Future Work: Points of Departure and Data Sources (IN: Suicide and the Creative Arts, edited by S Stack & D Lester)

In this concluding chapter, Stack & Lester discuss selected points of departure for research that would fill important gaps in the knowledge base. Included in their survey are: the neglect of non-Western art, the neglect of major art forms like film, photography, & music, & the weighting of positive versus negative definitions in images. The[…]

Introduction: Issues and Summaries of Chapters (IN: Suicide and the Creative Arts, edited by S Stack & D Lester)

This chapter provides an introduction to the entire text, including a discussion of how the arts can provide insights into the motives for suicide. This discussion is followed by a summary of each of the subsequent chapters. (11 refs.)

Suicide and the Arts: From the Death of Ajax to Andy Warhol’s Marilyn Monroe (IN: Suicide and the Creative Arts, edited by S Stack & D Lester)

This chapter focuses on the iconography of suicide in Western art. A discussion is first presented on how the subject of suicide in Western history, literature, mythology, & religion has been reflected in the mirror of the arts. Major themes in the Western iconography of suicide over the last three millennia are then reviewed. The[…]

Suicide in Movies: Gender and Choice of Suicide Method (IN: Suicide and the Creative Arts, edited by S Stack & D Lester)

This chapter draws attention to an important agent of socialization to gender roles – the mass media. In particular, it is contended women & men learn about gendered suicide methods in the narratives of films. Its central hypothesis is that method of suicide is a cultural & gendered idiom, which is learned & reflected in[…]

Suicide Films About Adolescents (IN: Suicide and the Creative Arts, edited by S Stack & D Lester)

This chapter opens with an extensive discussion of the developmental history of adolescents & factors that may increase their risk of suicide. Adolescent suicides are present in many movies as the central theme or as part of a general theme. Some movies concerning adolescent suicide are reviewed in this chapter, including: Dead Poet’s Society; The[…]

Pain and Altruism: the Suicides in John Wayne’s Films (IN: Suicide and the Creative Arts, edited by S Stack & D Lester)

The variation in the portrayal of motives for suicide in the cinema have not been systematically addressed in the literature. This chapter tests aspects of a biographical approach to explaining some of the variation in suicide motives in film. In particular, it focuses on biographical experiences & values of a major film star, John Wayne,[…]

Suicide Motives in 61 Works of Popular World Literature and Comparison to Film (IN: Suicide and the Creative Arts, edited by S Stack & D Lester)

Research is needed to ascertain cultural patterns in literature as a whole. The present study fills this gap & focuses on motives for suicide in a large number of popular literary works. 3 contributions are made: 1) the provision of the first systematic taxonomy of motives for suicide in a representative sample of popular literary[…]

Artist Suicide in the Cinema (IN: Suicide and the Creative Arts, edited by S Stack & D Lester)

This chapter explores the frequency of representations of artist suicide in the cinema, whether some subtypes of artists are portrayed more often, & whether internal motives for artist suicides are more likely to be portrayed than for suicides of other occupations. The second section of the chapter qualitatively assesses 5 apparent patterns in the presentation[…]

Ophelia

The author describes the painting “Ophelia” by John Everett Millais first displayed in 1852. Reaction at the time was mixed. Harris discusses Hamlet’s reflection on suicide as contrasted with Ophelia’s death. Although it seemed accidental, her apparent failure to try to save herself raises the question of suicide. Harris further discusses Shakespeare’s use of these[…]

Suicide (IN: Lives and Deaths: Selections from the Works of Edwin S. Shneidman, edited by A A Leenaars)

This chapter discusses various aspects of suicide beginning with a definition of suicide. The complexities & difficulties with definitions are described. A lengthy review of the main threads in suicide research is followed by a description of the psychological characteristics of suicide. Other topics included are: the two fundamental aspects of death & suicide; attempted[…]