. Aristotle wrote that. In his book The Rhetoric, Aristotle wrote that whereas telling someone a lie that he might believe is dishonest, telling someone a lie that is obviously a lie is an insult. When we tell a lie that is obviously a lie, we do not deceive anyone, but we imply that the person to whom we are speaking is so stupid that he might believe what we tell him even when it is obviously false. In the Middle Ages, people were more honest about death. They did not try to hide it, or lie about it. During the Middle Ages, death was never very far away, so people thought about it and prepared for it. When someone died, it was no great surprise, and so everyone could deal with it better than people deal with death today.