Barbara Ehrenreich Isn't Afraid to Die
Date Written: 01/05/2018
Year Published: 2018
Resource Type: Article
Cx Number: CX22611
A look at Barbara Ehrenreich's book "Natural Causes: An Epidemic of Wellness, The Certainty of Dying, and Our Illusion of Control", where she questions current cultural practices, our sense of 'self', and advocates for a broader acceptance of death's inevitability.
In Ehrenreich's hands, wellness, for example, isn't just a trend, but a reflection of the interplay of class, power, and health (a word, she argues, that's meaning is too class-based to be useful to wellness gurus like Gwyneth Paltrow). Wellness, she suggests, eliminates the appearance of "conflict...endemic to the human world, with all its jagged inequalities," emphasizing instead the harmonious individual - a body and mind in complete accord. But, to what end? "To feel good, of course, which is the same as feeling powerful. Put in more mechanical terms, wellness is the means to remake oneself into an ever more perfect self-correcting machine capable of setting goals and moving toward them with smooth determination."