May. 25th, 2012

Gunshot
Preferred method of: Hemingway, Russian soldiers, school shooters, people with a gun
Advantages: quick; painless (assumed); clean death for victim
Disadvantages: messy death for whoever sticks around; requires a bullet; requires a gun

Dueling
Preferred method of: pretty much everybody up until the Romantics
Advantages: preservation of honor; saving face
Disadvantages: not necessarily quick or painless; lack of skill is no guarantee of death; tea-bagging by opponent essentially negates saved dignity

Hanging
Preferred method of: David Foster Wallace, anyone with a bedsheet, anyone with a curtain, anyone with a rope
Advantages: easy set-up; easy to improvise; required materials found in common households; asphyxiation may mimic falling asleep
Disadvantages: possibility of botched execution, in w/c case asphyxiation extremely painful; possibility of protracted dying; possibility of suffering

Exsanguination
Preferred method of: emo kids, chefs, sparkling vampires
Advantages: easy set-up; easy to improvise; required materials found in common households
Disadvantages: clichéd; messy clean-up; does not preserve dignity

Blunt force trauma (i.e. running into a wall)
Preferred method of: that guy in "The Mummy" who ran into a wall to get flesh-eating beetles out of his head
Advantages: build up enough speed and you're pretty sure to die
Disadvantages: pretty damn terrifying; not to be done unless one actually has beetles in their head

Autodefenestration (i.e.  throwing oneself out a window)
Preferred method of: office workers, Japanese office workers
Advantages: almost certain death guaranteed in locales under the influence of gravity
Disadvantages: only effective above specific height; minuscule chance of surviving; time between launching and contact with ground offers ample opportunity for "flashbacks", i.e. pre-death emotional trauma; hence not entirely painless

Road vehicle impact
Preferred method of: hitchhikers
Advantages: similar to blunt force trauma, but without mandatory build-up of speed on victim's part
Disadvantages: endangers innocents; slight to moderate chance that death is not immediate, and, therefore, painful

Rail vehicle impact
Preferred method of: that selfish idiot who delayed your commute for two hours while they cleaned his brains off the tracks
Advantages: quick; certain death
Disadvantages: requires pedestrian access to railroads; not necessarily painless; traumatizes innocents (e.g. train driver, conductor); does not necessarily preserve dignity (see 'Rail vehicle impact, preferred method of')

Carbon monoxide poisoning
Preferred method of: does anybody actually do this deliberately?
Advantages: certain death; painless, feels like falling asleep
Disadvantages: requires carbon monoxide; requires long period to take effect; possibility of being 'rescued' by passersby, in w/c case damaged brain and muscle functions will make it hell to live; in event of rescue, further attempts at dying no longer feasible

Carbon dioxide poisoning
Preferred method of: babies, pets, and things that stick their heads into plastic bags
Advantages: requires only ability to hold breath indefinitely, or a plastic bag
Disadvantages: similar to carbon monoxide poisoning

Sticking head in oven
Preferred method of: Sylvia Plath
Advantages: similar to carbon monoxide poisoning
Disadvantages: requires an oven; trademarked by Sylvia Plath; one will not only be branded a copycat, but will be posthumously sued by the estate of Sylvia Plath

Starvation
Preferred method of: hunger strikers, but we were just trying to make a point, man!
Advantages: certain death
Disadvantages: extremely long and protracted; extremely painful; duration makes it possible for relatives and rivals to taunt one from bedside

Dehydration (i.e. walking in the desert until one keels over)
Preferred method of: hermits, Bedouin outcasts, Europeans during the late 1800s
Advantages: certain death; possible religious experience
Disadvantages: similarly to starvation, extremely painful; visions and hallucinations may not necessarily be comforting; requires hot weather and/or a desert

Poison
Preferred method of: Juliet, Romeo, and other women, so I'm told
Advantages: multiple types of poison; customizable death; depending on poison, does not leave scars or physical marks; preserves dignity
Disadvantages: requires poison; requires knowledge of poisons; requires calm; may require falling asleep; may be painful; may induce vomiting; may not take effect immediately

Jumping off a bridge and drowning
Preferred method of: Virginia Woolf, Quentin Compson, jilted lovers
Advantages: multiple symbolisms (e.g. River Styx, Lethe, the world rushing to engulf one's sorrows, death and baptism, etc); it's... romantic, I guess?
Disadvantages: cold; inhospitable; actual drowning excruciatingly painful; moderate to large chance of pre-death emotional trauma; body may decompose before found; body may not be found

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Treppenwolf

May 2012

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