#51 the Pillowman

“The Pillowman” by Martin McDonagh is a thought-provoking play. There are stories within a story and among the many stories in “The Pillowman”, the one that haunts me for a long time after watching the play is the story about the pillowman.

The Pillowman is a gigantic man made of pillows and he helps children commit suicide. He tells the children about their future and how miserable their lives ahead of them would be and tries to convince them that they are better off dying now than to endure so much sufferings before committing suicide at a later point in life. When the child agrees to commit suicide after hearing about his/ her future, the Pillowman will help the child to die and the death will be made to seem like an accident.

At the last part of the play, the Pillowman approached the writer’s brother, who endured a lot of torture and ill-treatment as a child, and told him about his future and asked him if he would want to die now. The writer’s brother said, “But if I were to die now, my brother would not have the stories…” So the writer’s brother chose to live through the sufferings.

 

It is comforting to think that we had a choice whether we wanted to live through the sufferings or not. But above all, “The Pillowman” reminded me that people are all inter-connected. Sometimes something has to happen in order for something else to happen. And if our lives and the lives of the people around us are free of misery, maybe things would turn out differently and all the good things that happen after that point of misery would not have happened. I need to accept that life may seem unfair and bad things can happen to very good people and I need to move on. In time to come, I will know how exactly this episode has helped me to grow and has made me a better person.

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