By Lois Lowry
Thirteen-year-old Meg envies her sister's attractiveness and recognition. Her emotions don't make it any more uncomplicated for her to deal with Molly's unusual disease and eventual demise.
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Extra info for A Summer to Die
However, given well-established cultural diversity in many behaviours in other species (especially chimpanzees – McGrew 2004, and dolphins – Krutzen et al. 2005), it is possible that non-humans also have cultural activities related to death and dying. How do these behaviours compare across species? Rat burial and insect embalming suggest that death-response behaviours are triggered innately by the release of polyamines during decomposition, and need not be influenced by social relationship or context.
So too, were the Buddhist mortuary rituals discussed by Julia Shaw (this volume), which originated in earlier Brahmanical practices. It was during the time of the Mauryan emperor As8oka that Buddhism developed into a pan-Indian and subsequently into a pan-Asian phenomenon. State society emerged very much earlier in Egypt, however, and with it came conceptions of divinity and of immortality, as Stevenson (this volume) notes. She surveys how, from the late Neolithic to the early bronze age, ‘social relationships were dramatically reconfigured over an interval of some 1500 years, from pastoralist communities to a state society headed by divine kingship’.
2011; Whilde & Marples 2011), Anderson (2011, 3) concluded that these reports ‘do little to elucidate [primates’] awareness of death, its psychological rather than its socioecological significance’. But a better understanding of this ‘socioecological significance’ may implicate phylogeny, social system, physical environment, or life history in explaining behavioural responses. g. atypical vocalisations, tactile investigation, grooming, and attempts to revive (Anderson et al. 2010; Cronin et al.
A Summer to Die by Lois Lowry