Death in the Cabbage Patch
Our discussion of Montaigne and his notion of a swift death made me think of the death of Vito Corleone in The Godfather. Montaigne writes: “I want Death to find me planting my cabbages, neither worrying about it nor the unfinished gardening” (27).
While Montaigne doesn’t go into this at length, I find the notion of the garden bed as a death bed compelling not only because it is unanticipated and thus, in Montaigne’s view, not as fearful–but because of the site of the garden or orchard as one of regeneration. Death might be a flowery affair: it is in the flowers customarily sent to the mourning, and the return to the earth of the body. This notion of regeneration is explicit in The Godfather, since it is Vito’s grandson who watches him die.